A new method, the g or 'eta' method, for modeling consolidation by vertical and horizontal drains is presented. The approach is applicable in one, two and three dimensional as well as axisymmetric cases. Material and geometry properties are familiar from unit cell vertical drain analysis and are consistent across dimensions. An uncoupled finite element method (FEM) program is used to test the efficacy of the new approach. Because drains are not explicitly modeled in the finite element mesh, mesh complexity and computational time are greatly reduced. Unlike existing plane strain matching methods there is no special transformation of permeability or drain properties. The analyses conducted indicate that the g method provides an efficient and consistent means of modeling drains in any dimension.