From the Ground Up – Understanding Modern Civil Design

How do you take a solid employee, whether they’re a CAD drafter or someone fresh out of school, and turn them into a reliable Civil Designer? Sure, there are plenty of classes available on how to use software tools, like Civil 3D, but how do you get them up to speed on real world design concepts? This is a common problem for every Civil/Site firm: it takes too long to train solid design staff, and doing so impacts the productivity of the designers you already have. It’s nearly impossible to teach, and handle billable projects, all at once. If you’re tired of waiting years for your staff to understand enough about Civil/Site Design so you can get the value from them you need, or if you’re one of those folks we’re talking about, who wants a chance to improve your skill set and move your career forward, then this one-of-a-kind class from ZenTek Consultants is the perfect answer for you!


This program focuses on teaching detailed design concepts and coupling them with the practical process of using Autodesk Civil 3D to develop professional construction documents. Each session takes students through industry standard processes of designing site projects, across a wide array of civil types and functions. From Conceptual Land Planning thru final Construction Layout, there’s no other training curriculum available today that can help your staff become accomplished designers so quickly.


This forty (40) hour online course is presented as twenty (20) two-hour long sessions. Each session is broken into two components: one-hour of Instructional design instruction, followed by a matching Procedural hour of performing that design inside Civil 3D. Students attend online, right from their own desk. A live instructor will present all design concepts and functions, plus address questions, in real-time, as the class progresses. Each session will include a graded quiz, and all students will receive a final completion grade, along with a certificate of completion for the 40-hour course that includes (40) CEC/PDH hours approved by the New Jersey State Board of Engineers and Land Surveyors.

Worried about missing a session or two? We offer limited access to recordings. Contact us for details.

Session 1: Conceptual Land Planning

  • Instructional: This session presents concepts of planning and layout for the civil world. Zoning, land use, ordinance compliance, existing easements and initial site concerns like soils, and existing utilities are explained in detail.

  • Procedural: This session shows students how to develop a conceptual Land Plan inside Civil 3D using Maps, import of USGS Soils, and GIS Data to develop existing site conditions for a design concept.


Session 2: Preliminary Site Development

  • Instructional: This session discusses understanding client needs, initial layout of roads, buildings and support items according to local ordinance requirements, while maximizing site usability.

  • Procedural: This session shows students how Civil 3D can accurately structure georeferenced files, to specific scale, and use standard 2D drafting tools for preliminary layout of design sites.


Session 3: Surveying Data

  • Instructional: This session discusses the basic concepts of planar land surveying, including coordinate systems, elevation controls, MSL and assumed datums. This session also covers historical and modern processes of data collection and recording of survey data.

  • Procedural: This session shows students how to use Civil 3D to import field collected data into their drawings as civil point objects, and how to control display, labeling, and presentation of those points using Point Groups.

Session 4: Linear Surveying

  • Instructional: This session covers concepts of developing linear surveys, bearing & distance, POB’s, control points, and other survey location controls and concepts.

  • Procedural: This session shows students how to use Civil 3D Survey-based drafting tools, in coordination with civil point objects, to generate survey basemaps using industry standard survey tools and input processes.

Session 5: Surveyed Topography

  • Instructional: This session discusses the use of surveyed elevations to generate topographic information, and discusses concepts of contouring and spot elevations, along with rise/run calculations, slopes, and how those existing conditions will affect a site design.

  • Procedural: This session shows students how to make use of survey point data and linear structures to develop a Civil 3D TIN Surface, and how to control its display and label properties. We will also discuss concepts of TIN editing and use of contour lines.


Session 6: Maps, Lots, & Parcels

  • Instructional: This session covers the layout and integration of sites with existing tax map and zoning information, and the concepts of block, lot, and parcel designations. It will also cover lot line designations, extinguishment, and subdivision potential.

  • Procedural: This session shows students how Civil 3D Parcel tools can be used to develop intelligent layout of existing lots, verify map checks, closure reports, and even label existing owners and addresses of lots. We will also cover how to generate reports and tables of those items.


Session 7: Horizontal Roadway Layout

  • Instructional: This session explains different road types (Arterial, Collection, Local) and their uses, along with an understanding for roadway stationing and design criteria of items such as traffic flow, speed and sight distance, as they relate to new roadway design.

  • Procedural: This session shows students how to use Civil 3D Alignment creation tools to develop a dynamic road design, and associated stationing.  It will also show the setting of design speeds and horizontal sight rules for a new road design.


Session 8: Vertical Roadway Layout

  • Instructional: This session discusses concepts of roadway slope and cross slope. It gives an understanding of vertical sight distance, K-value requirements, PVI, and with sag/crest concerns within roadway designs.

  • Procedural: This session shows students how to design, create, and modify vertical road designs using Civil 3D Profile creation, labeling, and editing tools. We will also cover applying use of design rules and controls.


Session 9: Roadway Traffic Design

  • Instructional: This session discusses traffic considerations, including road widenings, turnout lanes, and curb returns, along with design speed, and sight distances. We will also discuss developing simple road designs in conjunction with governing ordinance.

  • Procedural: This session shows students how to use Civil 3D Alignment widening and offset tools to generate multiple lanes and traffic control conditions for use in local/simple road design conditions. We will also show how offsets/widening can be tied to transitioning Civil 3D Assemblies.


