Civil + Structural Design Tools – June 2017

    BuildSteel released an e-book to help AEC professionals understand and utilize BIM for cold-formed steel projects.

    BuildSteel releases BIM e-book

    BuildSteel released an e-book to help AEC professionals understand and utilize BIM for cold-formed steel projects.

    BuildSteel, an alliance of steel and construction industry organizations, released “BIM for Cold-Formed Steel Framed Projects: Benefits, Drawbacks, and How to Succeed,” an e-book to help architecture, engineering, and construction professionals understand and utilize BIM for cold-formed steel projects.

    “Building Information Modeling is gaining momentum within the construction industry and cold-formed steel projects are particularly well-suited for the BIM process,” said Dan Snyder, director of BuildSteel. “In many cases, BIM can help save time and money in construction, but it’s not a guarantee for all projects, so it’s important for construction professionals to know when it will be a good fit for their projects and how to take full advantage of the process when it is.”

    The e-book includes:

    • five steps to become competent in BIM;
    • BIM do’s and don’ts for cold-formed steel projects; and
    • tips for establishing a BIM project team.
    • In addition, the e-book includes a series of case studies illustrating examples of successful BIM projects, as well as a list of resources for additional support.
    • Download BIM for Cold-Formed Steel Framed Projects: Benefits, Drawbacks, and How to Succeed at

    Information provided by BuildSteel (

    Trimble Unity smart water management software adds wireless monitoring

    Trimble Unity 3.8 is a cloud-based, GIS-centric Software-as-a-Service that offers a suite of applications and tools for the water, wastewater, stormwater, and environmental
    water industry.

    Trimble’s latest version of its smart water management software — Trimble Unity 3.8 — is a cloud-based, GIS-centric Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) that offers a suite of applications and tools for the water, wastewater, stormwater, and environmental water industry. Trimble Unity enables users to monitor real-time operations, deploy smart meters, assess the condition of assets, reduce leakage and non-revenue water, and locate and map critical infrastructure using Trimble GNSS mapping technologies. Version 3.8 extends the platform’s capabilities to include asset performance monitoring with the integration of Trimble Telog wireless Internet of Things (IoT) remote monitoring instruments and data.

    Trimble Unity with Trimble Telog instruments can monitor and manage water level, flow, pressure, water hammer, rainfall, water quality, and pump stations on remote water and wastewater networks. This new version offers a single view of remote monitoring data, performance measurement reports, GIS, operational data, asset conditions, and events.

    Trimble Unity’s mobile application can be used to automate and simplify wireless monitoring instrument site deployments. Telog wireless remote monitoring instruments may be configured to measure and report data and alarms as often as needed. The new version includes GIS visualization tools to view and analyze wireless remote monitoring data for a single site or aggregated data from multiple sites.

    Users can leverage Trimble Unity’s configurable web and mobile work management, analysis, and data collection workflows for responding to alarms or events, assessing the condition of the utility network assets, and collecting asset data in the field. Trimble Unity allows users to integrate the solution with existing back office customer service and asset management systems. Trimble Unity leverages Esri ArcGIS technology to provide support for Esri GIS mapping in the office and field. Trimble Unity is available on iOS, Windows, and Android smartphones and tablets as well as on Trimble rugged, mobile mapping devices.

    Information provided by Trimble Water Division (

    Oasys announces new features for MassMotion 3D pedestrian simulation

    MassMotion highlights points of congestion and 3D visualizations reveal opportunities for improvement.

    MassMotion 9.0 is a major release of the Oasys 3D pedestrian simulation software that was developed in 2003. MassMotion puts intelligent agents in 3D models to give insight into how a building will perform. These 3D models are easily built from scratch or by importing and combining existing 3D and 2D CAD assets. MassMotion pedestrian simulation is therefore a logical extension to the design process for any project where efficient pedestrian flow is critical. It is also the most powerful tool available for evacuation planning, the company said, and licenses ideally tailored for dedicated egress use are available.

    MassMotion reveals the way that crowds will move through a building as they encounter stairs, doors, ticket gates and each other. It highlights points of congestion and its 3D visualizations reveal opportunities for improvement. Once the model is built, analyses can be run in minutes or hours with little or no additional programming, according to the company.

    Core new features of Oasys MassMotion 9.0 are:

    • Easier import of assets from all the leading 3D and 2D CAD packages, which are combined into a single BIM-compatible 3D model, with object snap for even faster model building. This provides “live” links between different levels and areas of complex structures, providing a window on the entire and continuous pedestrian experience. In a 3D MassMotion model, agents don’t just disappear from one area and pop up in another — users can follow them up the stairs and escalators, etc., where risks of congestion or obstruction are just as high.
    • MassMotion’s intelligent agents can now respond dynamically to both personal agendas and user-defined external stimuli (triggers). This is particularly useful as pedestrian simulation is now routinely used in virtually every stage of major projects, not just for evacuation planning. Designers and engineers can investigate a much wider range of scenarios and opportunities.
    • The sector’s first Software Development Kit for advanced users makes it easier to factor in exceptional or unusual events or pedestrian behavior such as for older people (who move slowly) or children (who don’t slow down on stairs and who defy the normal speed/density ratios).

    Information provided by Oasys Software (

    Autodesk releases InfraWorks and Civil 3D 2018

    On April 13, Autodesk released its latest versions of Autodesk InfraWorks and Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D 2018. Following are highlights of some of what’s new in the two programs.

