Model a Terraced Garden

with a Vectorworks Site Model

Terraced_Site.pngKate here! When training garden designers, we are often asked how to deal with levels when using Vectorworks. As soon as our clients see how easy it is to draw in 2D it is not long before they are back asking us how to model in 3D and in particular how do you show levels in Vectorworks? "...because not all gardens are flat you know..."

Well we do know and we want to help! So while working our new Site Modelling training course notes, I thought that I would put together a simple terraced site using a Vectorworks Site Model. The model in this garden was created from a few spot heights taken from the site survey. These were translated into Vectorworks with the Stake tool found in the Site Planning toolset. This tool places a hybrid object which enables you to add an elevation which displays on the plan. The 3D part of the Stake is a 3D Locus that takes on the spot height elevation. The Stake objects were then used to create the Site model of the existing site.

Next, I applied my design to the site, using a range of Site Modifiers. I used the Pad modifier option within the Hardscape tool to create the flat terraces. I then created Retaining Wall Site Modifiers to the walls to make them retain the earth behind them. Texture Beds were used to show the mulch areas. These modifiers don't actually don’t actually change the site, but simply ‘hug’ the site model’s surface. They are great for applying different materials to different areas of the site model.

A Grade Limits modifier completed the work, to control how much of the model should be affected by the modifiers. The Site Model settings were changed to show the Proposed site and the model updated to see the effect of the changes.

Existing Tree and Plant objects automatically understand the site model and move to sit on the surface, whereas other objects can be sent to the surface of the model using a simple command.

Once I was happy with the site design, I placed a Heliodon object which acts as a sun. I set the location to Newbury by adding my own custom city. To make the visuals more realistic I used the built in Renderworks Realistic Exterior Final style. This creates a Physical Sky background that interacts with the Heliodon to give me accurate shadows for a particular time of year, day and time.

I placed Renderworks Cameras to set up my views and linked them to my viewports to create range of perspective 3D visuals that show off my new levels.

Once you understand the levels on your site a site model is so useful when designing on any site, but on more challenging sites it can be an essential tool when designing and communicating with clients and contractors alike. So why not have a go and take the plunge with site modelling available on Vectorworks Landmark and Architect?


This entry was posted in Vectorworks Software and Training and tagged:
BIM, Cut and Fill, Level Changes, Levels, Retaining Wall, Site, Site Information Modelling, Terrace, Vectorworks, Vectorworks Landmark

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