Session 10: Roadway Design Projects

  • Instructional: This session explains the design of pavement, curbs, and components of a developed road corridor. It will also discuss concepts of rehabilitation, overlay and milling/paving in a road design environment.

  • Procedural: This session explains the development of Civil 3D Assemblies to generate 3D Corridors from designed alignments and profiles. We will also demonstrate development of design surfaces built directly from Corridors.


Session 11: Roadway Sectional Design

  • Instructional: This session covers the concepts related to road cross-sections and their components. We will discuss pavement materials, depths, and methods of construction, along with variable cross-slopes and transitioning between sections/stations.

  • Procedural: This session shows students the section editing tools within Civil 3D Corridors and how to override design criteria on a sectional basis. We will also cover generation and output of individual and multiple cross-sections to a construction document.


Session 12: Subdivision Design

  • Instructional: This session discusses concepts of layout for new building lots, including setback, lot area, frontage and min/max yard sizing variables. We will also cover concepts of radial lot design and remainder distribution.

  • Procedural: This session shows students how to use Civil 3D Parcel creation and layout tools to generate subdivision designs based on ordinance requirements and best fit options, labeling, and reporting on designed parcels.


Session 13: Structure Layout

  • Instructional: This session covers the concepts of use structures - their sizing and accessory structure uses and layout. We will also discuss setbacks, easements, ordinance requirements and application for variance procedures.

  • Procedural: This session shows students how to use Civil 3D Feature line creation and editing tools to create structures and site items that can be used for both 2D construction document presentation and 3D Surface generation, along with labeling processes for same.


Session 14: Individual Lot Grading

  • Instructional: This session discusses concepts of slope and drainage control, front/rear yard grade breaks and side lot swale controls for positive drainage flow in individual lot design. We will also cover design considerations for curbed and EOP frontage conditions, and driveway slopes.

  • Procedural: This session shows students how to create and control Civil 3D Grading objects to dynamically adjust grade as structures are moved/re-sized. We will also show how to work with multiple Grading Objects and develop TIN and volume surfaces from each.


Session 15: Grading Design

  • Instructional: This session discusses site design considerations for commercial and public use sites, including ingress/egress, fire lanes, parking, loading areas, and pedestrian concerns. We will also discuss large site drainage and flow concerns, and detention/storage considerations.

  • Procedural: This session shows students how to use Civil 3D Feature Lines and Grading Objects in conjunction with how to build Design Surfaces with both contouring and spot elevations. We will also cover direct editing of Surfaces from a design perspective, and how to merge multiple Surfaces into one entity.


Session 16: Site Excavation

  • Instructional: This session discusses concepts of site volume, excavation, and site balancing and soil conditions. We will also cover soil expansion and compaction concerns, along with on and off-site storage and net zero soil targets.

  • Procedural: This session shows students how to use existing and design surfaces to generate Civil 3D volume calculations and iterative design processes, to adjust for site balance. We will also show how to adjust for fluff and fill factors, and how to create cut/fill maps and stockpile volume calculations.


Session 17: Site Drainage Layout

  • Instructional: This session discusses layout of storm and sanitary gravity systems, and the structures, pipes, and outfalls that make them up.  It will cover their relation to environmental regulation, and how they integrate with grading and roadway design criteria.

  • Procedural: This session takes students through the layout and creation of horizontal gravity pipe networks in Civil 3D.  It will cover how to set invert, rim/grate elevations, structure sizes using multiple design methods, and how to label and edit all pipe network components in a plan view.


Session 18: Site Drainage Design

  • Instructional: This session covers concepts of gravity network pipe materials, sizing, slope and physical construction processes. We will also discuss min/max, cover and depth along with a discussion of pipe vertical terminology (invert, crown, sump), and pipe slopes.

  • Procedural: This session shows students how to project Civil 3D pipes and structures into profile views, and how to edit and verify design rules/controls in that view. We will also cover labeling of pipe networks and projecting plan objects into a profile view.


Session 19: Hydrology Concepts

  • Instructional: This session discusses concepts of hydrology, including catchment areas, rainfall intensity, flow path and flow rate, and how they interact with different soil and paving conditions. We will also discuss concepts of storm event detention and outflow control structures.

  • Procedural: This session shows students how to export gravity pipe networks from Civil 3D and into the integrated Storm and Sanitary Analysis package, as well as mapping components of the Civil 3D network for part matching during the import/export process. We will also explain basic component structures and overall concepts of the SSA system.


Session 20: Construction Layout

  • Instructional: This session discusses the process of construction stakeout, machine control, as-built reporting and plan development and overall process of converting a design into a constructed site. We will also discuss soil erosion control measures, and construction site safety and access measures.

  • Procedural: This session covers using Civil 3D Point creation and output tools to generate data files that can be used for both stakeout and machine control and import of final “as-built” points. We will also discuss use of surface and slope tools to identify need for sediment control barriers and inlet protection on a site.

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We also offer this training for individual firms who want to arrange a group session at a time that's convenient for them. Group rates are available. Contact us to schedule a group session.

ZenTek, LLC is approved by the New Jersey State Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors to offer CPC (also known as CEC/PDH depending on your state) credits for AutoCAD Civil 3D training courses. 

Online Training Cancellation Policy

Registration may be modified or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours prior to the start of class. Cancellations made less than 24 hours before the start of class will result in a cancellation fee of 50% of the quoted tuition. No refunds will be given once a class has begun. ZenTek reserves the right to cancel or reschedule a course for any reason.

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