Five Questions with Dawn Danby

And the first question you’ll have is, “Who the heck is Dawn Danby?” cause that’s how the Civil world rolls.

Ms. Danby is the Sustainable Design Program Manager at Autodesk, and one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business according to Fast Company. I had a chance meeting with her at AU last year and really enjoyed getting a few minutes of her thoughts on how Civils can be part of the Sustainable Design movement at Autodesk. If you’ve ever wanted to know how Civil 3D plays into the bigger green movement, or wanted to know more about how Ecotect can push our field in new directions, here’s your chance.

She’s been gracious enough to agree to play our Five Questions game, so fire away in the comments below. Like last time, I’ll review and compile, and pass them along.

One comment

  1. The Civil design world has the biggest opportunity to make such a huge difference in sustainable design and the environment, but I constantly see or hear “oh, that stuff doesn’t have anything to do with what I do”, so they ignore it and trudge along designing like they always have for the last 30 years. “Golly Gee! I wonder why things are the way they are now???” I’m no expert on sustainable design or an environmentalist, I’m just a “CAD guy” that likes to be outside and breathe fresh air and drink clean water along with the rest of nature. So common sense tells me… Before a building is built, how can I improve the environment on this site even if a building doesn’t get built?

    In the current Autodesk product shelf, there seems to be 3 tools I’m thinking of that are missing from the Civil design world that can directly have an impact on “sustainable” or “green” design…

    1. Quality of Water
    Water Runoff Quality should be something that can be directly analyzed and approximated inside Civil 3D based on known existing ground conditions and how that water is filtered or treated before entering the ground or leaving a newly developed site. What’s also needed and directly related to this topic is the need to expand the funtionality of pipe networks in Civil 3D. Pipes don’t connect to the center of structures in the real world so they shouldn’t have to in Civil 3D. There also needs to be multiple pipe connection points on structures. This is required to meet the challenge of more creative sustainable design.

    2. Light pollution
    Exterior lighting design for streets and parking to take more control of light pollution in the sky should be incorporated. There are many software packages out there that handle some of this for exterior/outside lighting, but it seems like there should be something built into Civil 3D.

    3. Landscape Design
    It’s been in Autodesk’s product back during the Softdesk days. I just don’t understand, at all, why it has fallen to the waste side. Maybe Autodesk doesn’t realize the need for such a creature. And maybe they don’t realize that there are a huge number of Landscape Architects, especially here in Pennsylvania, that use Civil 3D. Last time I checked, trees and shrubs play a pretty big role in the environment. 😉

    So here’s my question… Is Autodesk’s Civil customers going to have to wait as long as they have for Autodesk sustainable design software as long as we have waited for object based technology with Civil 3D? I’m making the comparison between the first introduction to object based Architecutral software and Civil 3D, which I believe was close ten years. I don’t think we can wait that long.

    Sign me up! I’m willing to contribute all I can to the future of the environment and “Green” design. It all starts with Civil Design before the buildings even get built.