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Project Maker



Introduction to the Project Maker module

The ProjectMaker module guides through the half-automated assessment of cost-relevant quantities and ecological project benefits. A “restoration plan” or project proposal for a restoration plan herein designates an isolated restoration measure that can be delineated with an own ProjectArea.shp shapefile. versions of a restoration plan may refer to terraforming options or other planning Conditions. A project proposal is prepared for (preliminarily) versions of a restoration plan including relevant nature-based engineering features (i.e., vegetation plantings, stabilizing features such as the placement of angular boulders, and anchored streamwood) and it evaluates cost-relevant quantities. A project cost table uses the cost-relevant quantities for a preliminary cost estimate. The habitat utility in terms of net gain in Seasonal Habitat Area (SHArea) for target fish species determines the project return in “US$ per [acre or m2] of newly created SHArea”. This Wiki page is organized as follows:

Quick GUIde to a project assessment


Prerequisites


Ensure that the following steps were executed in order to generate the required geodata for creating a project proposal:

  • If terraforming applies:
    • The SiteName restoration terraforming plan was verified with 2D hydrodynamic modeling
    • The River Architect’s VolumeAssessment module was applied to calculate excavation / fill volumes.
  • The LifespanDesign and MaxLifespan modules were executed for plantings and other nature-based engineering features. Thus, the following directories should exist and contain plantings and other nature-based engineering feature rasters:
    • Plantings:
      • RiverArchitect/LifespanDesign/Output/Rasters/CONDITION_lyr20/
      • RiverArchitect/MaxLifespan/Output/Rasters/CONDITION_lyr20/
    • Other nature-based engineering features:
      • RiverArchitect/LifespanDesign/Output/Rasters/CONDITION_lyr20/
      • RiverArchitect/MaxLifespan/Output/Rasters/CONDITION_lyr20/
  • The SHArC module was applied to the pre-project (initial) condition and the “with implementation” (“as-built”) condition.

Main window set-up and run

The below figures shows the ProjectMaker GUI at startup.

guipm

The creation of a cost-benefit assessment requires the step-wise definition of variables and calculation beginning at the top of the GUI and moving forward to the bottom. The following sections provide details regarding input requirements and calculations of every step.

Input: Variables and automatically generated files

The assessment uses the following parameters and formats, which can be entered in the GUI:

  • Project version (or vii) is a “v” + 2-digits (ii) version number (string), for example, v10 (other 3-digit strings are also allowed)

  • Project name is a string (e.g., of a particular site) written in CamelCase, for example, RavineConfluence

Click on the VALIDATE VARIABLES button to verify that the variables entered are correct. A successful validation creates a copy of the template project structure (RiverArchitect/ProjectMaker/.templates/Project_vii_TEMPLATE/), which is typically saved as RiverArchitect/ProjectMaker/ProjectName_vii/. The variable validation opens an info-box, a project assessment workbook (.xlsx), and a mapping project (.aprx in ArcGIS Pro) that invites to create project-specific files. The required actions include:

  • WORKBOOK (ProjectName/ProjectName_assessment_version.xlsx)
    The workbook contains a spreadsheet named costs, where unit costs and quantities are evaluated. The from_geodata sheet will contain quantities such as area (in square meters or acres) of vegetation planting types. The numbers in the from_geodata tab are generated by a subset of codes that use geodata, which require manual actions as described in the next steps. After running the cost-quantity assessment, verify that the cells containing automatically calculated costs in the costs sheet link to the correct cells in the from_geodata sheet.

  • MAPPING (ProjectName/ProjectMaps.aprx)
    The copy of ProjectMaker’s template project structure contains an ArcGIS Pro project file (ProjectName/ProjectMaps.aprx) with predefined layouts and layers that may require updates to site-specific geofiles (shapefiles and rasters). Project-specific geofiles (shapefiles and rasters) need to be created as described in the following sections.

Input: Project Area Polygon shapefile

To determine cost-relevant quantities for a site-related restoration plan, a manual delineation of the project site is necessary (e.g., by using the template layouts provided in ProjectName/ProjectMaps.aprx).

  1. Create a new polygon-shapefile in ProjectName/Geodata/Shapefiles/ (read more on arcgis.com), name it ProjectArea, and select the project Coordinate System (Current Map). Click on Run.

