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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 »

AECCafe’s Bentley Year In Infrastructure Event 2015 Report

November 12th, 2015 by Susan Smith

Assimilating the week’s worth of information from the Bentley Year In Infrastructure Conference 2015 is no easy feat. The company’s product portfolio has grown exponentially, morphed and consolidated into more powerful “CONNECT Editions” that provide greater integration and flexibility on a robust cloud platform.

1 Merchant Square, London, Robin Partington & Partners Architects

1 Merchant Square, London, Robin Partington & Partners Architects

Many new vocabulary words emerged at the conference, one being “convergence,” which we all can kind of guess at the meaning of, last year’s “optioneering” is now part of the lingo, referring to the ability to have options in software choices, and this year’s “conceptioneering,” allows multiple ways to conceptualize design projects. The new ContextCapture product that facilitates the gathering of real time information from photos taken with simple cameras, and LumenRT for lighting round out the visualization and content gathering vision of the product portfolio.

ContextCapture Promises Accurate High Resolution Reality Modeling Option for Infrastructure


Bhupinder Singh, senior vice president at Bentley Systems, talked about how the cloud is the avenue by which we achieve convergence. And convergence is seen in the implementation of new CONNECT Edition products, those products that converge with others. All the CONNECT Edition products leverage cloud services. All CONNECT Edition products are underpinned with development and delivery through a platform of a common modeling environment.


MicroStation CONNECT Edition contains brand new modeling.

ProjectWise is being used by 2/3 of organizations today. In ProjectWise CONNECT Edition, cloud services, transmittals, RFIS have been added, and users can securely drop design content into the supply chain without the need for another cloud service such as DropBox.

I-models have become commonly used and discussed, leveraging Bentley application content and non- content.

Navigator CONNECT Edition offers desktop to field connectivity as well as field information captured can be resolved through workflows with cloud services. Structural Navigator CONNECT Edition is also available on the phone. Now larger screen models are very capable of displaying these applications in the field.

Other CONNECT products introduced include SACS and Moses.

Another feature of the CONNECT Edition is that information is extended from v8i to the CONNECT Edition, so you can mix and match Playbooks into CONNECT Edition.

A new service offered by Bentley is Scenario Services that now support a large library of performance indicators. “The Cloud is amazingly scalable,” said Singh. “We can put that in your hands in preconfigured compute clusters. Scenario Services helps you make the best choice.”

All Bentley analysis contains some sort of Wizard and Scenario Services is no exception. When you have a lot of computing power, you generate a lot of data and analysis results. Scenario Services will help find the most meaningful data by mixing numerical and graphical displays. It has been demonstrated with piping systems and pipe support optimization, structural with structural infographics and doing comparisons, allow for combining indicators and weighted combinations with great visualizations. It can be used with GenerativeComponents, and you can use other cloud services such as Microsoft Azure with it as well.


Reality Modeling

e-on is a new Bentley subsidiary for reality modeling. The new products ContextCapture and Bentley LumenRT are pervasive in the common modeling environment. With these innovative products, you can “start with the physical, go through digital and end with the physical design,” said Singh.

Road Widening Project

Santanu Das, vice president, Design and Simulation for Bentley, spoke on the workflow used for a road widening project showing the common modeling environment, with the model on a mobile device. In fact, the workflows demonstrated in the Thursday keynote are an excellent representation of how each of the new technologies might be used.

OpenRoads ConceptStation is a new product combining the force of Bentley’s former InRoads, MX and GEOPAK. According to Das, “It allows us to ‘conceptioneer,’ i.e., look at more options much earlier in the process, consider cost and procurement much earlier, for example, without having to do go through detailed modeling exercise. We can compare different scenarios to decide which one to go to bid with.”

“I can use ConceptStation to lay out what my new road looks, change the elevations around or contour,” said Das. “I can do the same thing for bridges, and place a bridge over. If I have clearance issues, I can raise it up and make sure traffic underneath has proper clearance. I can take piers and move them around. The same with roundabouts, street furniture, girders and more. ConceptStation will compare all my different scenarios together. With our LumenRT, I can enlighten our engineering model with lighting, streetlights, trees, doing it with one click in real time.”

To check out what kind of site conditions are possible, he will use SITEOPS CONNECT Edition. In order to put a bridge in the project, he will use OpenBridge Modeler, that has the ability to do geometric modeling of piers, etc., but also integrate with analytics, do deliverables, clearance and beam sets, and all documentation associated with it, all integrated with the models.

“By using the common modeling environment, I can adjust some piers and abutments, to facilitate new traffic patterns, can generate BOM, traffic reports, and with CONNECT Edition, I can look at different design codes for international projects, gINT for soil conditions, etc.,” said Das.

With every CONNECT edition, you have the ability to create a project. You can geolocate a project, assign yourself to a project which allows you to get the project administrator set up for the team to start working with all the attributes in there.

