Queensland’s Gold Coast City Council (GCCC) is reaping the rewards of its
investment in 4D Model (later renamed 12d Model) software.
The GCCC has
put the program to work as a civil design and survey tool, taking in a range of
projects including the detailed design of intersections and large earthwork
projects such as refuse sites.
The latest road project to be undertaken by the GCCC was an underpass
interchange designed as part of the redevelopment of the Pacific Highway. The
extensive task was facilitated by the use of 4D Model and the template modifiers
which are a standard part of the roads module.
Template modifiers provide control over each point of a traditional template and
form a simple bridge between traditional template methods and the string design
techniques that are essential for detailed road design and reconstruction work.
"The design, which involved lowering the intersection by a depth of four to
five metres, was competed using template modifiers in 4D Model," said Phillip
Weightman, Design Drafter, Gold Coast City Council. The design called for a
bridge underpass, a large intersection and two roundabouts in place of a
notorious at-grade intersection. This work involved multi-lane roads with median
strips, right and left turn lanes, and acceleration and deceleration lanes.
"The majority of the roundabout and intersection design was achieved using
4D’s template modifiers, with little or no adjustments required for the final
design strings," said Mr Weightman.
4D reduces the number of steps that a
designer would normally take to complete an aspect of the design. Design
adjustments can be easily made graphically and volumes recalculated
GCCC designers also
found 4D Model’s kerb return very useful. "For example, we used 4D to create
three centred return strings between two straights on each of the four corners
of the intersection," said Mr Taynton.
"4D profiled the kerb string in
relation to both incoming grades."
4D Model allowed operators to then
easily alter the kerb design to allow for real-world scenarios such as services
"The design advantage of 4D Model is that you can link all
facets of design such as gradings of cross streets and kerb returns with the
main peg line design," said Mr Taynton. "Instead of having to regrade kerb
returns manually, they are updated automatically because everything is
dynamically linked. The package is ideal because it provides that versatility."
Both men believe that 4D Model offers road designers considerable time-saving as
operators can graphically see any changes they make.
"I can complete a
grading or an alignment alteration, invoke a quick re-calculation and see the
design contours update on-screen," said Mr Taynton. "That allows me to quickly
see the results of my work and decide if that is what I wanted to achieve."
"From a designer’s, engineer’s and planner’s aspect 4D has proven itself to
be the ideal package for preliminary to final detailed designs," said Mr
Flood Modelling and Future Planning
speed and flexibility of 4D Model also allowed the Council to quickly and easily
check a range of "what if" scenarios for road design and flood modelling. "It
will allow us to experiment with various flood scenarios using rainfall and
water resources data along with photogrammetry, imported into 4D Model," said Mr
“We then add various Z heights for different flood events at
known cross sections; these are put into 4D Model and a surface created. This
gives us a surface model of the flooded areas for a certain flood event.
"4D Model can also drape property boundaries on to the terrain to show property
owners if a project will encroach into boundaries. They get a much better idea
seeing a plot of a perspective view, rather than a cross section."
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Another project carried out using 4D Model was the Coomera Charrett where a
group of consultants, town planners and engineers from civil and environmental
backgrounds spent an intense week looking at planning for the rapid growth of
the area. "We produced slope analysis plans which allowed the planners to
immediately look at an area and decide if it was suitable for a subdivision or a
road," said Mr Weightman.
"We produced about 40 proposed alignments in
about a week using two operators."