  2. Remove the newly created layer from layout’s Contents tab, double-click on the existing Project area layer -> Layer Properties opens up -> go to the Source tab -> click on Set Data Source ... -> Select the newly created /Shapefiles/ProjectArea.shp file -> click OK.

  3. In the layout’s Contents tab, right-click on the ProjectArea layer, then Attribute Table. In the Attribute Table, click on the top-left Field: Add button. Name the field AreaCode, select a Text in the Data Type column and 50 in the Length column. Click below the new field to and add another field (Click here to add a new field label) with the following properties: Field Name = gridcode, Data Type = Short data type, Number Format = Numeric, Precision = 0, and Scale = 0 field named gridcode. Go to ArcGIS Pro’s Fields ribbon (top of the window) and click Save. Close the Fields: Project area (…) tab (the one where the fields were previously added).

  4. Delineate project area

    1. Optional: Import modified terrain to visualize boundaries of terraforming.
    2. In ArcGIS Pro’s Edit ribbon (top of the window), click on Create (ensure that the ProjectArea layer is selected in the Contents tab) > A Create Features opens.
    3. In the Create Features tab, click (highlight) on ProjectArea, then on Polygon.
    4. Draw a polygon around the designated project area (finish with the F2-key).
    5. Go to the Attribute Table tab and type Restoration zone in the AreaCode field and 1 in the gridcode field.
    6. Save edits.

Input: Plantings shapefiles

Project Maker will place plants only where it makes sense and removes existing plants where necessary. An overlay of the above-created project area polygon over recent satellite image shows, where existing plants intersect with projected actions and where these plants may need to be cleared (removed). A PlantExisting.shp shapefile with polygons delineating these intersects needs to be created and drawn as follows in the ProjectName/ProjectMaps.aprx-file:

  1. In the Catalog tab, open the folder tree ProjectName/Geodata/Shapefiles/ (double click on the folder to make it appear in the lower box).

  2. Create a new polygon-shapefile in ProjectName/Geodata/Shapefiles/ (read more on arcgis.com), name it PlantExisting, and select the project Coordinate System (Current Map). Click on Run.

  3. Remove the newly created layer from layout’s Contents tab, double-click on the existing Existing plants (all) layer -> Layer Properties opens up -> go to the Source tab -> click on Set Data Source ... -> Select the newly created .../Shapefiles/PlantExisting.shp file -> click OK.

  4. In the layout’s Contents tab, right-click on the PlantExisting layer, then Attribute Table. In the Attribute Table, click on the top-left Field: Add button. Name the field ActionType, select a Text in the Data Type column and 50 in the Length column. Click below the new field to and add another field (Click here to add a new field label) with the following properties: Field Name = gridcode, Data Type = Short data type, Number Format = Numeric, Precision = 0, and Scale = 0 field named gridcode. Go to ArcGIS Pro’s Fields ribbon (top of the window) and click Save. Close the Fields: Project area (…) tab (the one where the fields were previously added).

  5. Delineate existing plantings area:

    1. Ensure that a valid background image is linked to the background layer (Properties -> Source tab).
    2. In ArcGIS Pro’s Edit ribbon (top of the window), click on Create (ensure that the PlantExisting layer is selected in the Contents tab) > A Create Features opens.
    3. In the Create Features tab, click (highlight) on PlantExisting, then on Polygon.
    4. Draw polygons around existing plantings that are visible in the background (satellite image) project area, within the zone where the modified DEM rasters indicate terrain modification (finish polygons with the F2-key).
    5. Go to the Attribute Table tab and type Existing (text) in the ActionType field and 1 (short integer) in the gridcode field.
    6. Once all visible plantings within the project area are delineated, save the edits.

Terraforming may require clearing of existing vegetation in the project area. In this case, use the above created PlantExisting.shp as template to delineate plants to remove (to be cleared):

  1. In the Catalog tab, open the folder tree ProjectName/Geodata/Shapefiles/ (double click on the folder to make it appear in the lower box).

  2. Make a copy of a new polygon-shapefile in ProjectName/Geodata/Shapefiles/PlantExisting.shp and name it PlantClearing.shp in the same folder.

