3.4 Reference Files

a. General Information and introduction

Very early in the design process a decision should be made about whether or not to use reference files for the preparation of contract plans. If reference files are to be used then the conceptual organization of the project directory should begin about the same time the project report is being prepared. Prudent use of reference files during the development of contract plans can add many additional benefits to the design of the project including, but not limited to the following;

b. Naming Convention

Reference File identification must conform to the standard naming convention defined in Section 2.2, Drawing Name File Names. When Reference files are used as background information for multiple plan sets from a re-usable data base, a more generic naming convention is necessary to allow updates to all files when Reference file information is modified. An example of generic naming would be something like 7topo.dgn for the first sheet of topographic reference information. The generic naming will allow for modified Reference Files.

If the name of a reference file needs to be changed after being attached, clipped rotated and moved, RFMOD.MA can be used to rename the file without detaching. Contact your CADD Support Unit on how to use this utility.

c. Suggested directory structure

Many districts have implemented the concept of project directories to maintain project related information and to help others locate project information. Each district has gravitated towards a project directory structure that best fits their own environment. This procedure is not dependent upon a specific project directory structure, but rather that several key elements be present in the initial setup of the project directory. One of the key elements is a central location for contract plan preparation. This directory should contain only contract plans and be owned by those responsible for their preparation. The Master Design and Master Topographic files used as reference files for contract plan preparation should also be in a central location. These directories should also be located at the highest level in the overall project directory structure. The following directory structure would be a typical project directory layout;


design ; drafting ; surveys ; ref ; README

The purpose of the project directory is to allow all project-related information to exist in one location. This organization provides a means by which people not directly involved with the project can find information concerning the project. The project directory name consists of the first letter of the functional unit and the first 5 numbers of the EA; i.e., s12345 is a project directory for surveys with an EA of 12345x.

design/ Should contain all the design-related information for the life of the project. Each sub-directory of design should contain a README file to explain the contents of that directory.

drafting/ Used for contract plan preparation and is owned by the group performing delineation of the contract plans. For other delineation tasks, sub-directories should be created to help organize the information.

surveys/ When surveys has completed the field work and is prepared to present this to whomever requested the work, they will put the final data in this directory and notify the project engineer when it's there. This directory is owned by surveys.This creates a "safety net" for the design squad; should they muck up the survey data, they can copy the original data and work it over again. This also helps reduce the number of tape restores for lost or irrepairablely modified data.

ref/ The ref directory is used to store the Master Design and Master Topographic files when the reference file procedure is being used to develop the contract plans. The design squad continuously updates design information in the Master Design file. These files should be used as a reference files by all functional units to develop their respective portions of the plans.

This example should not be construed as the only way to set up a project directory. The key elements are the project directory itself, the ref and drafting directories. These directories provide the basic framework for preparing a project for reference files.