Accuracy of volumes from MX(moss) design software

Hughes, Neil (2006) Accuracy of volumes from MX(moss) design software. [USQ Project]


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Earthwork volumes are one of the most important factors in the delivery of a major
civil project. From when feasibility estimates are generated at the concept stage of
a project, until when volumes become a vital component of the contractual
agreements between owners and contractors it is essential they are within a
reasonable range of accuracy.
MX(moss) road design software is a commonly used program for major highway
projects. It is generally assumed that volume errors are contained within the road
design software used to determine these volumes. This paper will undertake
analysis the accuracy of earthworks volume calculations from MX(moss).
The approach taken was to take different simplified road profiles of a known
volume and model hem in MX(moss). The mathematical and MX(moss) volume can
now be compared and error percentages calculated. For additional analysis
traditional and more complex MX(moss) triangulation volume techniques where
used. Ranking of these results will unable different project management techniques
to be applied and the risk to be accessed.
The finding of the technical review of MX(moss) showed that different volume
calculations do produce different errors. However to give the results some
perspective in the delivery of a project some research of previous project
management theory and qualitative analysis of senior road engineers and
managers was undertaken. The survey results indicated some simple procedural
items and changing trends in the industry to higher degrees of error being
acceptable during construction. Overall the results where under the error limits
defined for various stages of a project.
The results from the above quantitative and qualitative analysis enables senior
executives and governments making ‘go’ or ‘no go’ decisions during feasibility
and contract administrators greater understanding of the errors and risks in there
decision making. Feasibility stages of a project where high levels of accuracy are
not needed, to the other end of the scale where high accuracy is need at the detailed
stages of a project so managers producing cost plans and contracts can be better
managed. The data presented in this paper reduces the risk for these people.
Benefits from this study include reduced risk and achieving greater consistency
within a design office. Recommendations in this paper could be used to form design
checklists or part of a quality assurance system. Recommendations also include
reference to developing a risk adverse culture where the risk of getting the wrong
numbers is understood.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Agricultural, Civil and Environmental Engineering (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 01:07
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:44
Uncontrolled Keywords: MX(moss); earthwork; digital terrain model (DTM); isopachyte; delaunay; trapezoid; sag curve; total quality management (TQM); road
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090507 Transport Engineering
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150313 Quality Management
09 Engineering > 0909 Geomatic Engineering > 090999 Geomatic Engineering not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4005 Civil engineering > 400512 Transport engineering
35 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 3507 Strategy, management and organisational behaviour > 350715 Quality management
40 ENGINEERING > 4013 Geomatic engineering > 401399 Geomatic engineering not elsewhere classified

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