    Autodesk InfraWorks

    Quantify more aspects of materials for a selected road such as road components, bridge materials, and drainage components. Image: courtesy of Autodesk

    Autodesk said that it continues to extend the value of InfraWorks as a BIM for infrastructure modeling platform for civil engineers and architects. The latest features include enhancements that enable views of designs with greater engineering context and improvements to the modeling of roads and bridges. Following are some of the new capabilities:

    Manage bridge components — Manage inventor-based bridge components directly in the Style Palette, where users can add parametric content such as decks, piers, and girders and use familiar commands to manage these components.

    Material quantities — Quantify more aspects of materials for a selected road such as road components, bridge materials, and drainage components. Export the quantities to a CSV file for further review, reporting, or cost estimating. Customize the quantities panel to show only the categories you would like to see or export.

    Simplified trees — Substitute “simplified trees” for realistic trees to improve the performance — faster regen, panning, and zooming — when large stands of trees, such as forests, are part of the model.

    Usability enhancements — A new gizmo makes it easier to edit roadside grading, and making modifications to grading zones is faster and more responsive, Autodesk said. Performance of annotations on certain assets is improved, including selected roads, parcels, easements, and rights-of-way and some measurement tools. Annotation styles have improved readability, are more responsive while zooming in and out, and respond more effectively when changing view perspective.

    Autocase for Sites — Directly from InfraWorks, users now have access to the Autocase for Sites solution, free for one year. Autocase for Sites provides data and analytics to automate the business case for stormwater projects in North America. Using basic project data and carefully curated economic data, Autocase for Sites automates “triple bottom line cost-benefit analysis,” including life cycle cost analysis, to help prioritize design elements that will optimize the financial, social, and environmental bottom line of a project. Autocase for Sites can help evaluate more than 25 stormwater design features to quantify and monetize the reduction in flooding, avoided gray infrastructure, water and air quality improvement, recreation improvement, reduced carbon emissions, and the property value benefits of green infrastructure.

    With the latest release, InfraWorks 360 is now officially named simply InfraWorks.

    AutoCAD Civil 3D

    Substitute “simplified trees” for realistic trees to improve the performance (faster regen, panning, and zooming) when large stands of trees, such as forests, are part of the model. Image: courtesy of Autodesk

    AutoCAD Civil 3D 2018 focuses on three themes — design efficiency, production efficiency, and collaboration. Following are a few of the new features:

    Launch InfraWorks — The new InfraWorks ribbon in AutoCAD Civil 3D 2018 now gives access to InfraWorks-related commands and enables users to launch InfraWorks directly from that ribbon.

    Resolve corridor bowties — In AutoCAD Civil 3D 2018, when corridor tangents intersect at a corner, or the corridor is created at a fixed width, the inner and outer corners of corridors are now cleaned up automatically. Corners from corridors brought forward from prior versions of AutoCAD Civil 3D also can be cleaned up by making an edit to the corridor and rebuilding it. The Clear Corridor Bowties command also can be used when the corridor is created at a non-fixed width (such as when daylighting to a surface).

    Plan production tools — New drawing templates have been added to accommodate the ability to create plan/plan and profile/profile sheets. The plan production tools allow users to more quickly create construction documents by allowing creation of plan(s)-only, profile(s)-only, and section sheets.

    Connected alignments — New connected alignment capabilities allow users to create a new dynamically linked alignment and profile that transitions between two intersecting alignments and their profiles. Use this feature to create a curb return, an exit ramp, a merging/diverging road, or to connect an existing road with a proposed road.

    Information provided by Autodesk ( and

    Michael Baker uses drones to evaluate runway pavements

    The Michael Baker UAS team surveyed more than 3,000 linear feet of ATL international Runway 9L/27R with a drone, gathering approximately 630 photos of the airfield
    in less than 20 minutes.

    Michael Baker International recently partnered with the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) to use unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to inspect runway conditions. The mission was the first of its kind to use drones on the airfield of an international airport in the United States during daily airport operations.

    Michael Baker is partnering with ATL on a pavement evaluation project and identified an opportunity for the use of UAS to collect information on the condition of the runway pavement. This method provides a large amount of data for the teams to analyze and can help document the runway for future rehabilitation and improvement decisions. It also presents a time and cost savings for the airport as it would take less than half the time to complete compared with the traditional approach of manually photographing the physical condition of the runway, which can take more than four hours.

    The Michael Baker UAS team used its Topcon Falcon 8 aircraft to conduct the drone flight in mid-March and surveyed more than 3,000 linear feet of runway. The mission was conducted on the international Runway 9L/27R and was completed in less than 20 minutes, gathering approximately 630 photos of the airfield. This runway, the longest at the airport at 12,390 feet, typically carries the heaviest aircraft, which cause the most pavement damage and safety concerns.

    To plan for the project, Michael Baker obtained approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct UAS operations in Class B airspace at ATL. The FAA waiver is active for four months and requires the airport to be in a west flow condition, to establish two-way radio contact, and to close the runway at the time of the flight.

    During this and future missions, the team can generate contours, orthomosiac imagery, RGB 3D textured mesh, and a digital terrain model. This data can then be analyzed by the Michael Baker and airport teams using engineering software such as Autodesk, ESRI, and Bentley, and can help determine future needs to improve and maintain the runway conditions.

    Information provided by Michael Baker International (