Using BIM (building information modeling) for civil projects can provide a wealth of advantages. Helping to identify risks in the project well before they are executed in the field can provide quite the advantage, but only if the proper workflows are established. Software is helping to do the trick, as a new suite of products is designed to design and manage workflows around civil projects.

Last week Autodesk,, San Rafael, Calif., announced its 2013 software and services for building design and construction, civil infrastructure, and plant design professionals with enhancements to its Autodesk Building Design Suite 2013, Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite 2013 and Autodesk Plant Design Suite 2013.

The company says, combined with its expanded cloud services and improved collaboration and data management tools, these product suites can help design, engineering, and construction professionals address the proper workflows associated with BIM.

Leveraging the cloud can be a key to this product suite, and Autodesk has certainly made the commitment in this area, releasing its Autodesk 360 cloud computing platform recently. By offering users access to project data in the cloud model, it provides a secure access point to project data with the scalable storage capabilities of the cloud.

In particular, this announcement can be particularly appealing to civil construction professionals. The suite includes a BIM for infrastructure solution aimed planning, designing, building, and managing civil infrastructure and utility infrastructure projects.

This will be available in three editions, Standard, Premium, and Ultimate, and adds AutoCAD Raster Design 2013 software to all three editions. Also, Autodesk Infrastructure Modeler 2013 software is now included in the Premium and Ultimate editions. AutoCAD Utility Design 2013 and Autodesk Revit Structure 2013 software have been added to the Ultimate edition.

Leveraging such tools for conceptual design, utility network design, structural engineering, and working with raster imagery, can help those working on transportation, utility, land, and water infrastructure projects. The intent is that the tools can help these professionals more efficiently explore design options, better analyze project performance, and use visualization to help communicate with project stakeholders.