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Seminars  Earthwork Modeling Toolbox  Mike Cope

Models for Takeoff and Construction Applications

Some prospective seminar attendees might think that using AGTEK software for doing dirt takeoffs is a completely different discipline (requiring completely different user skills and software functions) compared to using the same AGTEK software for GPS (machine control) modeling. Truth is, these two "disciplines" are simply different applications of 3D earthwork modeling. Although there may be differences between the earthwork models created for takeoff and construction on any given project (see points below), the same AGTEK user skills and software functions are required for creating, editing and manipulating both takeoff and construction models. Our Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 seminars show you how to use a "toolbox" containing a wide range of AGTEK software functions for creating, editing and manipulating 3D earthwork models--period. How and when the various "tools" are used for a commercial, industrial, residential or other site project depends on the earthwork model’s intended purpose: Are you creating a takeoff model (for bid analysis) or a construction model (for GPS machine control, site layout, setting and checking grade)?
  • Takeoff models may be based on imperfect manual digitizing from paper or raster PDF plan sheets (Day 1) when vector data (CAD, LandXML, or vector PDF) files (Day 2) are not provided by the project's design team. But even when vector data files are provided for pre-bid analysis, takeoff models are often rushed and time-saving “short cuts” result in an imperfect takeoff model. However, these corresponding minor imperfections are typically (and perfectly) acceptable for quantity takeoff and bid analysis purposes.
  • Although less time and detail might go into creating a takeoff model, additional time will be spent on manipulating takeoff models for calculating, documenting, and evaluating quantities (Day 1), evaluating the impact of grade adjustments on import/export quantities (Day 3), and for quantifying variable subsurface material volumes and staged grading scenarios (also in Day 3).
  • While minor imperfections in takeoff models typically have no adverse impact on bidding work, the same imperfections would be unacceptable for machine control (or checking and setting grade) on the job site if the imperfections exceed the allowable vertical and/or horizontal tolerances; therefore, more time must be spent on error checking and editing (Day 1) when creating construction models. Construction models typically require the horizontal accuracy of vector data files (Day 2) and they may require different applications of the Offset Line utility and/or Sectional Areas (Day 1) when compared to corresponding takeoff models (pad overbuilds, etc.). Finally, data for construction models will be exported from AGTEK for construction control applications (see Appendix D of the Day 2 Seminar Handbook).
  • The techniques covered in the Day 1 and Day 2 seminars represent the core “tool box” of functions that all AGTEK users should master if they need to create and edit earthwork models for takeoff and/or construction applications. The Day 3 seminar covers additional functions for extended analytic manipulations that may (or may not) be used less frequently than the core tools of Day 1 and Day 2.
For more specific details on each seminar day, see the Courses Overview page and review each day's outline and handbook table of contents by clicking on the orange buttons in the yellow sidebar (on the left side of this page).
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