When using 3ds max it is important to consider using floating geometry when modelling complex shapes such as a building. By using this method you can easily create more detail without cutting and making a mess of your original polygon. This can allow for a faster work flow and increased productivity whilst creating an object that is more optimised than using one polygon. Another point that is crucial to optimisation is to delete the faces you don’t need which people will not see. For example, if you are creating the front of a building and that is the only thing the viewer/player is going to see, then delete the back as there is no point having them there. The same goes to anything else that the player would not see, that be the bottom of a bin or the bottom of a tower. By doing this it will allow more creative freedom due to the extra CPU power you have saved from, lets say a streets worth of buildings within a game. So now I could potentially put more detail into something else if so desired.
Another thing to note is when designing something whether that be a building or otherwise, always start with the stand out main features. This sounds obvious but especially with me, I will start with a main feature and get side tracked to the smaller details without finishing the main features and by doing this, it can throw the scale and proportion of.
Here is an early in progress shot of my building which as you can see, I have deleted the back faces in order to optimise the poly count. I have the main features with the roof and extruded the windows in, which will allow me to get an idea of proportion and scale for adding other features such as the door which I created using floating geometry. Another example of what I would use as floating geometry would be gutter pipe which I can add small details to then push it onto the poly.
This is the view that people will see which gives you an idea of how you can delete polys you don’t need.