Fry Your Brain with SITEOPS® (Repeat)

(Yes, I’m repeating this post. There’s another seminar tomorrow, register here.)

One of my favorite feelings is when I can watch a demo and feel my jaw drop. Civil 3D the first time, iPhoto with Face matching, Sketchbook on the iPhone. The past few years, I’ve always made a point to visit SITEOPS crew at AU. I saw some of their stuff a few years back, and it was neat, but felt a bit of a one-trick pony. This year? I got my jaw dropped. We had a few minutes to chat, and I am just blown away by how much this stuff has improved in the current releas

So, want to enjoy a good smile and watch how design should be done? They’re hosting a webinar on Wednesday to discuss how their clients use SITEOPS in the site design process for schools, but I think you’ll see quickly how your company could use this. There’s a 10 minute demo here and check out the full webinar. Be sure to bring a napkin for the drool.



  1. I can back up everything that James is saying about this new technology! As a certified Siteops user, and someone who uses it on a near daily basis, it is everything it claims to be…and more! If you haven’t had a chance to see Siteops in action, you should check out one of their webcasts.

  2. Brent Daley says:

    That’s definetly some interesting software. If it was only that easy huh?

  3. Mark Spatz says:

    I agree, it is impressive either way but they need to trash that same old simple site for the demo and show a shopping center with multiple tenants, multiple detention ponds, a round about, separating truck traffic from car, and wide grass seporator islands every 5th – or whatever number – parking trees.

    For $20k/per year it needs to be able to handle the details of those crazy municipal ordinances. Like Civil 3D and a good designer can…. 😉

  4. TONY says:

    I totall agree. Until it can help me design a real subdivision with large number of swales and 2 retaining walls on each lot and massive grade changes then i’m not quiet impressed. I would have to see a large number of companies using it and making a profit before I jump on board. That’s just my opinion. 🙂 In addition, I think the software is way over priced.

  5. Stephen Bourquein, PLS says:

    This is certainly an impressive demo. But, as Brent and Mark states, I can see significant issues that can’t be solved with simple parametric design. Most of these issues are ordinance (crazy ) or environmental (even crazier) requirements.

  6. Mark Spatz says:

    I do offer that it does seem promising for simply uploaded a site sketch that was completed in CAD and have it complete the rough grading and give you costs and FFEs. That said, you need 4-5 sites a year that a client is requesting this service for, and additionally, you need to be billing “concept planning” as a Lump Sum for these projects to make-up for the software cost.

  7. As an employee of SITEOPS, I want to thank everyone for their comments. This is valuable feedback which we take to heart. SITEOPS has changed dramatically since our 4.1 release in November, right before AU. The recorded demo on our website is a very simple site which we agree is a bit overused. We invite you to come to one of our webinars, where you will see real world examples of multi pad retail, school, and industrial projects with conceptual designs completed in SITEOPS. We do address local ordinance and environmental constraints through a variety of settings and easements. Please feel free to contact me if I can answer any questions: Jennifer Gabriel, 704-409-7507 or

  8. Dennis Schmidt, P. Eng. says:

    Just a thought. To address every possible permutation of ordinances anywhere is simply an impossible programming task. It would be up to the user to be creative enough to work with what they’re given in Siteops to account for such things. I think site ops could be a nice tool to have, but yes, it won’t entirely replace a designer, nor would I want it to. If it did that, I’d be out of a job.

  9. Kevin Spear says:

    I had the same reservations when i first came across siteops some 3 years ago. My problem then was that i was thinking in a final docs sense. This app is truly geared towards mazimizing the layout to minimize cost; NOT do a one-button finished design.

    The problem is that it is pretty close to that and so we get drawn in…

    Cost is always the issue, especially in this economic climate. Shoot, how many top notch c3d folk have had to find new places to work over the last year?

