City and County of Swansea’s Landscape Team have been using AutoCAD Civil 3D for different projects for a number of years, in relatively unusual and unconventional ways including the design of complicated land forms and structures. Oystermouth Castle was one such project involving the design of a new access suitable for all users, including light vehicles, but which had to fit in with minimal impact to both the landform and setting of an ancient monument.
The Oystermouth Castle footpath has to deliver an access suitable for "all" users including light vehicles with minimal impact to both the landform and setting of the ancient monument at the same time providing a level platform for use as a stage for plays and concerts. Cadw's (the historic environment service of the Welsh Assembly Government) fundamental approach to the ancient monuments in its care is to preserve the structure in its current condition and to show as much of the original masonry as possible. Any intervention, even one to conserve the monument, is carefully considered againt these presumptions and works affecting the monument's character or integrity are kept to a minimum.
AutoCAD Civil 3D allowed the fine tuning of the model with automatic updates to prepared sections and ease of volume calculations to provide a sustainable and cost effective design that also minimises the impact on construction traffic to the ancient monument and the narrow access through the terraced fishing cottages that huddle in the shelter of the castle. In addition the three dimensional images that were created as an output from the "model" were instrumental in obtaining, in principle, consent to the works from Cadw.
The Landscape Architects would be the first to admit that they are drivers of the software, Cadspec in Neath provide the technical expertise and support to achieve the design.
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