Parsons Brinckerhoff/SF County Transportation Authority
Parsons Brinckerhoff
Customer Success Story
Client:
San Francisco County Transportation
Authority
AutoCAD® Civil 3D®
Autodesk® Navisworks®
Autodesk® 3ds Max® Design
Visualizing Future Transportation
Parsons Brinckerhoff uses Autodesk
BIM solutions for virtual road design
and construction in San Francisco.
Using BIM-based 3D and
4D models to more clearly
and accurately present
this project has been vital
for achieving consensus
and obtaining approvals.
—Brady Nadell
Virtual Design and
Construction Manager
Parsons Brinckerhoff
Rendering of San Francisco’s new Presidio Parkway. Courtesy of Parsons Brinckerhoff.
The Firm
Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) provides engineering,
strategic consulting, planning, and program/construction management services for infrastructure
projects around the world. PB has been highly
involved in building information modeling (BIM)
since its inception and uses many Autodesk BIM
solutions to support its civil engineering and visualization services, including AutoCAD® Civil 3D®
software, Autodesk® Navisworks® software, and
Autodesk® 3ds Max® Design software.
The Challenge
One of PB’s current infrastructure projects, funded
by the San Francisco County Transportation
Authority, is the new $1.045-billion Presidio Parkway
in San Francisco, California. The roadway will
replace Doyle Drive, a 1.5-mile road that runs from
San Francisco’s Marina District through the Presidio
to the southern access of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Built in 1936, the existing Doyle Drive has reached
its useful lifespan and is being replaced.
Project construction will cause ramp closures and
traffic detours for several years, attracting the
scrutiny of public officials and community groups.
In addition, since the Presidio is part of the National
Park system and a National Historic Landmark,
the project is inherently highly sensitive. The
California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)
is developing the roadway and bridge structures
designs, while a joint venture between PB and Arup
is developing the tunnel designs and is responsible
for architectural design. This joint venture was also
responsible for environmental clearance, development of preferred project alternatives, and public
outreach.
The Solution
“By using Autodesk BIM solutions, we were able to
construct this project virtually, before it was built in
the real world,” explains PB’s Brady Nadell, virtual
design and construction (VDC) manager. PB used
Civil 3D software to create a virtual model of the
infrastructure project and Navisworks software for
construction planning. PB also used 3ds Max Design
software to create model-based visualizations of
the project. This solution enabled the design team
to analyze early-stage design alternatives, evaluate
construction plans, and more clearly communicate
the design proposals to public constituencies—helping to speed the approval process and allay public
concerns about the project.
Parsons Brinckerhoff relies on Autodesk BIM solutions for
construction planning and simulation.
Aggregate Design Data
To create a virtual project model, PB imported the
Caltrans roadway design data into Civil 3D modelbased software. Once PB had aggregated the design
data in a Civil 3D model, the team used the 3D DWG
format to more seamlessly transfer this infrastructure model to 3ds Max Design, software for design
visualization. PB was then able to use the modeling
features of 3ds Max Design software to enhance the
existing design information, adding surrounding city
features and landscape details to create near photorealistic visualizations and animations. “We also
transferred the Civil 3D model to Navisworks and
developed a 4D project model that integrates the
3D virtual model and the construction schedule,”
explains Nadell. “And we have started to link cost
information to our 4D model, creating a 5D model
for cost estimating.”
Present and Evaluate Design Options
“Our BIM-based designs, visualizations, and construction simulations helped give the whole design
team the ability to view and analyze early design
alternatives,” says Nadell. For example, PB created
visualizations to study architectural elements—such
as retaining walls, signage, and landscaping at
tunnel portals—and generated 3D drive-through
animations to evaluate and compare various lighting
alternative designs in both day and night views. In
addition, PB used Navisworks software for interactive review sessions with the extended design team.
Increase Public Outreach
With construction underway, the Presidio Parkway
project remains sensitive due to its location, cost,
and multiyear impact on Bay Area travelers and
citizens. “To support public outreach efforts, we
have produced almost 40 photo simulations and five
animations to help illustrate construction impacts
on the surrounding environment,” reports Nadell.
The photo simulations offer a visual depiction of
impacts in key areas along the roadway and the
tradeoffs required to implement each design. PB
also produced several aerial animations to illustrate
the overall project area.
The Result
“Using BIM-based 3D and 4D models to more
clearly and accurately present this project has been
vital for achieving consensus and obtaining approvals,” says Nadell. “And as the project moves forward,
we continue to rely on Autodesk BIM solutions for
design, collaboration, and visualization—as well as
construction planning and simulation.” The combination of AutoCAD Civil 3D, Autodesk Navisworks,
and Autodesk 3ds Max Design software is helping
PB and the Presidio Parkway project stakeholders
better understand how the design will perform,
assess its impact on the surrounding area, and virtually identify and resolve issues before they become
costly mistakes.
Aerial view of Presidio Parkway. Courtesy of Parsons
Brinckerhoff.
For more information, visit:
www.autodesk.com/gov,
www.autodesk.com/civil3d,
www.autodesk.com/3dsmax,
www.autodesk.com/navisworks.
888.662.7238
ideateinc.com
[email protected]
Our BIM-based designs, visualizations, and construction
simulations helped give the whole design team the ability to
view and analyze early design alternatives.
—Brady Nadell
Virtual Design and Construction Manager
Parsons Brinckerhoff
Rendering of tunnel entrance. Courtesy of Parsons
Brinckerhoff.
Autodesk, AutoCAD, Civil 3D, DWG, Navisworks, and 3ds Max are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/
or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk
reserves the right to alter product offerings and specifications at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors
that may appear in this document.
© 2010 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.
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