The Suitability Maps (preview) tool gives you an easy way to conduct visual theming of soft cost factors that you can define for features in InfraWorks 360. As a bonus, you can incorporate your suitability maps into a Corridor Optimization job, and factor in construction and earthwork costs associated with areas of high or low suitability.
One interesting use for suitability maps that I experimented with was to show the estimated radius of EMF radiation around power lines, high voltage transmission lines, substations, transformers, etc. Here's an example of what that could look like:
How can I use avoidance zones in my InfraWorks 360 projects?
The short answer is that you use avoidance zones to specify areas to avoid when optimizing the horizontal path of a design road. Any avoidance areas you add to your model will be included as cost zones, and factored into construction and earthwork cost estimates for the optimal design of the selected road corridor.
Why would I use them?
Optimization, Avoidance Zones and other InfraWorks 360 cloud services often provide you with "sustainability-first" design options (to quote a recent article in The Atlantic) that can help you lessen environmental and other impacts in your designs. Using Avoidance Zones, you can design a roadway and factor in sustainability aspects while you're still in the conceptual design process.
Keep reading for step-by-step instructions on how to use Corridor Optimization (preview) and Avoidance Zones to avoid protected, restricted, or otherwise off-limits project areas and manage associated construction and earthwork costs.
Making Your AutoCAD Civil 3D Project Shine, Part 1 showed you how to bring your AutoCAD Civil 3D project into a data-rich InfraWorks 360 model of the project's real-world location. In this follow-up post, let's talk about what to do, now that you've brought your infrastructure design project from AutoCAD Civil 3D into InfraWorks 360.
With the latest release of Autodesk InfraWorks 360, you can import a polygonal area of interest in SHP file format to specify the extents of a Model Builder model.
Autodesk's Cristina Savian recently published a helpful article about how to do this, using AutoCAD Map 3D or AutoCAD Civil 3D to create a polygon that you can import into the Model Builder to define your InfraWorks 360 model.
Check out her article, and remember these guidelines:
When you import a SHP file with a single polygon, Model Builder converts the polygon to an area of interest that you can select and edit.
When you import multiple polygons in the same SHP file, Model Builder displays areas of interest wherever there are polygons in your SHP file. When you select an individual polygon, Model Builder converts it into an area of interest that you can edit. You can only use one area of interest at a time.
Model Builder converts multi-ringed polygons to individual polygons.
If your SHP file does not contain any polygons, Model Builder is unable to draw areas of interest on the map.
Model Builder does not allow you to select polygons that have more 1000 vertices, or polygons that intersect themselves.
Model Builder supports model areas up to 200 square kilometers or lengths up to 200 kilometers in latitude or longitude.
You can see detailed online Help for this workflow, here.
(Also, make sure to visit and subscribe to Autodesk's From the Ground Up blog, which provides a European perspective on BIM for infrastructure-- not to mention the inspiration for this post).