The Engineering Groupe Testimonial

January 1st, 2013

More Power for Planning

Carlson Software Works for The Engineering Groupe, Inc.

“The software enables us to really cut down on our time of production and get the level of detail required,” says Jason Towery, Professional Engineer, about Carlson Software.

“We can put out a finished product a lot quicker than we did before,” adds Dimitrios Konstantinou. “Carlson Software is really easy to learn and easy to work with. Wish we had gotten a hold of this sooner.”

Both Towery and Konstantinou work for The Engineering Groupe, Inc., an engineering, planning, surveying, and environmental services firm with four offices in Virginia. It utilizes Carlson Software to provide services for public and private clients in the area of land development, land planning, feasibility studies, surveying, GPS, highway design, water resources, landscape architecture and construction administration.

Towery, a Project Manager for The Engineering Groupe, says, “We use Carlson for pretty much all of our projects. It’s perfect for the total project including a lot of road designs, sanitary sewer design, storm sewer design, storm water management, site grading, earth takeoffs, site layouts, planning and surveying.”

Carlson Software products used by The Engineering Groupe include Carlson Civil, Carlson Hydrology, Carlson Survey and Carlson SurvCE. “We use it from surveying all the way through the engineering,” notes Towery. “We go out in the field with it, then bring it back
in, then take it back out to actually do the work.”

“The biggest asset for me is the field-to-finish routine,” says Konstantinou, the director of Field Surveys for The Engineering Groupe. “We have the same list of codes for all of our offices from the initial data collection through field-to-finish. It’s a big time-saver in creating the TIN files and the terrain models that the engineers use.”

Once the code list is set, Carlson Software remembers it. “We use it over and over again,” adds Konstantinou. “There’s no need to fiddle with it.”

The RoadNet and SiteNet aspects of Carlson Civil are among Towery’s favorites. “The two in conjunction with each other are very powerful,” he says. “You can set up the whole procedure and do a layout really quickly thanks to the intuitive nature of the program. It’s making dinosaurs of the old ways of doing things,” he adds. “You can grade out a site and come up with a topographic plan in hours vs. days.”

Saving its clients money

Among their many projects, The Engineering Groupe is working on the Celebrate Virginia! project with Pulte Homes, a national building firm. They took over the project from another engineering firm and were able to use Carlson to save the client “a lot of truck loads of dirt,” according to Towery.

“We were able to make adjustments on the fly with the software to the building sites and roads, which turned out to be a huge cost savings for our clients,” says Towery. “It makes us look good and is a big reason clients keep teaming up with us.”

He notes that among his favorite aspects of the software is the ability to quickly do analysis and change the design if “something comes up,” which helps to make The Engineering Groupe “much more efficient.”

“The biggest expenditure is often dirt moving and with Carlson, we can tell them up front what needs to be done, as well as adjust our design to make it the most cost efficient,” says Towery. “It gives us a lot of power in our planning.”

“Carlson gives us accurate cuts and fills, which is an incredible time- and money-saver,” adds Konstantinou.

Towery also touts Carlson Software’s ability to produce quick and accurate 3D renderings that enable him to give the clients “flyovers.”

“We can get an excellent perspective of the site,” he says, “and then present good pre-development shots of the site and give the client accurate renderings. We can even turn the site on its side to analyze it.” Towery adds that Carlson gives the details they need
when presenting their plans for review at the County or City level.

Konstantinou, too, praises the 3D aspect of Carlson Survey. “Once the TIN file is created,” he says, “you can view it in 3D and make quick checks to make sure it looks like you saw it out in the field.”

Both Towery and Konstantinou like the choice Carlson gives them to have the program update automatically, or if there is a “tricky part,” they can override the auto setting and process it themselves.

In addition, they stress the importance of the training the company received from Carlson College, a division of Carlson Software, which enabled them to utilize the full power of the software.

“There were a lot of features that we didn’t know about and, as a result, weren’t being used to their full advantage,” says Konstantinou. “There are just so many cool features – time-saving features – which we were able to learn about.”

“Getting the training really enabled us to up the level of productivity we were able to get with the software,” adds Towery.

Many at The Engineering Groupe, Inc., including Towery and Konstantinou, have used other software programs before, but are glad that they have the opportunity to do their work with Carlson now. “I’d have a hard time switching to another program,” says Towery. “ It’s more accurate, saves time, and saves clients money so it makes them come back,” he adds. “I definitely think Carlson is the best bang for the buck.”

Photo/Screen Shot Captions (all courtesy of The Engineering Groupe, Inc.):

  1. The Engineering Groupe, Inc., Party Chief John Truslow (in blue sweatshirt) and Instrument Man, Josh Dulak (in orange sweatshirt) using a fully robotic Leica instrument and Carlson SurvCE on a Bluetooth enabled Allegro data collector.
  2. This is a stormwater management pond TOPO processed and drafted using the Carlson Field-to-Finish and Triangulate & Contour commands.
  3. This is a 3D model of the same jobsite using the 3D viewer and the .tin file created under the Triangulate & Contour command.
  4. & 5.   Before and after 3D site design renderings using Carlson Civil.
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