Site grading can be a challenge. As designers, we work around cut/fill slope constraints, ADA requirements, and minimum and maximum grades that all require grading. Engineers know it takes time to address each project’s unique grading constraints, and it’s not uncommon to create multiple grading plan iterations during design to arrive at an optimal solution. All told, this process can take days or weeks and cost project owners time and money.

There must be a more efficient way.

Enter the Grading Optimization tool, debuting in the Architecture Engineering & Construction (AEC) Collection of Autodesk Civil 3D 2022.

Use Cases

In Grading Optimization, designers can analyze a site or subdivision layout with optimization constraints like grading limits, elevations, and minimum/maximum slopes. Using this tool, designers apply these constraints within the site:

  • Building pads
  • Driving lanes
  • Parking lots
  • ADA areas
  • Curbs
  • Landscape areas
  • Retaining walls
  • Drainage systems

The constraints are then applied to optimization objectives that measure the finished surface’s feasibility (e.g., cost). Common objectives include analyzing aspects like terrain smoothness, balancing cut and fill, and total earthwork volume. The constraints and objectives are combined, prioritized, and opened in the Grading Optimization tool.

The tool will run through tens of thousands of iterations, attempting to meet the constraints and objectives. During each iteration, the Grading Optimization tool gives designers and engineers real-time feedback on the status of iterations and any violations of the constraints or objectives. This allows them to spot trouble areas and make necessary adjustments quickly. Once optimization is complete, the surface is brought into Civil 3D for final adjustments and is ready to use in the development design.