Public Works Standards

Tim Brooks (and Owen Thornton) of 12d Queensland addressed our 12d Technical Forum 2018 audience about Public Works Standards.

Tim is the 12d Model and 12d Synergy Training Manager, and has been with 12d Solutions for around 5 years. He coordinates and writes 12d Model training manuals, and writes the 12d Synergy Training manuals. A Civil Designer with 20 years’ experience in the Civil industry both around Australia and in the UAE, Tim has worked on a variety of civil projects including Motorways, Highways, local roads, Industrial and Subdivision estates, Carparks and Rail projects.

Changes Coming to 12d Model 14 setup and Library files

Those who were around for the previews of 12d Model 11 (at the 2014 Conference) may recall that 12d did a lot of work on the files that were shipped with that version.

As part of an initiative by the IPWEAQ, in conjunction with 12d, all those files have now been developed further, to form what we are calling the Public Works Standards.

Towards the end of 2016, 12d (represented by Tim) started meeting with the IPWEAQ Councils and assist in making their dream of a common standard become a reality.

The IPWEAQ had been meeting before this, but hadn’t ventured into the actual customisation too much other than their own councils having their own methods, and sharing these with each other.

There are two main groups in operation – one for Survey and one for Design/CAD.

The biggest item discussed at these meetings was the names.4d file, as well as the string coding and model naming within it. From there, attendees went through what was required for outputs – for DWG, what the plotting of long- and cross-sections should look like, etc. All these items came together either by councils submitting their own examples or 12d providing examples and getting feedback.

Standards/codes have been kept generic to suit all locations. There has been positive feedback so far – we’re starting to get people using this in other states, and in New Zealand. The pursuit of a common standard seems less of a far-off dream than it once did! Tim even had an article published in the IPWEA magazine last year – ‘Creating a Common CAD Standard’.

So why do this?

Tim asked the audience…who here develops 12d Model standards for own company? Many answered that they did. He went on to ask such questions as:

Who has time to maintain those standards?

Who has the budget to maintain them?

Who actually likes developing these files?

And determined that this task is difficult and time-consuming for most of those charged with it, and that a better way forward is desired. In fact, some companies don’t even have a 12d Champion to develop these files, so they’re in even greater need of this. This is particularly prominent when there are issues with different requirements for projects that span over different authority borders – whose standards are used then? Something has to change. Enter 12d.

New Public Works Standards in 12d Model 14

All these new standards will come with 12d Model 14, out of the box:

  • Setup Files
  • Names.4d
  • Colours.4d
  • Linestyles
  • Symbols
  • Defaults
  • Plotter
  • Plotter map files
  • Library Files
  • CAD dwt and acadmf
  • PPFs and associated files
  • Various mapfiles, macros, etc.

The Survey and Design/CAD groups will continue to meet into the future and agree on any additions/changes to keep this process improving.

Using the new Standards in 12d Model 12

If you wish to use these standards in 12d Model 12, there’s now a location on the 12d Model User Forum so you can download these put them in your 12d Model 12 user folders.

Providing Feedback

Users can provide comments on the User Forum (but any changes will go through the Survey and Design/CAD groups for final approval).

Future Directions

There are still some more files to be added.

For Survey – Tim, along with Paul Hardwick (also of 12d Queensland), have been working with councils in Queensland to update survey mapping files, macro to transfer to 12d Field Codes, label mapfiles, 12d Field codes, and style sheets for post processing.

For Design – we’re also looking at updating the Snippet template library to include template snippets that match the IPWEA standards.

Documentation for Public Works Standards

This is being worked on currently and should be available in the near future. Documentation will include:

Survey manuals/procedures

CAD/Design manuals/procedures

We’ll upload them to the 12d Model User Forum when they’re available. Also, the IPWEAQ should be making them available through their website.

Public Works Standards – Plots

Owen Thornton has a keen interest in the Plot Parameter File (PPF) development in 12d Model. His section of the presentation focussed on new Plot Parameter Files and new PPF Features in 12d Model 12 and 12d Model 14.

Owen has been writing software for 12d Solutions since 2003. He has 20 years’ professional experience in the civil and mining industries. He is the original author of the 12d’s Drainage Network Editor and the Drainage Analysis module and is a 12d specialist in drainage, utilities, plot parameter files, survey conformance, volumetrics and system setup. Owen also has consulting experience using 12d Model on a variety of design and drainage projects, large and small. These days, Owen runs regular 12d training courses in drainage design, geometric design for water resources, customisation and macro writing.

He provided a ‘highlight reel’ about the particular part of the Public Works Standards that covers PPFs, and also some new PPF features for both 12d Model 14 and 12d Model 12.

PPFs for Public Works are already installed in 12d Model 12, and Owen said the new features in 12d Model 12 are working very well.

The extent of Public Works PPFs is long- and cross-sections for roads, as well as long-sections for pipeline and drainage/sewer.

Out of all the PPFs installed with 12d Model, the ones that are new to 12d Model 12 and 12d Model 14 were highlighted in Owen’s talk – he said the files with ‘PW’ in their names are associated with the  Public Works Standards.

Staggered Uprights for Cuts Labels

Owen’s favourite of the new features. For every PPF that has a Cuts branch, there’s a new position mode called ‘Above top of boxes staggered’. With this, Cuts annotations may now be positioned with staggered uprights that extend down into the boxes area.

All the new ‘PW services’ PPFs have a dedicated space on the plot for this service and utility data.

This means no more clashing text! We’ve ‘Banished the Drafting Demon’ here.

Staggered Uprights for Cross-section Points

Similarly, for cross section plots, Staggered Uprights now exist.

Design string names at cross-section points may also now be positioned with staggered uprights that extend down into the boxes area.

Long-section Super-elevation Diagram

Greatly improved yet simplified, with new mode and super rotation rate tolerance – a parameter related to the design of the road; users can work out and pick a number that suits the kind of super elevation applied to the road, in order to pick out the flat spots in the diagram for labelling. Users can also label chainages at zero xfall.

Feedback on this has been very positive so far.

Long-section Datum Shifting

  • Automatic datum shifting controlled from the Graph area branch
  • Extra space parameters have also been enhanced
  • Parameters for deciding when it can break the datum.

Public Works Standard Drainage and Sewer Long-sections

This one is quite specific to Queensland, but if users don’t have any standard to use, this could be used as a basis.

We submitted all these for review by the IPWEAQ – we got feedback and modified some parts slightly, but essentially we’re all on same page.

Public Works Standards in 12d Model 14 only

  • “Black Pen” colours sorted by PMF Pen Weight
  • This is new in 12d Model 14
  • “Black pen” screen colours have been coordinated across colour groups
  • Owen has created a handy reference for use while getting used to the new arrangement
  • Hard to implement but worth the effort.

New plotters and Plotter mapping files have been included in 12d Model 14, to meet the Public Works standard.

We haven’t gotten rid of the old ones that worked well to a different standard – they’re just grouped under Legacy now.

Other New items in 12d Model 14

  • SUI (Subsurface Utility Information) colours
  • Raster overlay colours
  • Contour colours for black screens and white paper/PDFs.


Watch the full video today to see more of what was presented on this topic!