Architect or LandmarkCreating hardscape components


Tool set



Site Planning

Hardscape components define the sections that make up a hardscape. Both the main area and the border components can have distinct components. For example, to indicate that a hardscape is made up of pavers, gravel, soil, and bedrock, define a component for each of these items to illustrate their location. Components’ appearance can be specified for cross-section views, and they can be textured, creating realistic section views and rendered views, as well as accurate hardscape supply estimates. If a material resource is used to define a component, the material typically provides the fill, texture, physical attributes, and construction information needed for drawings, renderings, and reports. The area and volume of hardscape components can be calculated in worksheets; see Worksheet functions

The overall thickness of a hardscape is equal to the sum of its components (the same is true for the border thickness and the border components). Component fill and pen style are only displayed in section viewports.

Use the Eyedropper tool to copy hardscape component settings from one hardscape to another (see Transferring attributes).

To define a hardscape component:

Do one of the following:

To define a component while a hardscape or hardscape style is being created, open the Draw 3D pane of the Hardscape Preferences dialog box and click the Main Area Components or Border Components button.

For a description of the parameters in the Hardscape Preferences dialog box, see Creating hardscapes.

To define or edit hardscape components for an existing, unstyled hardscape, select the hardscape and click Main Area Components or Border Components on the Object Info palette to open the Hardscape Main Area Components or Hardscape Border Components dialog box.

The Hardscape Main Area Components or Hardscape Border Components dialog box opens.

Click to show/hide the parameters.Click to show/hide the parameters.




Displays a sectioned preview of the hardscape or border, including any defined components

Overall Thickness

Displays the thickness of the hardscape or border. The hardscape or border thickness is always determined by the thickness of its components; a hardscape or border always has one component by default.


Select whether the datum is applied to the top or bottom of the designated component; the indicator in the Datum column updates accordingly. A datum is the reference point for elevation settings; for hardscapes, it is fixed vertically (it does not change with any changes to the slab thickness or definition). One of the components is designated as the datum component.


Select whether the hardscape or border is of fixed thickness or has a tapered component to assist with drainage. Click in the Tapered column to designate the tapered component.


Lists the components that form the hardscape or border, in order from top to bottom as displayed in the preview. To change the order of a component, click and drag within the # column.

If multiple components are selected, changing the order moves all selected components to the new location.


Click in the column to designate the datum component. An indicator in the column points towards the top or bottom, to show that the datum is placed on the top or the bottom of the component. To change the datum to be at the top or bottom, either click on the indicator to switch the placement, or click Top of component or Bottom of component in the Datum section of the dialog box.


(Slab Drainage type)

If Tapered component is selected in the Surface section of the dialog box, click in the column to designate which component is tapered. The bottom surface of the designated component is flat, and the top surface is tapered to incorporate the drainage. All components above and below the tapered component are of uniform thickness to maintain the taper that the designated component brings to the overall slab.

Other Component settings

The remaining columns in the component list display the current settings for the hardscape or border, from the Component Settings dialog box.


Opens the main area or border Component Settings dialog box to define the components of the hardscape or border


Opens the main area or border Component Settings dialog box to edit the attributes of one or more selected components; changes are made to all selected components. Alternatively, to edit a single component, double-click the component to open the dialog box.


Duplicates one or more selected main or border components; the duplicates are added to the component list right below the originally selected components


Deletes one or more selected main or border components; the main or border component thickness is adjusted accordingly

Below the Components list, click New to create a new component (or select a component to edit and click Edit).

The main area or border Component Settings dialog box opens. Specify the component thickness, name, and parameters.

Click to show/hide the parameters.Click to show/hide the parameters.






Provide a name for the component, which displays in the Components list in the hardscape Components dialog box


To control appearance and visibility, select a class from the list of classes present in the drawing, or create a new class. Select <Object Class> to place the component attributes in the same class as the hardscape object.

Use material

Uses a material resource for this component; select a material from the Resource Selector.


Specifies the component’s default thickness; the thickness of a hardscape is the sum of its components. A component must have a thickness greater than 0. 

Section Fill

Specifies the component appearance in section views. If the component uses a material, the fill is set to the material’s fill, and the controls are disabled. Otherwise, select a fill style, or Class Style to set the fill attributes by class. Depending on the Style selected, select a color, pattern, or resource (hatch, image, gradient, tile).

Section Pen

Specifies the component appearance in section views. Select a pen style, or Class Style to set pen attributes by class. Depending on the Style selected, select a color, pattern, or line type resource.


Select the line thickness; to use a custom thickness, select Set Thickness from the line thickness list (see Line thickness attributes)


Applies the selected texture to the component. If the component uses a material, the texture is initially set to the material’s texture, but this can be overridden. Class Texture sets the component to use the texture specified by the component’s class; see Concept: Applying textures by class. If Texture is chosen, this setting overrides the object material and/or class texture; select a texture from the Resource Selector.

The Object Info palette Render tab has additional texturing controls for existing objects; see Managing object textures from the Object Info palette and Textures on objects with components. Textures applied from the Object Info palette override the textures set here unless the texture is set by style.

Make All Attributes By Class

Sets all fill, pen, and texture attributes by class, except those that come from a material

Remove By Class Settings

Removes all class settings for fill, pen, and texture attributes; does not affect material definitions with attributes set by class

After you click OK, the Overall Thickness value changes to be determined by its components. As components are defined, they display in the preview. Click and drag a component in the # column to change its order. Determine which component is the datum component by clicking in the Datum column. Set the datum to the top or bottom of the component.

Concept: Resource libraries

The Attributes palette

Defining and editing tiles

Concept: Material resources

Using materials

Setting class properties

Setting class attributes

Creating hardscapes


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