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Grading >

Understanding Gradings

A grading object has its own properties and behavior, like other object types in AutoCAD Civil 3D.

A grading normally consists of a face bounded by a base line, a target line, and several projection lines.
The base line can be any open or closed figure from which you want to project the grading. It can be a
feature line or a lot line. A feature line is any linear feature in the drawing, such as a ridge line, building
footprint, or the bottom of a swale. The target for the grading can be a surface, a distance, or an elevation
(absolute or relative).
Line components of a grading object

Before you start grading, you must configure settings and establish criteria such as the following:
 Grading site: Gradings are created in a site topology. If you do not want a grading to interact with
other objects in a site, create a new site for your grading objects.
 Grading group: Grading objects in a grading group are consolidated to create one grading group
surface so you can compute volumes. Before you create gradings, decide how you want to manage
them with regard to surface creation and volume computations.
After you create a grading group, volume tools within AutoCAD Civil 3D show you the amount of cut
and fill required for the grading design. You can raise or lower the grading group incrementally to adjust
volume requirements. You can also change the elevation of points along a grading base line, change
the grade of a base line, or modify the grading criteria.
Grading criteria specifies the grading method

 Grading footprints: Grading objects are projected toward their target from a selected footprint.
Footprints can be feature lines that you create specifically for this purpose, or you can export corridor
feature lines or use parcel lot lines.
 Grading targets: Grading objects require a target. This can be a surface, a distance, or an
Click to view how a surface is targeted (section view

Click to view how an elevation is targeted (section view)

Click to view how a relative elevation is targeted (section view)

Click to view how a distance is targeted (section view)

 Grading criteria: When you start grading, you specify grading criteria . This is how many of the
grading settings, such as grading target, are specified.
The list of grading objects defined in the drawing appears in Toolspace, within the Sites collection on
the Prospector tab.
Grading styles and Grading Criteria Sets appear in Toolspace on the Settings tab.

Grading Tutorials

Topics in this section

 Parts of a Grading Object

A grading object normally consists of the footprint, the daylight line, the projection lines, and the face.
 Grading Regions
You define grading regions where a grading object requires different criteria along different parts of the
 Grading and Surfaces
Grading groups can be automatically turned into surfaces that dynamically update when you edit the
grading. You can also create a detached surface from a grading group, which is no longer associated
with the gradings and does not update when you edit the grading.
 Feature Lines Collection (Prospector Tab)
Use the Feature Lines collection in the Prospector tree to manage feature line styles and layers. You
can also view feature line information, such as length, elevation, and grade.
 Grading Groups Collection (Prospector Tab)
As you create each grading group , they are displayed in the Grading Groups collection on the
Prospector tab in Toolspace.
 Grading Collection (Settings Tab)
Use the Grading collection in the Settings tree to manage grading settings, grading styles, grading
criteria sets, and grading command settings.

Creating a Retaining Wall using Civil 3D Feature Lines and Grading Objects
If you need to create a retaining wall due to some sort of limits, I’ll show you how to quickly
create a wall with feature lines using the grading objects from the finished grade.

As you can see in the images below, the grading object and contours daylight well into the RPA
limits. I would like the retaining wall to be built about 10’ outside of the RPA but maintain the
finished grade slope to the top of wall.

 RPA limit is the bold magenta dash line.

 Grading Objects are Green.
 Feature Lines are Red.
1. For this exercise, I already have an existing surface and a proposed surface created using
the grading objects and features shown in the above images.
2. Offset the RPA line 12.2’ outside of the limits to create the inner bottom of wall.
3. Trim the newly created line where it crosses over the daylight line/grading object.
4. Offset the line again 2.20’ towards the RPA limits to create the outer bottom of wall.
5. Click Feature Line from Objects from the Create Design panel then select the inner bottom
of wall.
6. Set the standard Site and Styles and check Assign Elevations.
7. Click Ok.
8. Select the Finished Grad surface.
9. Click Ok.

10. Create another Feature Line from Objects then select the outer bottom of wall.
11. Set the standard Site and Styles and check Assign Elevations.
12. Click Ok
13. Select the Existing Grad surface.
14. Click Ok.

15. Click the Modify tab on the ribbon.

16. Click Stepped Offset on the Edit Geometry panel.
17. Type 0.10 for the offset distance.
18. Select the inner bottom of wall then specify the side to offset the feature line towards the
RPA limits.
19. I’m going to create a 6 inch high lip above the finish grade so type 0.5 an elevation
20. Click Stepped Offset again.
21. Type 2.00 for the offset distance to create the top of wall.
22. Select the newly created top of wall line then specify the side to offset the feature line
towards the RPA limits.
23. Type 0.0 for an elevation difference to form flat top of wall.
24. Cap the ends of the walls with 3D Polylines or Feature Lines.
25. Delete the Grading Object within the area of the retaining wall.
26. Add the retaining wall Feature Lines to the Finished Grade surface as Breaklines.

27. Adjust the surface boundary limits to the outer bottom of wall.
Below are 3D prospective images of the existing ground retaining wall added the finished grade
A site is a collection of objects that are topologically related. The object types that can be
included in a site are feature lines, parcel lot lines, and alignments. A key point to remember is
that when objects in the same site intersect, they acquire the same elevation at the crossing
point, similar to crossing breaklines in a surface. You can create overlapping objects that do not
interact this way, by simply assigning them to different sites. The following sections describe
some of the interaction of objects within a site.