  3. In the map Contents tab, double-click on the existing Clearing of Shrubs layer -> Layer Properties opens up -> go to the Source tab -> click on Set Data Source ... -> Select the newly created .../Shapefiles/PlantClearing.shp file -> click OK.

  4. Delineate existing plantings to be removed (clearing):
    1. In the layout’s Contents tab, right-click on the PlantClearing layer, then Attribute Table.
    2. Highlight all polygons of existing plants that do not need to be removed. Press Delete to remove these plant polygons from the clearing list.
      When highliting existing plantings for clearing, remember that in river restoration and habitat enhancement projects “clearing” should limit to the absolutely required minimum. That means: Delete as many polygons of existing plants as possble from PlantClearing.shp.
    3. Once all non-clearing plants are removed, save the edits.
  5. Project Maker will not place any plant where existing plants are, even though when these are highlighted in the the PlantClearing shapefile. Therefore, consider to remove the polygons contained in PlantClearing.shp from PlantExisting.shp.

Save and close ProjectName/ProjectMaps.aprx. Note: Both PlantExisting and PlantClearing shapefiles are not mandatory for running Project Maker, but recommended.


Cost quantity assessment and the cost master workbook

The ProjectName_assessment_vii.xlsx is subsequently referred to as the cost master workbook. The workbook is automatically generated as a template-copy and it contains two cost ... tabs. Important: As a function of the unit system (U.S. Customary or SI metric), only keep the relevant cost worksheet and delete the other one (see below figure). Rename the retained costs tab to costs.

pmdeltab

The prices contained in the cost master workbook are in US$ and may be adapted to fit local construction costs. The following sections describe steps and requirements for the assessment of cost-relevant quantities with the cost master workbook.

Terraforming

The VolumeAssessment module evaluated terrain excavation and fill volumes. VolumeAssessment created workbooks featuring terraforming volumes in cubic meters/yards in the directory RiverArchitect/VolumeAssessment/Output/PSEUDO_CONDITION_volumes.xlsx. Optionally, these workbooks can be copied to a PSEUDO_CONDITION_volumes.xlsx workbook in the project folder.
Recall: PSEUDO_CONDITION_volumes.xlsx has to tabs: (1) excavate_YYYYMMDDHHhMM and (2) fill_YYYYMMDDHHhMM. Copy the terraforming volumes from either of these two spreadsheets to the cost master workbook’s (ProjectName_assessment_vii) terraforming_volumes spreadsheet (cells are highlighted, only values).
The template’s unit costs of US$ 23.00 per cubic yard (or EUR 23.00 per m3) include short transport distances (< 1 km) and material storage. It is hypothesized that the smaller value (i.e., either the excavate or the fill volume) is incorporated in the costs of the higher value because the smaller volume can be reused on-site. The costs for terraforming are evaluated in cell G8 of the cost() tab of CONDITION_volumes.xlsx, based on the excavate and fill volumes that need to be copied to the terraforming_volumes tab of CONDITION_volumes.xlsx. The following formula applies (vol refers to the terraforming_volumes spreadsheet):

costs!G8 = costs!D8 · max(vol!C5, vol!C6)

Vegetation plantings and supporting features

Before the most reasonable vegetation plantings are implemented into the project plan, the LifespanDesign and MaxLifespan modules need to be run based on anew 2D simulations made with the terraformed DEM. The resulting (maximum) lifespan rasters need to be available in the directories RiverArchitect/LifespanDesign/Output/Rasters/CONDITION_lyr20/ and RiverArchitect/MaxLifespan/Output/Rasters/CONDITION_lyr20/.

Define critical lifespans Before plantings can be placed, River Architect wants to know the critical threshold for lifespans that a plant species needs have to be applicable (2.5 may be a reasonable estimate here). For example, if the field Do not plant where expected lifespans are less than = 2.5, River Architect will only place plantings with an expected lifespan of 2.5 years or more. In addition, River Architect requires the definition of a critical lifespan of vegetation plantings, which require additional nature-based engineering support. For example, if the field Stabilize plants where expected lifespans are less than = 10.0, River Architect will add supporting nature-based engineering features where the best performing plant species lifespan is less than 10.0 years. Note that the second value needs to be higher than the first value to reasonable results.

