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SketchUp Pro Case Study: CLOUSTON Associates

As part of the ongoing SketchUp Pro “Down Under” series, CLOUSTON Associates have generously agreed to share some of their SketchUp magic with us. A Sydney-based Landscape Architectural practice with a staff of 35, CLOUSTON operates out of offices in Sydney, Darwin, Abu Dhabi and the Gold Coast. Associate Director Martin O’Dea explains:

"Google SketchUp provides us with an ideal tool to quickly and easily visualize complex 3D problems. We find that our clients understand our ideas far more easily when they are presented in perspective rather than simply in plan or elevation. We use Google SketchUp as part of our workflow integrated with hand drawings, Google Earth, Adobe CS4 and Bentley Microstation in the following ways:"

  • As electronic butter paper to rapidly develop and visualize design ideas
  • To quickly and accurately set up perspective illustrations
  • For construction detailing, from simple design elements to complex structures
  • To investigate visual impact assessment and review view analysis
  • As a presentation and visualization tool for clients and consultants

Dragonfly Pond at The Ponds

CLOUSTON Associates has been using Google SketchUp extensively on 'The Ponds', a new 5000-resident community in Sydney’s northwestern suburbs. On this project, SketchUp has been used for design development and visualization of the parklands, signage systems, water quality control ponds, and pedestrian and vehicular bridges."

"The Dragonfly pond was designed for the community as a two-million-litre water quality control pond. It has a bold heroic blade wall on one side decorated with 12 different Corten steel dragonfly panel artworks."

SketchUp Pro Case StudyView of completed Dragonfly Pond

"As one of the sustainability initiatives at the ponds, the dragonfly pond treats urban stormwater runoff by a range of means before discharging it to Second Ponds Creek. In a peak storm event, the pond receives 300 litres of water per second from the nearby residential area."

SketchUp Pro Case StudyA close-up of the chute

"We used SketchUp to model the sculptural qualities of the wall, the chute into the pond, the dragonfly panels and the curved bowl behind."

The chute handles 300 L/sec of water during peak storm eventsThe chute handles 300 L/sec of water during peak storm events

"Some of the construction documentation was prepared directly from SketchUp as 2D plans, elevations and sections, along with 3D saved views. The landscape contractor said that the 3D imagery was very useful for their form-workers in understanding the geometry of these complex concrete structures."

"Google SketchUp has been the answer to a question that I have had for some time. I've wanted a way to model in 3D but it has always been too complex to be able to do easily -- but now I can.”

Martin, thanks to you and the team for sharing your great work with us and the SketchUp community.

About the Author

Chris joined the SketchUp team in its infancy with @Last Software and has found ways to use SketchUp for just about anything. It's also important to note that he thoroughly enjoys scones, coffee, and the Colorado outdoors.

Profile Photo of Chris Dizon