Concrete vaults

ALLPLAN FOR Precast Buried Structures

Industry-leading reinforcement modeling with automatic rebar schedules

  • Easily place inserts & calculate the center of gravity
  • Automatically generate sections and plan views
  • Generate reports, material take-offs & production drawings
  • Automatically detect clashes between reinforcement or precast components


Precast concrete plays a crucial role in underground infrastructure for transportation projects, but miscalculations or errors in design, reinforcement and field drawings can negatively impact deadlines and budgets.

A 3D BIM model, used in the planning and design stages can streamline everything from fabrication, to scheduling and shipping. Integrated quality assurance and automatic functions, such as clash detection, enable optimal precast planning and simplifies change management. 

Allplan helps to simplify the precast reinforcement process with automatic shop drawing creation—reducing errors, freeing more time for quality control, and enabling companies to bring in more projects. 


Precast Projects

Box Culverts

Pre-benched Manholes 

Lifting Inserts

Stormwater Management System

Sound Walls

Box Culverts

Precast concrete box culverts are commonly constructed as bridges to vehicle traffic or pedestrians, leaving natural stream beds intact and allowing water to flow underneath. Concrete culverts are a precast buried structure, often unseen by the casual observer. Manufactured in many sizes and configurations, they’re incredibly durable and allow for increased design flexibility. They enable building in a way that doesn’t infringe as much on the landscape.

While modeling a four-sided, concrete square doesn’t seem hugely challenging, working in 2D CAD is incredibly limiting, and often leads to mistakes in the culvert reinforcement. Allplan is a highly efficient tool for culvert design because it allows users to retain their familiar 2D workflow, while simultaneously producing a 3D model. Then, in that 3D model, reinforcement can be easily visualized and calculated with minimal errors.

With increasing emphasis on environmental awareness, it’s worth noting that these structures are a common practice in stream restoration--if they’re modeled, fabricated, and installed correctly. We might not be able to restore every stream to its original glory, but Allplan can support and enable the correct design and modeling of precast box culverts.

Allplan, Inc. has partnered with Eriksson Technologies to create a link between Allplan’s concrete design software and Eriksson’s culvert analysis software. With this link, your culvert analysis can automatically generate a reinforced 3D model, ready to produce drawings and schedules.

Save time & reduce errors by automating the modeling process, instead of drawing it yourself See how easy it is!

  • Start your culvert design in Eriksson Culvert or Allplan
  • Easily transfer geometry and reinforcement data between both programs
  • Drawings and analysis stay synced through design changes


Interested in going deeper?

Check out our recorded webinar, "Uncover the Benefits of BIM for Buried Structures."

In this webinar, we will show you a 2D-to-3D workflow: working in views and sections the way you always have, and adding a few extra steps to get a 3D model and all the benefits that come with it.

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Prebenched Manholes

Precast manholes are, in essence, a vertical access point from the ground to a sewer or underground system. As a vital part of modern sewer systems, they’re made to allow for cleaning, inspection, connections and repairs. Pre-benched, or pre-channeled manholes, are specifically used to redirect the flow and elevation of pipelines installed for storm drains and sanitary uses. They’re buried structures; integral to the beginning stages of building and development, but hidden from view as soon as the initial phases of the project are complete.

If accurately designed, and properly installed, pre-benched manholes are highly durable and will last a long time. However, precast concrete manholes are often drafted in 2D with a limited view, making the task of detailing rebar incredibly difficult and time-consuming.

Using Allplan as a specialty precast design software tool, you’ll discover how much easier concrete manhole design is in 3D. With features such as automatic clash detection and automated reporting, drafting and reinforcing pre-benched concrete manholes becomes a comparative breeze.

Save time & reduce errors by automating the modeling process:

  • Use familiar 2D CAD interface, plus click & drag functionality
  • Design your manhole & channel configuration parametrically
  • Automatically generate reinforcement detailing with one click
  • Dynamically update drawings, reinforcement & material take-offs

As Paul from Garden State Precast remarked at The Precast Show, "Rebar charts: the bane of my existence for years. Sitting tediously pulling it out. It’s automated now. It (Allplan) decides the bar numbers, it gives you the lengths. You coordinate the splices and the bends that you want--it makes all the charts and schedules them all out."

Want to learn more?

Join us for an informative on-demand webinar, "Create a BIM Model for Structural Precast Elements." We will demonstrate how to automate reinforcement of slabs and wall panels, and generate shop drawings of formwork.

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Lifting Inserts

Concrete might be a durable finished product, but it is prone to cracking and breaking if not lifted and handled correctly before arriving at its destination. Since broken precast can’t be installed, it is important that the center of gravity is calculated in advance of any transport to ensure quality and safety.

But, calculating center of gravity is tedious, and lifter insert placement is error-prone. There’s also tremendous risk in sharing incomplete drawings or information with your transport company and crane operators.

Save time & reduce errors by automating the modeling process, instead of drawing it yourself.

  • Calculate the center of gravity of your precast element with one click
  • Keep lifting inserts placed properly around the center of gravity
  • Share your 3D models with drivers and crane company engineers 
  • Automate labeling, sequencing and installation plans


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Stormwater System

Precast concrete stormwater management systems serve as backup to a typical drainage pipeline, when heavy rainfall overwhelms the capacity of a stormwater screening system, like in the case of a hurricane. After trash, sediment, and debris has been filtered out, the remaining water goes to a precast concrete underground holding tank. These structures have to be meticulously designed and constructed for the ability to bear and retain heavy loads, both internally and externally. 

Like most precast buried structures, these stormwater screening facilities, along with tanks for underground rainwater collection, are part of the groundwork in a larger project. In many cases, these are custom pieces of precast. Total accuracy is necessary, especially with reinforcement. Once these pieces are installed, there’s no going back, at least not without causing major disruption to the overall deadline. If there were to be an error or miscalculation in the detailing or design, the cost to repair and replace the underground stormwater tank would be steep, and could have larger implications for the rest of the building. 

Allplan can help you design and reinforce stormwater management and screening facility systems quickly in one, simple workflow. You can draft in 2D, and generate a 3D model simultaneously. Plus, with automatic clash detection and automated reporting, calculating reinforcement and bending schedules will take mere minutes. 

Save time & reduce errors by automating the modeling process: 

  • Use familiar 2D CAD interface plus click & drag functionality
  • Design your trap modules parametrically
  • Automatically generate reinforcement detailing with one click 
  • Insert live Excel, Word & other Office documents into the drawing, updates when the source changes

Interested in going deeper?

Join us for an informative webinar, "Uncover the Benefits of BIM for Buried Structures." In this webinar we will show you a 2D-to-3D workflow: working in views and sections the way you always have, and adding a few extra steps to get a 3D model and all the benefits that come with it. 

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Sound walls and noise barriers are an increasingly common precast product. As our urban and suburban areas become more densely populated, these walls are built as a means of minimizing noise pollution along heavily trafficked roads and limited access highways, and maintaining quiet in residential neighborhoods.

Precast concrete sound wall panels are typically secured in concrete columns that are attached with anchor bolts to an existing structure.

  • Create fabrication drawings, sections, with automated BOM and automated color-coded rebar schedule.
  • Make changes in drawings or the 3D model, changes are reflected everywhere automatically.
  • Generate update drawings, reinforcement and material take-offs

Want to learn more?

Watch our on-demand webinar titled, “A Better Way to Design & Reinforce Precast Wall Panels.” In this webinar, we will demonstrate how to easily create precast walls panels and automatically panelize and reinforce them at the same time.

Presenter: Brandon Botts, Senior Technical Consultant, Allplan, Inc.

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