Place plantings The GUI’s Place best vegetation plantings button launches a python function that picks up these maximum lifespan rasters, limits there extents to the ProjectDelineation Polygon and evaluates relevant quantities for construction purposes. Read the logfile carefully and ensure that no error or warning messages occurred. If error messages occurred, check the geodata sources and error messages, ensure that the costs master file (ProjectName_assessment_vii.xlsx) is closed and traceback error messages. Re-run Delineate Plantings and traceback error messages until no error messages occur anymore.
After a successful run, Delineate plantings has written vegetation plantings areas to the cost master workbook’s from_geodata spreadsheet. The costs spreadsheet automatically evaluates plantings in the Vegetation plantings frame. Nevertheless, double-check assigned cell links to the from_geodata spreadsheet and close the cost master workbook. Delineate plantings saves the cropped maximum lifespan rasters and shapefiles with area summaries in the /Rasters/ and /Shapefiles/ subfolders. If the cell links in the automatically opened cost master workbook’s costs spreadsheet are correct, save and close the workbook. Note: Project Maker places best plants in alphabetic order. In the case of the pre-defined plant species, that means, first a pixel is tested for its suitability for Box Elder, then for Cottonwood, then White Alder, and then Willows. If a pixel already got assigned a plant species, it will not be tested again for other plant species. For example, if a pixel got assigned Box Elder, it will not be considered for all other plant species.

Stabilize plantings Even though the vegetation plantings maximum lifespan maps identify the optimum plant species according to the highest lifespans, the projected vegetation plantings may be associated with low lifespans. Therefore, supporting (stabilizing) features such as engineered log jams (here: single anchored logs or root wads) may be required. The GUI’s Stabilize plantings button launches a python function that adds stabilizing nature-based engineering features such as anchored wood logs to planting areas associated with the user-defined minimum plantings lifespan. The Stabilize plantings function uses the following priorities of stabilizing features:

  1. Large wood logs (diameters defined in RiverArchitect/LifespanDesign/.templates/threshold_values.xlsx) if their lifespan is higher than the Critical plantings lifespan.

  2. Engineered (anchored) wood logs, where maximum lifespan maps indicate convenient applicability.

  3. Vegetative nature-based engineering features (pre-defined in cost master workbook: brush layers; alternatively, fascines or geotextile can be linked from costs!F30:F33 to from_geodata!C16*…, where the depth to the groundwater does not exceed the threshold values defined in RiverArchitect/LifespanDesign/.templates/threshold_values.xlsx.

  4. Mineralic nature-based engineering features (rock paving), where the depth to the groundwater table is insufficient for vegetative stabilization and where the terrain is steeper than the threshold values defined in RiverArchitect/LifespanDesign/.templates/threshold_values.xlsx.

  5. Angular boulders where high dimensionless bed shear stress predictions prohibit the utilization of any above feature.

Place best vegetation plantings writes construction-relevant numbers for vegetation planting stabilization to the cost master workbook’s from_geodata spreadsheet. The costs spreadsheet automatically evaluates stabilizing feature quantities in the nature-based engineering (stabilization) and nature-based engineering (other) frames. Nevertheless, check the assigned cell links to the from_geodata spreadsheet and adapt feature types if required. Moreover, Stabilize plantings creates a shapefile called (Plant_stab.shp) in ProjectName/Geodata/Shapefiles/. Check the cell links in the automatically opened cost master workbook’s costs spreadsheet (cell links to the from_geodata spreadsheet). Finally, save and close the workbook.

Stabilize terrain

The Terrain Stabilization frame enables the identification of areas that require additional support with nature-based engineering features to yield a target lifespan that can be defined in the field Critical lifespan. For example, if new terraforms are intended to persist at least 20 years, set Critical lifespan=20. A click on the Stabilize terrain button launches the calculations, where nature-based engineering features are placed in the same hierarchical order as before. Besides, the terrain stabilization calculates a stable grain size Raster for the provided Critical lifespan. The control variables of τ*,cr (default 0.047) and Manning's n can be defined by clicking on the Set stability drivers button. To learn more about the stable grain size computation, please refer to the parameter calculation and stable grain size Raster creation.

