As BIM becomes more entrenched in construction, processes are starting to move from paper based methods to a 3D environment to provide benefits in communication and health and safety. Think about a standard morning briefing to your workers - what is the most effective way to show people the areas they should and shouldn't go, and the position of materials and welfare facilities? A paper 2D drawing with highlighter markers, or a fully interactive 3D model?
Obviously the first consideration is time. A process that is going to take weeks won't get used. Luckily, the tools in Infraworks allow you to do this quickly and easily. You can use Infraworks to select an area on a map to quickly create a model with the available terrain, aerial imagery, buildings, roads and water. You select an area of up to 200 square kilometres, in any shape. When I first saw this a couple of years ago, my mind was blown, and even now I love the fact we have access to technology like this!
You can then augment this with your own data, surveys, underground services, Revit, IFC and DWG models to create an accurate picture of the selected site. Simply sketch the barriers, material layout zones, safe and unsafe areas and add machinery models and material piles in real time.
This article was intended to start as a quick overview to show how you create excavations. Since I haven't yet talked about Infraworks, you get this tip as a bonus! One of the things you may want to communicate is excavations for your construction, and you can now do this by creating a coverage area and changing the Smooth Radius in the Properties to 0 (or close to 0 if you want to show a taper). Check out this video.
Let us know if you see value of 3D site planning and any success or screenshots you want to share! Beyond.firstname.lastname@example.org