Editing an MSI Library

This question came in today and I recorded a video of the changes that I suggest for the MSI Library. The question asked if we could review an MSI Library that they had and change it as we would recommend to better handle Topsoil Strip and Replacement as well as any other changes that we would suggest to its content.

The changes fall into the following suggestions

  1. Material Colors / Site Improvement Area Colors - we recommend that you come up with a good convention for colors of Materials and for Site Improvements. I normally use Material Colors and then the top material of a Site Improvement is used to color the area i.e. if I use Blues for Asphalt and Asphalt is the top layer then I use that same color for the Site Improvement. I Typically use the following colors

Asphalt - Blue Shades that contrast with Liunework - darker Blues are Heavier Duty than Lighter Blues
Concrete - Gray Shades that contrast with Liunework - darker shades are heavier duty than lighter shades
Landscaping i.e. Sod, Grass Seed, Seed and Mulch, Hydroseeding - shades of green. Sod is darkest with others being lighter shades
Gravels and Rip Raps - I use Dark Grey or Grey Shades for these - bigger size material is darker grey - if you need to separate these from Concretes then use Purples or similar
Aggregates and Sands - I use Oranges (Aggregates) and Yellows (Sands)
Soils and Clays - I use Browns / Reds for these - Topsoil is Light Brown, with Soil being Dark Brown and then Clays, Silts and others being Orangey or yellowy Browns etc. or Reddy Browns.
Rock - I pick a color that is left over from the above so I know where Bedrock is - can be very dark grey or pink etc.

Naming is the second area I look at - you have a Category and then a Type - I avoid using the same words in both Category and Type i.e. avoid Concrete Areas - Concrete Apron as that looks bad on a report - pick Concrete Area - Apron or Concrete Area - Sidewalk or Concrete Area - Pavement for example. If you have material depth variations then put them in the name so you can find what you are looking for easily. Also remember that all these Categories - Names will appear in selection lists so put the words that you will look for first i.e. if all your names start with Concrete then they will all appear in the list together - if you have Concrete Aprons, Concrete Pavement, Concrete Sidewalk then that is how they will appear in the lists - if however you want Aprons then Pavement then Sidewalk in the list as the first word then name them that way i.e. Sidewalk - Asphalt, Sidewalk - Concrete 4", Sidewalk - Concrete - 6" etc.

Topsoil - if you want TBC Takeoff to compute Topsoil Strip and Topsoil Replacement / Respread and balance that material then your Topsoil Respreads have to be in the Landscape Category of Site Improvements. The Topsoil can have things above it like Membranes or Sod or Seeding etc. but nothing below it - it will sit on top of the Fill or Cut surfaces. If you Put Topsoil in any Site Improvement outside of the Landscaping Category then it will not be balanced as a part of Topsoil handling. Your Topsoil material needs to be an Earthen Material and it needs to be of type Topsoil and have Topsoil Properties 100% Usable for Topsoil Respread in the MSI Manager. It can then be selected when defining a Landscaping Site Improvement. Place it in the Topsoil section, not with the Sod or Seeding material list.

The video shows the process and the file below is the end result.

RPS Example MSI Library.mxl (40.7 KB)