The following is a list of the functional components with MicroStation that have 3D common content for all applications, are parametrically driven, can import from third parties and are managed on a catalog. Users can use other products such as AECOsim with them:

  • Catalog services administered by person administering the project.
  • Leverage Documentation Center (part of CONNECT)
  • Detail deliverables –
  • Federated data
  • Complex sheet layout creation
  • Model utilization with dynamic views
  • Automatic annotation
  • Detail Time Visualization

“Users can go from OpenRoads straight into 3D visualization real time,” said Das. “LumenRT lets you look at lighting, vegetation, and effects of the natural environment.”

To check what users are using Bentley products, who are power users, ability to compare against similar projects, Connected Project Insights provides powerful data mining tools.

Designing an Airport

In the Be Inspired Award Category, “Innovation in Building Design,” the Bentley AECOsim Building Designer was used in 50-60 submissions.

“I need two important tools to start design of an airport,” said Das. “Layout what it looks like, such as with program management – where is my food court, TSA, etc. Then I need to create a massing model – site-early planning. I place my massing model on that geolocated ContextCapture that I have in there. And then proceed to do optioneering to explore different scenarios, which can be done now with Scenario Services.”

GenerativeComponents can be used inside Building Designer to generate some possibilities. What ideas are generated can be tracked and energy analysis can be done as well. The data can then be brought into LumenRT to see the design against the weather and other natural factors. The data can then be used downstream for  project delivery.

Bhupinder Singh talked about the inception of the conceptual modeling tool which was designed to extend all the data seamlessly “all the way from conceptual design to detailed design.”

Widespread Work Packaging is an important piece of that whole process.


“If you look at design workflows, they are predominantly digital. When you look at construction, the workflows are predominantly paper based,” Singh pointed out. “The work packages are self-contained units of work that you give to a crew that has quantities, etc. that used to be a binder given to the crew. I-models are wonderful vehicles to deliver these work packages. So we take work packages and combine with i-models to get from design to operations.”

Senior VP of project delivery services Harry Vitelli picked up the topic from there, with the description of how ConstructSim, a product introduced last year, might be used.

Williams Energy Canada and Shell Oil were using ConstructSim as a managed service, and could use it commonly across each project. ConstructSim is tool that all EPCs are using for all managed service.

You can take work packaging into project delivery. Work packaging is a well-known deliverable, transcends all project types, and is agnostic to all BIM standards.

“We have engineering board packs built in, construction is depending on engineering,” said Vitelli. “Once they are linked, change management goes into place. Installation work packages are measured by task completed.”

According to a study done by Independent Project Analysis (IPA), 35% owners believe their projects are not ready for construction.. IPA looks at all this data and provide a construction readiness assessment at the critical point in this process.

With the creation of a very rich data model, the client can begin to adjust how engineering is going to come into the path of construction. The data goes to IPA and they’re ready to issue a report to the owner.

ConstructSim CONNECT Edition now will contain construction modeling components. Construction modeling is a process that enables you to go from design to construction without remodeling. “Design modeling has a lot of construction data sitting inside it,” said Vitelli.

“We’re putting the design model into grading areas, and bring schedule data and procurement and other data into one spot. The digital work package includes unit rates, work areas, materials, equipment instructions without having to do paper or remodeling.”

Model based Navigator CONNECT Edition will provide “one experience across many devices,” with the following features:

  • ProjectWise Issue Resolution
  • Single issue register
  • Punch and clash list
  • Synchronized to all devices
  • Configurable by project

Real time office collaboration features in Navigator will be shipping sometime next year.

Asset Performance

One of the more interesting areas that Bentley has captured successfully is Asset Performance.

Senior vice president asset performance services, Alan Kiraly, said there is a big use case to bring digital asset data over to one platform for the owner. A lot of services in this area are built on Bentley’s eB.

Using the platform AssetWise ECM, the owner can have a map of what data should be coming in. Oil & gas owners are managing handover from their contractors with AssetWise ECM on major projects.

Operational Analytics – AssetWise Amulet

With Bentley’s acquisition of Amulet, “the operator guys don’t talk to reliability guys, they are taking information from maintenance and using it to make operational decisions,” said Kiraly. “We can take information we’re gathering in real time, combine with engineering and simulations and use those together to operate this further.”

SA Water of Adelaide, Australia, winner of the Be Inspired Awards this year, is an example of an Amulet user. They use a demand forecasting tool for collecting weather data and data about how people use water, accumulating real world predictions.

For those interested in the terms of access that apply to the release stages of Bentley products, they are as follows:

  • Limited access –product information shared a few users for iterate to bring something to market really quickly. Interested users can ask to participate.
  • Early access – broadens who Bentley works with.
  • General access – open to everyone

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Categories: 2D, 3D, 3D PDF, AEC, AECCafe, apps, architecture, Bentley Systems, Bentley Year In Infrastructure. YII2015, BIM, building information modeling, Cloud, collaboration, construction, engineering, field, file sharing, geospatial, GIS, IES, infrastructure, mobile, point clouds, project management, reality capture, site planning, sustainable design, terrain, visualization

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