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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Bentley Year in Infrastructure 2014 Keynotes

November 5th, 2014 by Susan Smith

Bentley Systems reminds us with a visit to London that the areas of government, water, roads and rails, and utilities are front and center, with building and construction the underpinning of every project. London is abustle with huge infrastructure projects, evidenced by the number of cranes grazing the skyline. There are an estimated 400 cranes operating in the city.


Malcolm Water kicked off this morning’s opening session at Bentley’s Year In Infrastructure Conference 2014 held in London this year with a comparison of London and Beijing as great centers of infrastructure.

London is the UK center of the infrastructure world, he said, reminding the audience that the UK government has manadated that all practices adopt BIM at Level 2 by the year 2016.

High Speed Rail 2

London isn’t the only place that speaks of great infrastructure industry, in fact, that energy encompasses the entire UK.

Guest speaker Andrew McNaughton, technical director for HS2, Ltd., talked about the High Speed 2 rail project in the UK. The project will cost an estimated £42 billion ($80 billion).

High speed rail is 50 years old, he said, with the Japanese the pioneers in making a successful system. In 50 years there never been a fatality on their system in Japan.

HS2 brings people and cities together and ultimately will link the major cities of the UK together. “We want people to travel, said McNaughton. The project is also expected to rebuild and rebalance the UK economy and support the creation of up to 400,000 jobs. The sheer speed of the train will shrink the distances between people and allow more people to travel and visit others.

BIM is used throughout this project.

In the West Midlands, there are plans for a new Sustainable City in “UK Central” that is carbon neutral.

“We have to build a railway that operates well in 150 years’ time,” said McNaughton. “We’re trying to push our limits in every direction, and these four words describe the ambitious railway goals: capacity, availability, connectivity, reliability.

McNaughton sees BIM as a business transformation project, as well as a cultural project that changes the way people think. It’s also the biggest environmental project ever for the UK.

“Without BIM we have no way of talking to communities the train comes through or to Parliament,” said McNaughton.

New App-lications and Agreements

CEO Greg Bentley spoke on the topic, “The Year in BIM Advancements,” reminding attendees that this year marks the 30th anniversary of Bentley Systems.

New product announcements features the CONNECT Edition next gen software that succeeds the V8i generation of products, supporting hybrid modeling environment connected via cloud services and to mobile devices to expand the reach to all project participants. Cloud capability is achieved through Microsoft Azure.


Early Access participants have already gotten to sample MicroStation CONNECT Edition, and many of the ProjectWise CONNECT Edition services, along with the Navigator CONNECT Edition app-lication, will be available for Early Access by the end of 2014. MicroStation users will be happy to know there is no change to the DGN file format,in fact, V8i modeling applications will intra-operate with both MicroStation CONNECT Edition and ProjectWise CONNECT Edition. The CONNECT Edition of Bentley’s modeling applications and AssetWise offerings will be released throughout 2015 and 2016.

The CONNECT Edition offers convergence ofBentley’s platform technology to support a hybrid environment across desktop modeling applications, cloud-services, on-premise servers, and mobile apps.

The idea behind CONNECT Edition is to bring cloud services to “all users across all projects.” Microsoft Azure cloud services also serves as the underlying technology for CONNECT SELECTservices, which was introduced earlier this year to all Bentley subscribers. Also through Azure, Bentley’s MANAGEservices provides instant-on access to all ProjectWise services.


Every year there is new vocabulary to master, and this year the term “playbooks” is being used to describe configuration or “playlist” of the products, applications and “apps” specific to each user’s project needs. So you may have in your “playbook” MicroStation, ProjectWise and some other products. This is a first for me – to hear applications separated from “apps,” then another new word “app-lication,” with the hyphen. “Optioneering,” a term we were introduced to last year, means exploring solution spaces across multiple disciplines. In the realm of BIM, Bentley talks about “reality modeling; an offshoot from the combination of design modeling to analytical modeling to operations. Reality modeling, he says, starts with existing conditions and fans out to the other ones. “Construction modeling” is another term being bandied about, but makes immediate sense as it supports the construction process of the BIM model.

Bentley MineCycle applications are new and include MineCycle Designer and MineCycle Survey that extend OpenRoads capabilities. To provide optioneering during mine operatorions, MineCycle Material Handling is the product of choice.

Bentley and Siemens PLM Software announced they have integrated Bentley’s point-cloud building information modeling (BIM) advancement with the state-of-the art process simulation tools in Siemens’ Tecnomatix software for 3D digital factory automation. This will enable users of Siemens’ product lifecycle management (PLM) software solutions to work from enhanced 3D digital models of existing factories in their “as-operated” conditions – by leveraging the models created from point clouds captured through scanning.

Another important announcement was that of the commitment between Bentley and Trimble to further infrastructure product delivery. Construction modeling includes modeling of temporary works, intelligent positioning, “splitting and sequencing,” detailing for fabrication, workface planning, construction work packaging, and support for distributed construction – referencing and supplementing design modeling deliverables.

BIM deliverables created by architects and engineers are valuable for owners and those involved in maintenance and operations. There has been a disconnect, however, between those BIM deliverables and their use by construction professionals, who have then gone ahead and created their own 3D models. This situation damages the integrity of the original designer’s BIM work and fractures the design to construction process, losing the view into engineering and analytics. Bentley and Trimble intend to fill this gap with construction modeling, where the architects and engineers’ work is “preserved and referenced,” with construction modeling overlaid and as-built changes included. Each company will pool resources to contribute to construction modeling.

This evening the Be Inspired Awards will be bestowed at an Awards Dinner. Stay tuned for more on the award winners.

Be Inspired Winners 2014

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Categories: 2D, 3D, 3D PDF, AEC, building information modeling, Cloud, collaboration, construction, Crossrail, engineering, field, field solutions, file sharing

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