Use 3D software to plan disaster recovery


Geoff Zeissonline

By CHONG JINN XIUNG bytz@thestar.com.my

PETALING JAYA: Disaster management isn’t something one would normally associate with a 3D design software company, but Autodesk Inc claims its solutions can help simulate natural disasters to help governments be better prepared.

Such disasters cannot be prevented but countries can train to overcome their effects, according to Geoff Zeiss, director of utility industry programs at Autodesk.

He said Autodesk has software tools — such as Civil 3D, Revit, AutoCAD Map 3D and 3DS Max — that can help simulate and enable civil planners to visualise the effects of disasters on various levels of intensity.

This would also lead to better building and other infrastructure designs. “A lack of effective town planning could mean yearly flash floods that damage roads, buildings and public infrastructure,” said Geoff.

“There is a need to change the ways buildings and infrastructure are designed, to better withstand the consequences of natural disasters, such as floods.”

By combining the solutions developed by Autodesk, he said, architects and engineers can more easily design buildings and other infrastructure to withstand disasters.

“We are working to streamline the use of geospatial data, building information modelling and 3D design software to simulate real-life situations on a 3D model, which will help us more accurately visualise how these structures respond to the effects of a disaster,” he said.

“Such 3D simulations can also enable town planners to more accurately and efficiently estimate the cost of disaster recovery.”

For instance, the use of a smart-grid electrical system would give infrastructure planners greater oversight on how to restore power to any affected areas, as well as better manage power distribution under normal circumstances.

Governments can also then set standards for new buildings to withstand different patterns and intensities of natural disasters; power and nuclear plants, in particular.

“Given that with all the available tools and leveraging on intelligent models of urban environments, governments would be better able to install a clear action plan that would be activiated in the event of a disaster,” Geoff added.

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