    That said, in most instances of optimization that i saw, the construction cost reduction was so great, that the yearly application cost was minimal. Maybe if developers fronted the cost and allowed engineers access to pertinent projects? Otherwise, we’d have to rely on billing as Mark mentioned…

    • Paul Thomas says:

      I like the web-based lite software, but I really don’t like the “Submittal” of the drawing/information and having to wait 20mins for it to be optimized.

      If this isn’t end product software, why does it have to be optimized?

      And yes cost is a huge issue. Way too expensive.

      • The reason it has to be submitted is that it is an expert system, and it’s more efficient to run on the SiteOps farm of machines than on your desktop. I used an expert system in school to deal with Wind Analysis and it was a massive collection of machines to process some of the basic tests. I can only imagine what SiteOps algorithms are doing.

  10. Since making the investment nearly a year ago, SITEOPS has given me a strong competitive advantage in a very challenging economy. I can help my clients make better decisions earlier in the design process and provide them with cost-optimized solutions. My competitors can’t.

    But, I agree with you guys. It’s way too expensive and you shouldn’t buy it.

  11. Dennis Schmidt, P. Eng. says:

    unfortunately, one has to realize that cloud computing and software not located on your desktop is becoming more and more popular. Things like google docs, skype, etc. are all names that will becoming more familiar, and using large numbers of computers to do many calculations is more efficient than bogging down a desktop. With siteops, people are running multiple scenarios that would normally take weeks to evaluate, and they are seeing results in hours or days. It seems to me that a client, once they see this in action, would want to use it because the potential to cut costs in significant, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see this become an industry standard with in the next few years.

  12. I agree with James this is pretty amazing software! The issue we have run into is that our clients just don’t have the work!

    When is that economy coming back? 🙁

  13. Eugene D. Ninnie, P.E., LEED AP says:

    SiteOPS is everything they say it is. A very powerful and all encompassing software for sitework with many constraints. BUT, make darn sure you have clients who will embrace the technology to pay for the added cost BEFORE purchasing it. This means that you will need to market yourself to your client to convince them to pay for the value added services you will now have by purchasing and using SiteOPS, because the price is high. Moreover to pay back what you have pruchased one must need a steady flow of work with clients who understand the value they will gain ( const cost savings). The price of the software is as only as good as what one can put through it to gain the value added services and cost savings SiteOPS touts. This takes work in marketing and convincing to a client base for a steady cash flow to make the return on ones investment in SiteOPS

    • AL Wojcik says:

      Eugene, SITEOPS is available for as low as $3k . Most of the Civil firms that have SITEOPS do not charge extra in fact they now make profit on the front end of the conceptual layout process. Where in the past they would get a small fee and lose money for 1-3 layouts that took a week now they get that same fee for doing unllimited layouts for thier clients in 1 day. Everyone wins the developer gets quicker what ifs and saves
      $ 15 k per acre, the Civil firm gets a happier client and a profit along with the capacity to bid on many more opportunities on the Conceptual side. Let me know if I can help you.

  14. Neilw says:

    I have to be skeptical about a black box tool to design a site. I just finished a project that had so many constraints that I don’t see how a program could have solved it unless the constraints were included in the parameters. There were existing underground drainage pipes and several large proposed pipes that required minimum cover to be maintained and handicap parking and access routes that highly constrained the grading options. Almost every site I’ve worked on had these types of constraints. If we let the software design the site without the constraints I am sure that we would probably have to spend many hours, if not days redesigning the site afterwards. If the software is capable of handling these constraints I would like to see it demonstrated.

    • AL Wojcik says:

      Neil, I would be happy to set up a demo, we deal with the constraints you talked about everyday. Our software is being used on West Virginia mountain sites to Florida flat sites. SITEOPS has been used on sites for most major retailers like Lowes-Costco-Target that have pages of constraints for each site. There are over 250 pre-loaded constraints built into SITEOPS that you can change for any site and then save as a template including costs. Let me know how I can help. Seeing is believing Al Wojcik