Pakenham Racecourse - Dalton Consulting Engineers

ClientPakenham Racing ClubLocationAustralia, Vic
ConsultantDalton Consulting EngineersContractorBrent Gordon

Pakenham Racecourse

Project Summary

Dalton Consulting Engineers (DCE) was engaged by the Pakenham Racing Club as principal consultant for the design and construction of a new state-of-the-art, fully sustainable facility for thoroughbred racing, training and ancillary facilities including the longest home straight of any current racecourse in Australia.


Pakenham Racing Club purchased the Greenfield site some 15km away from the original site on which it is to develop the new Racing and Training Facility. Upon completion, the activities currently undertaken at the Pakenham Racecourse site will be relocated to the Tynong site, therefore enabling the sale of the current Pakenham Racecourse.
• The site is located 1km west of the Tynong Township
• Site Area = 246ha (replacing Existing 24ha racecourse)

DCE used 12d Model to complete the civil design for:
• Bulk Earthworks of site (700,000 Cubic metres)
• 25m wide, 2,400m in Length Wide Course Proper including 1,000m of chutes
• 4 Tunnels under racetracks
• Ambulance track for the whole circumference of the course Proper and 1200m chute.
• 10m & 6m wide Sand Tracks totalling 1,650m in length each
• Training Lights for the Sand Tracks
• Wetlands and 30 megalitres storage dam
• 4 Growling Grass Frog Ponds.
• 6 megalitre irrigation dam
• Sewer and Water Reticulation
• Main Entrance in accordance with VicRoads standards

The Challenge

The problems DCE faced were:
• The new racecourse required full civil design for roads, underground drainage, sewer, water supply, tracks, flood ways, wetlands and frog ponds with sufficient information to produce construction documentation.
• Due to time constraints, several people worked on this design simultaneously to produce a fully integrated design of the entire site. In order to accurately match neighbouring works to each other, they must also have ready access to each other’s design information.
• Furthermore, due to significant historical flooding at the site, detailed flood analysis of the site was required showing areas and depths inundation over time.
• Data was required to be exported in several different formats to other consultants, architects and contractors.
Due to the public nature of the project, aesthetic visuals were required for advertisement and approval.
• The sheer size and complexity of the drainage network required the use of a singular network which could model hydraulic and hydrology data across the whole site.

The Solution

Thirteen separate 12d Model projects were used to design the entire racecourse and associated works, with as many as 5 designers working on it at any given time.

The ability to share and copy between project functions allowed DCE to effectively interface their design with adjoining components and integrate them all together to create a final overall design.

12d Model allowed DCE to share templates, MTFs, models and TINs with live updating for when a designer was working in similar areas as another designer.

Using 12d’s drainage package, DCE was able to model the entirety of the project’s underground drainage as a single network.
The network contained:
• Over 14km of pipework, some as large as 1800mm diameter
• Over 20km of subsoil drainage
• Over 360 pits and endwalls
• Over 240ha internal catchment
• Over 620ha external catchment

12d’s Network Editor interface allowed DCE to simply modify common properties for catchment types, quickly make adjustments to cater for layout changes and integrate the entire site into a fully functioning model of the network with complete hydrology and hydraulic outputs.

For further analysis of the project they were required to export data into external software packages. These included:
• Google Sketchup: 3D data was exported in order to be read into Google Sketchup allowing accurate and realistic to scale visualisations of the project.
• HECRAS: 3d data was exported to HECRAS in order to analyse preliminary flood depths along roadways and through floodways.
• TUFLOW/MAPINFO: 3d data and drainage strings were exported to MapInfo for the development of a TUFLOW model. Results from the TUFLOW model were then imported back to 12d to set flood levels

The remaining challenge was to provide flood visualisation over the site that the racing club could understand and use to show perspective purchasers of the trainer allotments.

• This challenge was overcome by using 12d Model in conjunction with TUFLOW to produce flood animation over the site for the various storm  events. Melbourne Water would also use these results to set minimum floor levels on each lot.
• The project included design in 12d of a 2km long swale to convey overland flows around the racecourse development.
• Outputs from 12d Model were exported to MapInfo for the development of a TUFLOW flood model for the swale and wetlands.
• The TUFLOW model’s base geometry was composed of TINs exported directly from 12d.
• Results from TUFLOW were imported to 12d as a tin to set 100 year ARI flood levels for the site.
• Piloting 12d Model, DCE used the TUFLOW and TUFLOW event visualisation options to check that the flood simulation occurred as expected



Using 12d Model, DCE was able to perform a comprehensive 3D design of all civil works efficiently with a high level of detail and accuracy, while presenting deliverables with superior quality.

Download this Case Study as a PDF HERE