3 dimensional models be extremely helpful for those clients who are not adept at reading the 2-D elevations that we architects draw and submit to building departments and contractors. Elevations show a (distorted from real life) flat-on view of one side of a building. It's a view, that depending on the site, a human might never really even see - a perspective view is much more realistic- and without labels, it may be unclear what each line represents.
Below is the small "video" I was able to easily create and save in Sketch Up which flies around my 3-D building model of this cottage, showing all sides and how the building sits on the sloped site. The building model here is still very basic, like the line drawing above, yet because it's no longer representing only two dimensions, it is able to convey much more.
Below are final portfolio photos of the same project. (Hopefully this looks like you expected it to look, having seen the drawing and model of the design, even though the sketch was rough and not fully detailed) I think you'll agree that Sketch Up (or any 3-D model- even a physical one built from board and glue) is an advantageous tool for architects to use to communicate their ideas to clients.
|Front of Building after Completion|
|Back of Building after Completion|
Here are the 2-D elevation drawings (front view and partial side view) showing the same project. In this example, we were exploring connecting a gable-end porch to wrap around the corner and offer weather protection over the front door. As I think you can see, the 3 dimension models are much better at showing what the changes look like than the 2 dimensional drawings.