Parks and recreation projects, like many public works projects, are complex undertakings. Not only do they need to meet the high standard of public safety, but their design documents need to integrate myriad design elements created by a wide cross section of people, including civil engineers and architects, often from several different consulting firms.
With so many interconnected elements that go into the design of a playground, football field, or any other recreational space, these projects need a design program that can organize the data in such a way as to make the design process as efficient as possible. That way, the public can begin enjoying their space as soon as possible.
In order to help designers do this, CADD Microsystems is hosting three webinars on Tuesday, August 14 on Civil 3D, Autodesk’s product for civil engineering and public works projects: “Civil 3D for Parks and Recreation,” “Making the Transition to Civil 3D,” “Civil 3D Styles Tips and Tricks.” In each of these, Civil 3D expert Marissa Gagné will discuss the elements that make Civil 3D ideally suited to parks and recreation departments’ purposes.
To get a download on each of these webinars, we recently sat down with her, and this is what she had to say:
GovDesignHub (GDH): Tell us a little about yourself and your experience using Civil 3D in infrastructure projects.
Marissa Gagné: For the past twenty-plus years, I have had a lot of experience working with Autodesk products, particularly their Civil, Survey, and GIS solutions. I have worked on these both as a consulting engineer on various civil engineering project types, and here as the practice manager for CADD Microsystems’ civil infrastructure team, where I guide my clients through the complexities that can come up with these sorts of endeavors.
GDH: What makes Civil 3D an especially powerful tool for public works use cases like parks and recreation projects?
Marissa Gagné: Civil 3D has powerful, dynamic tools for design projects of all types. For parks and rec projects, Civil 3D can be used to intelligently model things like trails, athletic fields, playgrounds, parking lots, and more. Because of the dynamic nature of Civil 3D’s design objects, multiple design options can be quickly reviewed. As changes are made to these design objects, there is no need to update labels, as these are changed automatically. These traits (and more) are what make Civil 3D a great option for parks and rec.
GDH: Generally, what advantages does it have over programs like AutoCAD, Land Desktop, InRoads, and other similar programs for government users?
Marissa Gagné: AutoCAD is a great drafting tool using basic entities. Civil 3D takes this a step further, allowing the user to work with intelligent objects such as surfaces and corridors that will update not only their own labels, but also to account for changes in other, related objects.
The list of why Civil 3D is better than Land Desktop is long. I have done hour-long presentations on it. While it has this concept of intelligent objects, it is not nearly as dynamic as those in Civil 3D. Related objects don’t automatically react to changes in each other, and not all labels will update when their objects are changed. The same is true of InRoads.
GDH: How do Civil 3D Styles contribute to Civil 3D’s advantages over other programs? How will knowing all the Styles tips and tricks that you can teach them help government designers do their jobs better and more efficiently?
Marissa Gagné: Civil 3D Styles are used to develop and easily implement an organization’s CAD Standards directly in the product environment. With the help of a good, robust set of styles, a lot of basic drafting is done by Civil 3D following these styles, meaning that your standards will automatically be followed. This allows your designer to focus on their project options and designs instead of worrying about making sure their drawings conform to standards.
GDH: One of the webinars that you will be presenting focuses on using Civil 3D on parks and recreation projects. What are some of the challenges that parks and recreation departments face today?
Marissa Gagné: To accomplish their wide set of tasks and projects, departments often need to bring together a lot of different streams of data from different trade disciplines and channel them all into a finished product.
Managing CAD data from multiple consulting firms and from wholly different disciplines – like civil engineering, architecture and landscape architecture – is a huge part of this. They often don’t work in the same coordinate system, or even in the same units. Adding to that confusion, contractors often have their own set of standards, so when you try to merge them with the others, they do not match up. Among these data that need to be integrated are important survey and GIS data and imagery, all of which needs to be integrated seamlessly for design document to cohere.
GDH: How can Civil 3D’s unique capabilities help with these challenges? And how will they make designers’ jobs easier relative to using less sophisticated design software?
Marissa Gagné: Firstly, Civil 3D allows you to establish styles and standards upfront that can be sent out to the contractors, allowing them to follow these standards easily.
Secondly, Civil 3D carries not only civil engineering tools, but also powerful GIS tools. These allow you to directly connect to GIS data and imagery to bring this information into the drawing environment. This functionality also includes the ability to perform coordinate conversion on the fly, allowing for this data to line up together accurately.
To register for the Civil 3D for Parks and Recreation webinar, click here. To register for the Making the Transition to Civil 3D webinar, click here. For the Civil 3D Styles Tips and Tricks Webinar, click here.