Landscape Lesson: Berms in 4 Steps

Posted by Guest Author on 9/14/15 11:39 AM  |  2 min read time

By Eric Gilbey, PLA ASLA, Prof. APLD, Landscape Architecture Industry Specialist at Nemetschek Vectorworks

One of the best parts of site modeling in Vectorworks Landmark, Architect, and Designer software is that we can take familiar design conventions from hand-drafting workflows and apply them using design technology. With making berms, or raised banks for aesthetic or functional purposes, site designers can make use of the same contour lines they’re accustomed to using in their on-paper plans.

In the last Landscape Lesson, the Grade tool was used to carve the terrain for swales, where its sharp, angular modifications are more expected. Using that tool to create a stiffly angular and raised landform would be less desirable. To avoid this, you can create your desired contour lines, then convert them to 3D polygons, molding the raised terrain to the desired smoothness.

Step 1: With Site-DTM-Modifier selected as the active class, use a polyline to create the linework for the base elevation, or “toe,” of the proposed mound.

Landscape Lesson 2 Berms Image 1Step 2: Using the typical convention of a 3:1 (mowable) slope, offset the mound’s base contour inward by 3 feet (0.9 m). Repeat this offset for as many contours as your berm has.

Landscape Lesson 2 Berms Image 2Step 3: Select all the newly created contours and convert them to 3D polygons (Modify > Convert > Convert to 3D Polys) and then assign their respective Z values (elevations). Z elevations can be assigned through the Object Info palette just under the Z and Y fields.

IMAGE 3. Image 3 will run with caption “Helpful Hint: If your berm has a lot of vertices, it may take a while to update. Try simplifying your number of polygons to speed up the process. Helpful Hint: If your berm has a lot of vertices, it may take a while to update. Try simplifying your number of polygons to speed up the process.

Step 4: Select the site model and change the 2D Display to Proposed + Existing, and the 3D Display to Proposed Only while clicking the Update button, if needed, to update the site model after each change.

Landscape Lesson 2 Berms Image 4Landscape Lesson 2 Berms Image 5BLook forward to my next Landscape Lesson where I’ll explore some of the great new features coming in Vectorworks 2016 software. In the meantime, if you have any thoughts on what you’d like to see in a Landscape Lesson, reach out to me on Twitter @EricGilbey.

Topics: 3D polygon, Education, Eric Gilbey, resources, Vectorworks Architect, Vectorworks Designer, 3D Modeling, Berm, Berms, contour lines, Landmark, Landscape, Landscape Lesson

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