Landscape Special Interest Group January 2018 am


In this session, we covered adding roadways to projects and resolving site modifier conflicts.

Topics Covered:

  • 00:16    We wanted to add a roadway to a house and site model. The project was in Top/Plan view, but with the Rotate Plan tool we turned the design layer so that a straight line across the page would create our roadway. We discussed the pros and cons of various roadway tools. The challenge was to make a straight driveway with a place to turn around at the end. There are many roadway tools, but it’s helpful to focus on the ones that are quick to use. I like to use the Custom Curb and Poly roadway tools. With the Poly roadway, you can send the stations to the surface and even add more vertices. One problem is that you can’t change the roadway’s width—it has a constant width along its whole length. Using the Reshape tool, you can add a curve—but we couldn’t make our turnaround with it. With the Custom Curb roadway, the Reshape tool gives you handles along the outer edges, not just down the middle (like with the Poly roadway). The Reshape tool is the key to changing the shape and width of the roadway. This roadway is very flexible, but it has a constant rise from beginning to end.
  • 13:03    We ended up putting in a Custom Curb roadway for the major part of the driveway. We drew a rectangle and used the Add Surface command to provide our turnaround. The Reshape tool is critical for changing a roadway’s shape. Grouping the roadway temporarily allowed us to work on it in another window, without worrying about affecting other objects in the project, such as the site model. The Object Info palette of the Custom Curb told us its starting elevation, but we needed to find out the elevation at the end. There’s a trick for doing this: Use the stake tool! With the Z value from the stake, we could establish the rise of the roadway. Turning on the Use Site Modifiers option turns the roadway into an active site modifier. The Hide or Show Edges mode of the Reshape tool allowed us to turn off some of the curbing on our roadway.
  • 21:54    You can split the roadway to have the driveway rise across the site while the turnaround remains flat. The two pieces might give you site modifier conflicts. How do you resolve them? Do they all need to be resolved? Separating the two roadway pieces by a millimeter (or 1/16”) should resolve most of the conflicts. If two site modifiers cross, two grade limits cross, or a site modifier crosses a grade limits, then you’ll get errors. The trick is just to separate all the pieces by a millimeter. This method should resolve most of your site modifier errors.
  • 32:00    It’s important to be methodical about your use of site modifiers. Hardscapes can perform a double function in your projects by providing the graphical paving area that you need as well as working as a site modifier. We were having a problem getting a hardscape in the project to have an effect on the site model. Finally, we looked under the Site Model Settings. The setting called “Use Site Modifiers on” was set to the Same Layer as Site Model option, whereas our hardscape was on a different layer. That’s why it wasn’t affecting the site. If your hardscape corresponds to a particular level of your building, have it on the same layer as that building level; that way, if you change the elevation of the building component, the height of the hardscape will automatically change.
  • 40:05    If you do not get the site modifier conflicts resolved, Vectorworks will not calculate the contours correctly. You are likely to get some very weird site contours. Unchecking the Show Modifier Conflicts box on the site model’s Object Info palette does not fix the conflicts! It’s something that you don’t want to ignore on your project. We turned a polygon covering the lawn area into a site modifier, which gave us multiple conflicts, as it was touching the house and crossing over the hardscape. The Offset tool can be very useful in dealing with such conflicts. You just have to hunt down each conflict (hovering over the error tag will tell you what kind of error it is) and adjust the distances between the various pads and grade limits. Mesh smoothing will make the graphics of your site landscaping look much better. Although there is a Retaining Wall site modifier, I think that it is easier to deal with simple site modifiers—you can separate the components, using an object as a retaining wall and separate contour lines to control the site elevations around the wall. In Vectorworks, there is usually more than one workaround for any issue!

Landscape January 2018 am

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