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June 13, 2013 / Brandon

Rendering of an Excavation Plan for a Project in Glendale

Rendering of an Excavation Plan for a Project in Glendale

As we get closer to submitting plans for the Mixed-Use project on California and Central in Glendale, I am running the earthwork cut and fill numbers based off the excavation plans B+W Engineering drew up.

An excavation plan shows how the builder will dig out the ground to build the foundation. This particular mixed-use project has two levels of underground parking. So it will be obvious there will be a lot of dirt coming out of this lot. I have had to build many 3D models over the years to get estimated earthwork quantities. In doing so the existing ground needs to be modeled along with the proposed surface. This can be done by hand by just use a planimeter. Using a planimeter seems more fun as I learned to do this by redrawing the existing and proposed contours in colors and get the volumes using a calculator and spreadsheet. The maps always turn out to look really nice as there is just all this color showing the before and after topography. Most of the time this method is faster. But I would end up having to plot the plans and use up multiple colored pencils. Surely using the computer to get the earthwork volumes should be more eco-friendly. Less tress to kill. Shhh, don’t mention electricity.

So that leaves me with building the model on the computer. The existing and proposed surfaces are drawn in and modeled. That information is then taken into an access database where the computer crunches some numbers, and wallah cut and fill, or earthwork volume quantities. I most likely made that sound much easier than it really is. But that’s the basic overall scope. The great thing about doing this is that it will catch any errors, or busts, on the survey or Civil Engineering plans. This becomes more obvious when modeling something more flat and not just a big hole in the ground. I can take either existing or proposed surface and analyze the data to see if anything went wrong. Generally everything is fine and more often the model is the issue and not any of the plans. User error can show up because it becomes very tedious to get the models just right. Lots of drawing lines connecting existing linework and typing in numbers.

This particular job I didn’t model tight enough to the bottom of the ramp’s landing, so the rendered model gave a few rough looking spots. Easy enough to fix and as you can see from my crude rendering above this site now looks like a big hole in the ground waiting for some big construction toys to have fun.

The above is a rendering of the existing surface. Nothing really to see here as the site is a vacant dirt lot with a little pile of dirt in the corner.

In the end it’s good to show current and future clients or whoever else is stumbling through our blog what we do in the background while we are getting plans ready to submit. If someone wanted to they could take our models and overlay a siteplan to them and make a pretty nice rendering for a client. I have considered B+W Engineering doing this, but I don’t see anyone wanting that service just yet. Just another day in what we do as a Civil Engineering firm in Los Angeles.

The post Rendering of an Excavation Plan for a Project in Glendale appeared first on B+W Engineering and Design.

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