The Terrain Stabilization produces writes relevant surfaces to the from_geodata spreadsheet in costs master file (ProjectName_assessment_vii.xlsx) and produces the following geofiles:

  • Raster with stable grain (boulder) sizes ProjectMaker/ProjectName_vii/Geodata/Rasters/terrain_boulder_stab.tif
  • Shapefile with relevant nature-based engineering features (see above definitions) ProjectMaker/ProjectName_vii/Geodata/Shapefiles/Terrain_stab.shp

Check the cell links in the automatically opened cost master workbook’s costs spreadsheet (cell links to the from_geodata spreadsheet). Finally, save and close the workbook.

Manual placement of nature-based engineering features

Additional habitat can be created with cover features (i.e., engineered logs jams or root wads) at locations that result from an expert assessment. To implement cover features, open ProjectName/Geodata/ProjectName/ProjectMaps.aprx to do the following:

  1. Create a new polygon-shapefile in ProjectName/Geodata/Shapefiles/ and name it StreamWood.

  2. Remove the newly created StreamWood layer from layout’s Table of Contents, double-click on the existing ELJs (Cover habitat) layer -> Layer Properties opens up -> go to the Source tab -> click on Set Data Source… -> Select the newly created ProjectName/Geodata/Shapefiles/StreamWood.shp file -> click OK.

  3. Start editing the ELJs (Cover habitat) layer.

  4. Draw engineered log jams and root wads as 10 ft x 10 ft (3.1 m x 3.1 m) rectangles.
    Design hints:
    Engineered log jams and root wads must not be placed in side channels or anabranched sections of the rivers. However, these features can add “cover” habitat in backwater zones or reconnected ponds.
    A save premise is to keep a distance of at least 100 ft (or approximately 30 m) between individual log jams or root wads. To respect the distances, draw a circle with a diameter of 2·100 ft (or approximately 2·30 m) and place single engineered log jams in the middle of the circles.

  5. Save the edits and stop editing.

  6. Write the number of drawn streamwood elements to the cost master workbook’s (ProjectName_assessment_vii) costs spreadsheet (nature-based engineering frame).

Other civil engineering works

Site access, terrain acquisition or culverts may be required and contribute to the project costs. Satellite images and GIS measurement tools help to identify the required length of new roads or roads that need to be developed.
The length of new roads can be evaluated (e.g., by drawing paths transferring the path length in yd’ [length yard] or m’ [length meter] to the cost master workbook’s (ProjectName_assessment_vii) costs spreadsheet; cf. Civil engineering \& other frame). For later revision, export the drawn paths to a newly created folder (e.g., ProjectName/Geodata/Shapefiles/) as polyline shapefile or *.kmz file.
The resulting costs need to be manually entered in the costs master workbook’s (ProjectName_assessment_vii) costs spreadsheet (Civil engineering \& other frame).

Markups, permitting, and other costs

The final project costs include site mobilization and demobilization as well as unexpected costs. Moreover, permitting, markups (such as overhead, profit, and insurance) and engineering fees are added as percentages of costs for construction works at the bottom of the cost master workbook’s (ProjectName_assessment_vii) costs spreadsheet. The total costs for the project proposal are summarized at the top of the costs spreadsheet (cell G2).


Please note:

  • There is no warranty for the calculated costs (see disclaimer).
  • All workbook-internal cell links must be verified manually, in particular, the cost(UNITS) tab.

Mapping of construction elements

Open ProjectName/ProjectMaps.aprx and go to the Catalog tab (typically on the right). Click on > Layouts and double-click on ProjectName_assessment_vii. In the layout’s Contents tab (typically on the left), select Layers Map Frame and double-click on every layer to define the correct dataset source files (Source tab) that result from the above-described cost assessment. Note: Layer groups do not have a Source tab. Relevant shapefiles are stored in ProjectName/Geodata/Shapefiles/ and relevant rasters are stored in ProjectName/Geodata/Rasters/. Export the map (ArcGIS Pros Catalog -> right-click on Layouts/ProjectName_assessment_vii -> select Export to File... ) to the project folder and name it ProjectName_assessment_[...].pdf (proposition for consistent file naming).


Ecological benefit asessment (Calculate SHArea)

The project costs are vetted against the net gain in annually usable habitat area for target fish species. The GUI’s Calculate Net Seasonal Habitat Area routine calculates usable habitat from rasters that indicate where the composite Habitat Suitability Index (cHSI) is higher than a selected threshold value.

