November 16, 2009
Landscape Design for BIM, Highway Design and New Platform
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
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Industry News

Landscape Design for BIM, Highway Design and New Platform

By Susan Smith

Eagle Point has been in the news lately with three announcements, namely the announcement of their LANDCADD integration with the Revit platform; LandSketch for Highways, the second product in its LandSketch series; and the announcement that Eagle Point is transitioning its Civil Design and Surveying solutions running on AutoCAD to the Autodesk Civil 3D development platform.

Luis Rojas, architectural product line manager for Eagle Point, spoke on LANDCADD for Revit that’s coming out shortly and Steve Biver, Civil product manager in charge of the LandSketch series spoke on LandSketch for Highways.

LANDCADD for Revit

LANDCADD is a 20-year-old product, which has put Eagle Point on the map for their landscape design series for the AutoCAD market. In recent years, a lot has changed, as more customers have sought integration with building information modeling (BIM) and most recently “integrated project delivery.” Eagle Point customers have been asking for landscape design integrated within the Revit platform, pushing for an integration of the civil design software company with architectural design.

Rojas described the situation as a “gap” where work is done in AutoCAD Architecture and Civil 3D, but then it is difficult to bring that work into a BIM through Revit Architecture. “They are two different animals,” said Rojas. “The landscape design was literally disconnected from the Revit model, so there is this workflow where we’re talking about integrated project teams working together and that’s not happening with this particular segment.”

Eagle Point created a version of their landscape design software that runs inside of Revit, “we still have the LANDCADD for AutoCAD and we’re coming out with the LANDCADD for Revit,” said Rojas. Those organizations that have the landscape design group can now migrate into Revit, can do their design work in Revit, and work with the architects and engineers and reap the benefits of being in the same model.

Rojas said that the product will evolve very quickly after its initial release. In the first release, LANDCADD’s plant, hardscape and site components will be located directly in the building model. Most of the elements are to be focused outside the building, but green roof layout, patios and walkways will all be made possible and can take advantage of the 3D dynamic model.

Autodesk products don’t offer any plant libraries. Civil 3D offers grading, but no subscaping and is limited on hardscaping, according to Rojas. Besides providing a lot of information, Eagle Point products locate components such as turf area, hedgerows, or grove areas. The plant library contains biological information on the plants, “We have some tools for locating and some reporting ability within Revit so we can enhance what you can get out of Revit,” said Rojas. “This is the first release that has a parking layout component. Revit does have a parking space component; we’re actually helping layout the parking lot.”

The AutoCAD version of LANDCADD also provides surface modeling features, that allow the creation contour lines and grading features. Eagle Point also has field software applications, and office survey applications. They begin by capturing the data and then processing that information to the 3D model of the site – “that’s very valid because we’re starting to address just the subscaping part of the hardscaping but that was the other part of the question from clients, how do we get into grading and really developing that site, and that’s something we’re already working on,” said Rojas. “It’s not what comes out in the first release of the product.”

Customers for LANDCADD for Revit are architecture firms that have a landscape design group, that implement architectural projects in Revit. There are also architectural firms who don’t do landscape design but who hire consultants, and LANDCADD for Revit will provide them with basic tools. LANDCADD for AutoCAD is geared toward those landscape architects and designers who are not interested in Revit and may never migrate to BIM.

LandSketch for Highways

LandSketch for Highways was recently released as the second tool in Eagle Point’s LandSketch series, which to date has focused on subdivision conceptual preliminary design and highway preliminary design. Highway transportation planners will be able to use these simple route layout and selection tools along with the ability to visualize and report on GIS data.

Described in the press release, “with support for Google Earth, LandXML, and Shape files, LandSketch for Highways allows designers to begin their preliminary designs by leveraging numerous forms of electronic data. Once these existing features are established, highway segments including basic horizontal, vertical, and cross-sectional elements are simply sketched on the basemap complete with catchlines and proposed right-of-way. From here, multiple "what if" scenarios can quickly be scrutinized by utilizing built-in reports that immediately quantify environmental impacts, area takes, and rough earthwork volumes.”

“We envision this to evolve several applications targeted right at certain design projects, and they’re all going to be in the preliminary stage,” Steve Biver, Civil product manager, said. “Customers for RoadCalc, or our Civil 3D clients were doing all their preliminary design work in these packages that were meant for detailed design. The majority of DOTs are using GEOPAK. We talked to about five or six DOTs and all of them consistently said that the preliminary design group would go through all the tools in GEOPAK to just come up with the preferred alternative, so they’re going through 10-20 different alternatives for a ten-mile highway
to find out what the best alternative was and they were using a tool with thousands of commands to come up with the final design. Not only did you have those thousands of commands to do the work but the process was also completely disconnected from the GIS software. When you’re in your preliminary stages of design and looking at different alternatives, you get your highway footprint of your construction and compare that to your GIS data to see what you’re impacting and then compare costs and see what your best alternatives are.”

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