RiverNET is the leading software that incorporates HEC-RAS and HEC-2 in AutoCAD. It includes a range of features and capabilities that automates HEC-RAS modeling tasks. Automatic cross section cutting, mapping of roughness values and bank station locations, floodplain mapping, floodway determination, bridges, culverts, and more. RiverNET is used by over 2,500 organizations worldwide.

RiverNET Case Study

Case Study: McKim & Creed.

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McKim & Creed Automates Flood Study with RiverNET

Background Information

The rapidly growing southeastern part of the United States faces tough challenges regarding land use and water resources. In recent years, the region has experienced heavy growth and significant droughts, requiring conscientious water management.

McKim & Creed, a full-service engineering, surveying, mapping, and planning services company, has 16 offices from Virginia to Florida. Projects often require innovative engineering to account for design restrictions such as stream buffers and utility easements. On every project, engineers must keep water quality and quantity, as well as public safety, in mind.

In the past, the firm modeled rivers using the US Army Corps of Engineers HEC-RAS software. However, this required engineers to enter data manually from CAD drawings, and then take the computed results and manually draw them back on the CAD drawings—adding substantial time to project work and increasing the chance for errors.

McKim & Creed modeled rivers manually using U.S. Army Corps of Engineers HEC-RAS, which resulted in a time-consuming, error-prone approach.

RiverNET enables HEC-RAS to run directly within AutoCAD, and provides additional engineering automation capabilities to HEC-RAS and AutoCAD.

Automating work for a HEC-RAS flood study using RiverNET cut project time by two-thirds and reduced potential errors.

Automated HEC-RAS Modeling

In 2007, the firm brought in RiverNET from BOSS International, a sophisticated river modeling software that automates computations of water surface profiles and completely supports HEC-RAS within AutoCAD. With RiverNET, engineers can model a number of features directly within AutoCAD, including bridges, culverts, levees, bridge scour, floodway delineations, floodplain reclamations, and stream diversions and realignments.

The software incorporates the latest versions of HEC-RAS and HEC-2 within AutoCAD, as well as with its own AutoCAD/MicroStation compatible stand-alone CAD platform. The compatibility with AutoCAD, and similar workflow as Land Desktop and Civil 3D, simplified the learning curve for McKim & Creed.

“RiverNET is really easy to use if you’re familiar with 3D design software like Land Desktop or Civil 3D,” said Michael Woodruff, Engineering Intern at McKim & Creed. “It was simple enough to figure out that I didn’t need any training.”

RiverNET is really easy to use if you’re familiar with 3D design software like Land Desktop or Civil 3D

Michael Woodruff
Engineering Intern
McKim & Creed

Eliminating Manual Steps

Woodruff, in the Atlanta office, used RiverNET for a flood study on a 10-acre commercial project in Buford, Georgia. North of Atlanta, Buford is just east of the Chattahoochee River and south of the massive Lake Lanier, created by the Buford Dam on the Chattahoochee.

For the flood study, Woodruff needed to model a nearby stream relative to the commercial development. He began by creating the design in AutoCAD, including grading, layouts and buildings. He then used RiverNET in conjunction with the stream grading, defining the reach and cross-sections to determine flood elevations with HEC-RAS.

“The biggest advantage with RiverNET is you no longer need to manually enter cross section geometry, bank stations, channel and overbank lengths and other cross section data along the stream,” Woodruff said. “For a typical cross-section, you can have at least 20 survey points per section, and if you have 10 cross-sections along your stream, you’re up to 200 survey points that you need to manually enter into HEC-RAS. With RiverNET, this is all automated in AutoCAD.”

In addition, Woodruff previously found it tedious to draw final flood limits on design drawings. For a flood study, he would have to go along the stream and manually interpolate contours where the computed flood intersected. Instead, RiverNET performs the task automatically.

“RiverNET did the floodplain mapping interpolation in just a second,” he said. “That removed a time-consuming manual step where we could make errors.”

RiverNET also automates the creation of floodplain and floodway maps, giving McKim & Creed maps ready for county submittal.

Michael Woodruff

RiverNET did the floodplain mapping interpolation in just a second

Michael Woodruff
Engineering Intern
McKim & Creed

Reducing Project Time by Two-Thirds

With RiverNET, engineers can also easily revise or update previously developed HEC-RAS models with necessary changes—without having to re-input the data again.

In fact, McKim & Creed tapped RiverNET to revise an existing HEC-RAS flood study. Woodruff imported the provided HEC-RAS model into AutoCAD, made changes using RiverNET, generated an updated floodplain map, and then exported back out the completed HEC-RAS flood study model files. That allowed him to alter the model quickly and produce the completed study for county review and approval.

Automating much of the flood study work using RiverNET cut the project time by two-thirds for Woodruff. In addition to significant time-savings with RiverNET, Woodruff has also valued the “Fanatical Support” from BOSS—one of the key reasons why McKim & Creed selected RiverNET.

“I have contacted BOSS for some advanced modeling questions and the support is really good,” he said. “They always email you or call you back quickly. It’s nice to know you can call BOSS anytime and ask, ‘How do I do this?’”

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