Additional input and requirements

Every cHSI raster refers to a steady discharge within a flow duration curve. The expected flow exceedance duration per discharge bin multiplied with the usable habitat area is summed up to the SHArea. The comparison of the existing (pre-project) and the “with implementation” (post-project) habitat suitability requires the following:

  • Both situations (pre- and post-project) were simulated in the 2D hydrodynamic model.
  • Flow duration curves for the project site were established:
    • A workbook template for flow duration curves is available in RiverArchitect/SHArC/FlowDurationCurves/flow_duration_templates.xlsx
    • The GetStarted tab contains the Analyze Flow tool for producing the required format for SHArea calculation in 00_Flows/CONDITION/.
  • The River Architect’s SHArC module was executed for both situations (pre- and post-project) to obtain cHSI rasters.
  • Example:
    • The pre-project terrain DEM dates from 2008 and terrain modifications were performed based on the 2008 DEM in a reach called rea.
    • Both DEMs, original and modified correspond to pre- and post-project conditions, respectively.
    • Both DEMs were simulated in the 2D hydrodynamic model with discharges of 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000, and 5000 cfs (or m3/s).
    • The corresponding modelling results (flow depth and velocity) were stored in the directories RiverArchitect/01_Conditions/CONDITION/ and RiverArchitect/01_Conditions/CONDITION_rea_lyr10/, respectively. The string lyr10 refers to terraforming according to the code naming conventions.
    • The River Architect’s SHArC module applied to both situations with a cHSI threshold value of, for example, θ = 0.5. This threshold value means that all pixels with a cHSI value lower than 0.5 were considered as being non-habitat and the SHArC module excludes these pixels from the cHSI rasters. Thus, the SHArC module produced cHSI rasters that are stored in:
      • RiverArchitect/SHArC/SHArea/Rasters/CONDITION/ (existing / pre-project)
      • RiverArchitect/SHArC/SHArea/Rasters/CONDITION_rea_lyr10/ (with implementation / post-project)
    • The SHArC module associated (relative) discharge duration and usable habitat areas with the rasters. For example, if the target fish species was Chinook salmon, juvenile lifestage (naming convention chju), the SHArC module wrote the usable habitat area and discharge duration to the following workbook: RiverArchitect/SHArC/SHArea/CONDITION_chju.xlsx

Run SHArea calculation

When the above requirements are fulfilled, the Project Proposal GUI can assess the difference in usable habitat area between both situations (pre- and post-project, i.e., the net gain in SHArea). For starting the calculation, define the above-described input data and confirm the calculation:

  • Select a fish species corresponding to the one analyzed with the SHArC module (e.g., Chinook salmon, juvenile). The Select fish button turns green after selecting a target fish species + lifestage.
  • Select an initial condition (pre-project) and confirm the selection (button turns green after selection).
  • Select a condition after terraforming (with implementation / post-project) and confirm the selection (button turns green after selection.
  • Click on the Calculate Net gain in SHArea button to start the assessment.

The program will run in the background and prompts the calculation progress in the console window.

After running the program, discharge-specific usable habitat area was written to a spreadsheet located in ProjectName/Geodata/SHArea_evaluation_UNIT.xlsx (see output section below).


Output

After a successful run, a copy of the cost master workbook with the file name extension corresponding to the target fish automatically opens. For example, if the target fish was Chinook salmon - juvenile, the copy of the workbook is …/ProjectName_assessment_vii_chju.xlsx.

Moreover, the particular usable areas associated with the available discharges were written to /Geodata/SHArea_evaluation_chju.xlsx.

The discharge-related shapefiles with polygons of usable habitat area were saved as: ProjectName/Geodata/Rasters/CONDITION/no_cover/NUM_SHArea_eval.shp. NUM is an automated prefix added by the SHArea evaluation routine. The association of the NUM shapefile with the corresponding discharge was logged to ProjectName/Geodata/logfile_40.log.

The cells G3 and I2/3 in ProjectName_assessment_vii_FILI.xlsx state the net gain in SHArea and the project return in units of US$ per acre (or m2 per EUR or any other currency defined) net gain in SHArea (comparison of pre-and post-project condition), respectively.