Site Work

This page will cover issues of site work. This includes trees, pavement, fences and swimming pools. 

SW.1. Trees

You will find that a number of trees are loaded into your project.

SW.1.1. To place them choose Place a Component from the Architecture ribbon.

SW.1.2. Choose from the available list or load new ones into the project. Keep in mind that the trees are complex and will add weight to your project. If you find that the addition of trees causes the file to be slow, you may want to eliminate some of them.

SW.2. Defining Areas on the Toposurface

You may have areas that will receive different materials on your toposurface. There are two ways to modify a toposurface for this purpose. You can use the Split Surface tool which allows you to split a toposurface in two parts. This is useful if the two surfaces will have different configurations for the contours. You can also create a Subregion which will allow you to apply different materials, but the contours will remain constant. For example, roads may be placed on the toposurface, but they made have distinct contours or follow the contours of the terrain. 

The example below shows how to create subregions which are simpler. With subregions you can apply separate materials to areas on your topography. For example, you may have areas of grass and areas of pavement.

Keep in mind that a subregion within a subregion can not take a third material. The image below illustrates this. The arrow points to the edge of the toposurface. A round subregion was drawn inside a rectangular subregion. the area inside the circle matches the area outside the rectangle. Keep this in mind as you draw your areas.

SW.2.1. Go to your Site view in the Project Browser. To define these different areas use the Sugregion tool.

SW.2.2. Use the Draw tools to show the edges of roads and parking areas. 

SW.2.3. The subregion must be entirely within the toposurface. In the image below the road is held slightly inside the edges of the topography. Adjustments can later be made to the subregion. Useful tools for defining the boundary are described below.

SW.2.5. You may find the Fillet tool helpful for showing radiused corners. Click on the tool then adjust the radius. Then select two lines. 10'-0" radii are recommended where major driveways meet roads. 5'-0" radii are recommend for the parking areas.


SW.2.6. The Split Element tool will allow you to trim a line. 

SW.2.7. Click on the check mark when you have completed the definition of your boundary.

SW.2.8. To redefine the boundary click on it and select Edit Boundary.

SW.2.9. Materials can be applied to the subregion by selecting the subregion and changing the material assignment. Roads and parking lots are often asphalt pavement. To load the material follow the steps below. 

Then click on the material to assign it.

SW.2.10. The Parking Space component will allow you to refine your arrangement of parking spaces.

SW.2.11. If you have concrete slabs adjacent to parking areas, create a slab edge profile as described at SG.5 on the Subgrade page.

SW.3. Adding a Fence

SW.3.1. Generate a fenced in area around your pool. The fence can be constructed out of a railing. To do this make a duplicate of one of the railing families and edit the height. The Railing tool can be found on the Architecture ribbon.


SW.3.2. Choose one of the railing types and click on Edit Type.

SW.3.3. Duplicate the type, rename it, and change its height as required.

SW.3.4. Insert sections of your fence as you would insert a railing.

SW.4. Building a Pool

The pool described below is cut into a slab on grade. The steps include making an opening in the slab, setting a level to represent to bottom of the pool, building foundation walls,filling the pool with water, and cutting a hole in the topography. Please note that the construction of pools depends on the context. This pool is a simplified version. 

SW.4.1. After you have created a slab to serve as the pool deck, click on it and click on Edit Boundaries.

SW.4.2. Draw the profile of the pool using the Draw tools. Click on the check mark when you are done.

SW.4.3. Go to one of your elevation views and generate a new level for the bottom of the pool. The Level tool can be found on the right end of the Architecture ribbon. Rename the view to Bottom of Pool.

SW.4.4. Go to the new Level that you created.

SW.4.5. Click on the toposurface and hide it if it is visible.

SW.4.6. Plans views have a view range which establishes where the plan is cut. Objects above or below the view range will not be visible. If you place a window high on a wall, it may not be visible because of the view range settings. In the last steps a new level was created and set at -4'-0". The default cut level is 4'-0". If we begin to draw walls on the new level they would not be visible. We need to first change the view range.


SW.4.7. Change the view Cut plane so it is below Level 1.

SW.4.8. Change the Underlay so that Level 1 is visible as a reference.

SW.4.9. Construct the walls of the pool using 12" Foundation Walls. Use the following settings.

SW.4.10. Draw a concrete slab at the Bottom of Pool level.

SW.4.11. Next an object to represent water can be generated. The water is only needed for rendering. There are a number of ways to do this. One way is to make a duplicate of a generic floor and assign a water material to it. 

SW.4.12. Load a water material to the Materials Browser and assign the material to your water structure. Give the water a thickness. If the Bottom of Pool level is -4'-0", and the water has a thickness of 3'-6", the top of the water will be 6" below the level 1 slab.

SW.4.13. Insert the water by selecting the Water type under the Floor types. Keep in mind that the height offset is the thickness of the water. Otherwise, it would be below the bottom of the pool.

SW.4.14. Turn the toposurface back on. If you generate a section through your pool, you will notice that the earth material cuts through it. In the images below a section has been drawn through the pool. 

SW.4.15. To carve into the toposurface, you will need to generate a building pad at the bottom of your pool. For instructions refer to the Sub-grade Work page. Part 2 describes how to make a building pad. 

SW.4.16. A three-dimensional view of the pool is shown below. Note that the topography has been hidden.