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Exterior spaces and landscaping design

Exterior spaces and landscaping design with a BIM software

From terrain modeling to vegetation, let's have a look at exterior spaces and landscaping design with a BIM software: a detail project video for the Gaegu Gosan Public Library

The advantage of using a BIM software compared to the older architectural design software is to integrate various features and functionalities into one.

For example, 3D site modeling features, or more in general outdoor spaces, can be found in a BIM software such as Edificius. This of course means having the potential to integrate urban planning and landscaping into a BIM software.

Here's an example of the Daegu Gosan Public Library, created by the MARTIN FENLON ARCHITECTURE, design firm, and how the external spaces design issues were approached using the Edificius BIM software.

Creating a driveway with a BIM software

  • In the Edificius Terrain environment, at Project Level, we can import the DWG CAD file and use it as a background to trace upon. Selecting the "DXF/DWG CAD" object in the "2D Graphics" section of the Objects Menu, we can start to define our model.
  • Min 00:35 – here we'll start off by using the "ROAD" object to define contour and direction. In the properties toolbox on the right, we can now set a width of 3.5 m and define the road's alignment axis.
    Let's then proceed to the drawing on the dotted line as represented in the .dwg CAD file, previously imported. To convert a straight segment to a curve, simply select the segment and do a right mouse button click on the desired section, and then select, "Convert to curve".

Setting the driveway elevation nodes

  • In 3D View, we can also define various altitude nodes, or elevation nodes, in order to define the driveway's height profile in relation to the underlying terrain. In this case, all we need to do is select the individual nodes that make up the driveway and assign each one with an elevation value (expressed in m by default). These elevation values can also be introduced manually by clicking on the numeric value to activate keyboard input or simply use the properties toolbox.

Modeling the terrain with a BIM software


  • Once the driveway is correctly defined from a planimetric and altimetric point of view, we can then proceed to modeling and adjusting the surrounding terrain. Add the slope using the "Add escarpment" option, available in the the menu toolbar.
    Notice how seamless this process is. When selecting the driveway object, you can enter an offset offset value (in this case 1m), and see how the entire road perimeter is connected up to the surrounding terrain. A great time saving feature to model with speed and precision.
  • Min 00:20 – here we can see how the slope is connected so as to connect it with the terrain on the right side and with a sidewalk on the left.
    By selecting one of the object nodes (blue ball) you can move it around in the desired direction while the green node only allows adjustments along the vertical direction.

  • Even add details such as a small curb at the edge of the driveway using the "Solid on terrain" object.
    In the properties toolbox, we can choose a rectangular profile of 160x50mm available in the program's BIM Library.
    We can activate the auto-kerb option by selecting the "Road - Yard" option (magic wand) and immediately add it with a click on the appropriate sides of the road.

Plants, vegetation and material definition with a BIM software

  • At this stage, we can complete the driveway modelling by assigning materials and inserting vegetation along a defined path by selecting them from the BIM Library.
    These are added in 3D view to see the choices made in the Real Time Rendering view.

Here's the entire video of the same project.

Click here for more information and download Edificius, the 3D terrain modeling software