NestNZ

Help with Contours/Retaining walls/Driveway

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Hi all,

 

We're in the middle stages of a concept design for a 2 storey house on a relatively steep site, and we're having 'fun' with elevation/contours.

 

Does anyone have any good learning material to run through to get it right?

 

have attached the .plan file, basically just having troubles with getting the house to site 'right' on the property, and retaining walls are tricky.

 

Most of our work is on flat or near flat sections and easy to handle in CA . Contours......if you'll excuse the pun, it's a steep learning curve!

Concept plan.plan

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Elevation Regions are your friend - the site will auto grade between regions.

Terrain retaining walls are your enemy, as are Elevation Points.

Use Terrain Breaks with elevation lines top and bottom instead of retaining wall and then add a normal wall.

Control the house height with the Subfloor Height Above Terrain setting.

How do you want the house to sit on the site - it doesn't look too bad.

I also try and avoid the modifiers like Flat Region as you don't have absolute control of their height like an Elevation Region.

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On 8/26/2020 at 4:30 AM, glennw said:

"Elevation Regions are your friend - the site will auto grade between regions.

Terrain retaining walls are your enemy, as are Elevation Points.

Use Terrain Breaks with elevation lines top and bottom instead of retaining wall and then add a normal wall.

Control the house height with the Subfloor Height Above Terrain setting.

How do you want the house to sit on the site - it doesn't look too bad.

I also try and avoid the modifiers like Flat Region as you don't have absolute control of their height like an Elevation Region.

I disagree about the Elevation Points. You can put one at each corner of your house along the foundation. Then, you make your 'fill' for the terrain perimeter a grid of 20x20, and put one elevation point at each grid intersection. This is how the surveyors do it it seems - plus their data usually comes through in points. 

 

I almost exclusively use points and elevation regions - terrain breaks and terrain walls completely eff the model not worth messing with. Use polyline solids for these walls.

 

Also forget about 'flatten pad' that is your enemy.

 

Here's my crash course to a somewhat workable terrain model. I wish Chief oh mighty Chief would bless us with a full suite of functioning terrain tools but until then, these work to hack it.

 

1. Your basic toolbelt:

1150242936_ScreenShot2020-08-28at12_15_01PM.thumb.png.c9291edfd82a45cb93e401eecd931353.png

 

2. Notice the polyline solid terrain wall - it's not the CHief retaining wall tool because that will drive you nuts

 

1016236658_ScreenShot2020-08-28at12_14_15PM.thumb.png.1d319c1b7a5c169a3615d8c96079653b.png

 

3. remember to label your elevation points

 

540542867_ScreenShot2020-08-28at12_14_49PM.thumb.png.2e036eccc4e55458070bd0c7fcf675db.png

 

Something to note - on this plan I just did the generic 36" subfloor to terrain in the terrain perimeter dialog - but on most projects I'll find the actual elevation data - around here it's about 900' - and I'll set my floor height 'above terrain' which is (actualy above sea level height) then useful to the civil engineer for figuring out my true floor heights. Then I punch in the actual terrain contours from the site plan and put them at their actual number. This gives an accurate terrain model. If my civil engineer can give me data points, I convert them (or re-do them) to elevation points in the model, and viola! everything lines up and I have some fair bit of control.

 

 

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Made some improvements to your file i change the color of your terrain data layer to make it stand out it can really help to trouble shoot what is going on when having problems and did a bit more general clean up

 

914751603_Conceptplan Mark.plan

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Great suggestions Mark3D - that was a very helpful graphic! I've been wondering how to get driveways to do it correctly. How do you get flat regions? Just two parallel elevation lines?

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6 hours ago, kylejmarsh said:

Great suggestions Mark3D - that was a very helpful graphic! I've been wondering how to get driveways to do it correctly. How do you get flat regions? Just two parallel elevation lines?

 

Ashampoo_Snap_Friday, 4 September 2020_19h00m54s_001_.png

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Makes sense - so 'Elevation Region' gets used, but not the 'flat region'.

 

So basically we can use:

  • Elevation Region - for flat areas. make sure 'interior is flat' is checked
  • Elevation Line - used for defined areas of elevation, like along retaining walls and foundaiton walls where the elevation should appear even. Also used on roads/driveways in the way you've shown to make a flat but pitched item like a driveway
  • Elevation Point - used for everything else. Often a survey will come back with elevation points that you can use to match.

Other settings:

- Flatten Pad turned off

- Low Smoothing for Terrain

 

Seems about right.

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Think of Elevation Lines as you would draw contour lines.

I still believe that Elevation Points are just too hard to work with - especially on a complicated site.

It is much easier to find and control Elevation Lines than a whole lot of points.

Elevation Lines will result in a smoother terrain than a whole bunch of points.

Even though the survey shows points, I would still draw Elevation Lines.

An Elevation Line is just a string of elevation points spaced at about 2' centres. 

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