Transforming your drainage design workflows with InfoDrainage

Trevor English Trevor English October 11, 2023

4 min read

Building sustainable water infrastructure is at the core of our mission here at Autodesk. This is why our development teams have been hard at work building InfoDrainage into the foremost drainage design platform. It represents a single solution for sanitary and storm sewer design, all in an easy-to-use interface, with integrations into Civil 3D and 1D and 2D modeling functionality. In this post, we’ll take a look through opportunities to transform your drainage design process with Autodesk InfoDrainage.

Achieving BIM compliance

When we think about Building Information Modeling (BIM) and how drainage design interfaces with it, several challenges arise. First off, as is oftentimes the case, we have a wealth of existing data, housed in different siloes, that we need some way to use to avoid re-work. Additionally, frequent model updates and data errors present operational hiccups which can be time-consuming and frustrating. 

With InfoDrainage users are offered intuitive data import and export functionality, templatized parts mapping, and intelligent workflows to streamline data exchange and modeling, especially in conjunction with Civil 3D.

Screenshot detailing the Civil 3D and InfoDrainage import process.

Overcoming these challenges with InfoDrainage means efficiently representing your design digitally, leading to greater confidence and accuracy as the project moves throughout the design process.

Notably, InfoDrainage seamlessly integrates with Civil 3D. Smart objects are used to represent drainage elements, reducing data entry times, and users can move back and forth between platforms through a convenient and helpful ribbon. The ability to round trip data between InfoDrainage and Civil 3D with ease ultimately minimizes the risk of design errors and improves efficiency. It’s outcomes like these that underscore the importance of working within one cohesive design ecosystem.

Green infrastructure

For many, water engineering and design represents the path to a better, more sustainable tomorrow. With this noble goal in mind, it’s only natural to turn to the best drainage design tools you have at your fingertips. However, even still, challenges arise in the design process. How do we ensure we have optimum designs and our structures aren’t oversized or undersized? How do we build designs for today that adapt to the weather events of tomorrow? What does it mean for our design to work for a project only for it to be disastrous to the ecosystem around it? These are the challenges faced in the green infrastructure design process – so how does InfoDrainage address them?

This drainage design software enables visualization of exceedance routes and overland flow corridors so you can fully understand your site. Coupled with the streamlined design process and cutting-edge green infrastructure representations and analysis, InfoDrainage enables sustainable, optimally sized, and cost-effective designs on budget, all in line with regulatory requirements.

Notably, InfoDrainage has a more physics-based approach to hydraulic analysis than competitive tools, derived from the open-source SWMM5 engine and based on 1D shallow water equations. This more advanced physics engine allows users to better understand flows through different types of green infrastructure, like permeable pavement or rain gardens. 

Design automation and analysis

As drainage design tools become more powerful, opportunities for automating and simplifying the design process arise. InfoDrainage offers many different design calculators that allow you to input your constraints and other data, helping the platform deliver properly sized stormwater controls in the model. This saves you time as you model and helps increase confidence in your accuracy.

A view of the stormwater controls design calculator.

The network design wizard inside of InfoDrainage also allows you to quickly view a network design report, with helpful suggestions on what should be changed to improve the design. This wizard also includes flags for any issues with pipe slopes or junctures between different parts of the network. 

For users, there are several options at your fingertips to run analysis on your drainage site. InfoDrainage is a sanitary and storm sewer platform with options for comprehensive 1D and 2D modeling, as well as simpler analyses using InfoDrainage’s Deluge tool. The Deluge tool allows you to load in a site surface, set an analysis time, the amount of rainfall you want, and within seconds see where channeling and ponding occurs on your surface. 

When benchmarked against other tools, like Civil 3D’s SSA modeling functionality, we can see where the accuracy of InfoDrainage’s analysis and modeling prowess comes into play. 

A model of outflow and inflow compared between SSA and InfoDrainage.

In the chart above, you can see how closely InfoDrainage’s calculated outflow matches observed outflow in of the given site, compared to SSA in black. 

Through all of these easy-to-use tools that quickly integrate with your existing civil design software, a clear picture is painted as to what sets InfoDrainage apart as the leading drainage design solution on the market. 

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