Infrastructure needs and demands are increasing around the globe. Meeting this challenge requires a special blend of knowledge, experience, hardware and software capability. Infrastructure planning, design, operations and maintenance include processes and workflows that tie each step of the infrastructure lifecycle together. Furthermore, advances in regulation and legislation are propelling the industry into the future with new approaches and requirements that integrate and build upon each step. BE INSPIRED 2016 was held in London, UK in November and brought together several of those involved in these challenges, highlighting Award Winners for projects that truly embrace innovation in the industry. Part 2 of this series includes more details about the event.
Bentley's Bhupinder Singh captured the essence of the current state of affairs within respect to the infrastructure industry. "We help users going digital," he said. At a time when many companies and projects are rapidly shifting to embrace new approaches, a key and fundamental requirement has been to accept and initiate steps that move from paper to digital resources.
Through this change, data becomes more mobile, collaborators can share and interact more completely, projects can scale and react to design, construct and operational changes more rapidly and communication, particularly along visualization lines is greatly enhanced.
But the story does not stop there. As infrastructure projects become digital, other advanced processing tools, particularly in the area of asset management and analytics can be included and pursued along infrastructure pathways. This has very important information results that enable project managers to monitor sites, activities, finances and real-world operations - which further enhances decision making capacity.
OpenRoads Concept Station is an example of new Bentley software capability. Users can look at several design possibilities and their associated costs before selecting the optimal solution. This also allows users to directly link simulations into the work flows for these solutions. ConstructSim, for example, can work with OpenRoads Concept Station together within a ProjectWise application. This has remarkable advantages for users, because assets originating in ProjectWise are linked into simulations and designs aligned with simulations. Another product, OpenRoads Designer will be available soon.
This also has other advantages that connect with a greater visualization orientation that Bentley has embraced over the last few years, each piece aimed toward ContextCapture - the term Bentley uses to express the link between infrastructure and visually compelling project creation. As the company says, "you can produce even the largest and most challenging 3D models of existing real-world conditions, including scales as large as entire cities, from simple photographs, in order to easily and quickly provide context for design, construction, and operations decisions for all types of infrastructure projects throughout the world."
LumenRT software is now being used within the Bentley infrastructure environment, and has had compelling and effective results for many of the projects displayed at BE INSPIRED. Asia Air Survey Co., Ltd. developed a Municipal Security Plan for Tokyo Olympics Using Multi-resolution Seamless 3D Model for Tokyo, Japan using this software. Cedarville Engineering Group, LLC created a 3D Terrain Model Supports the City of Coatesville’s Brownfield Redevelopment Planning. We also menioned the City of Helsinki 3D Model in Part 1 of this report.
BIM At The Forefront
Building Information Modeling (BIM) was often mentioned throughout the BE Inspired event, In fact, moving from room-to.room to hear different presentations, BIM was used exclusively in many projects, And by fact, that one could hear and see links between projects and room presentations only underscores the inter-connectivity between work flows, concepts and software paths. Projects including BIM were wide ranging and covered many industry sectors.
Perhaps the greatest achievement presented at this year's event was the announcement of AssetWise CONNECT Edition. Using this product, "The CONNECT Editions of AssetWise and ProjectWise provide and share a connected data environment, upgrading a common data environment to fully realize the BIM potential of digital engineering models, created during CAPEX, for continuous benefits throughout the OPEX lifecycle. A connected data environment is vital to infrastructure advancement because CAPEX projects are repeatedly necessitated throughout the TOTEX service life of infrastructure assets to sustain their fitness for purpose—and the continuity of digital engineering models, as their “digital DNA” can be a key enabler. Such a connected data environment therefore advances the convergence of engineering technologies (ET) with information technologies (IT) and operational technologies (OT)."
During 2016, a stream of CONNECT Editions of design, analytical, construction, and reality modeling applications have been released including AutoPipe, Descartes, Pointools, gINT, RM, LARS, SACS, MOSES, MAXSURF, SITEOPS, STAAD, and RAM. OpenRoads ConceptStation was introduced, and OpenRoads Designer CONNECT Edition was announced at the Conference. CONNECT Editions of AECOsim Building Designer, MineCycle, Promis.e, OpenUtilities, and OpenPlant, during the first half of 2017,will complete the cycle.
It is important to be reminded that going digital now has many critical reasons, including the above inter-connections that suddenly abound with CONNECT Editions. And each of these levels of integration allow for more BIM exploration, creation and higher levels of 3D engagement that reach toward more realistic visualization. Projects can be shared with collaborators visually and communication levels rise with other public or business members connected to projects.
Visualization Puts Infrastructure Projects Into Minds
As Greg Bentley, CEO at Bentley mentioned. "Reality Modeling is going Mainstream!" To understand the value of this software approach, the following events and products are envisioned.
- reality modeling was credited by fully 15 (of 60+) finalists (selected by independent expert juries) at the Be Inspired Awards, presenting at the Conference. In the category of Reality Modeling, the three finalists represent the diverse scope and phases of infrastructure already taking advantage, ranging from:
- campus (construction): Kano laboratory, Waseda University, Technical Research Institute, Obayashi Corporation, Automated Recognition of Work Progress at a Construction Site;
- corridor (design): CH2M Fairhurst Joint Venture, A9 Dualling Programme, Transport Scotland; and
- city (operations): City of Helsinki, Helsinki 3D+.
- submission categories of the other finalists crediting reality modeling likewise substantiate the diversity of adoption: Building, Government, Rail and Transit, Roads, Utilities and Communications, and Water Treatment Plants;
- ContextCapture processing has been reported in 68 countries year to date, and as intensively in Asia and developing countries as in Western countries; and
- “embedded” ContextCapture software licensing is rapidly expanding from the specialized processing centers of leading 3D city mapping specialists to leading vendors of industrial UAVs.
Bentley Systems’ software developments to broaden reality modeling workflows that were demonstrated at the Conference include:
- Bentley’s new OpenRoads Designer intrinsically incorporates Descartes’ new capabilities to (semi-automatically) process pertinent ground-level features from reality meshes, for instance to classify vegetation, terrain, and breaklines;
- The Conference Technology Keynote highlighted spectacular new performance in immersive viewing of reality meshes, including geocoordinated digital engineering model information, from any browser-ready device;
- Bentley Institute research activities reported in the Conference’s Visions of the Future Forum, and from the September, 2016 Digital Rail Symposium, which included academic collaborators, showed advancements in automated classification from reality meshes and geocoordination;
- Bentley’s subsidiary Real World Capture, Inc. continues its mission of proof-of-benefits in new use cases for increasingly diverse and challenging facilities, and their project work for owners, incorporating geocoordinated digital engineering models through ProjectWise, was shown; and
- Bentley’s forthcoming OpenRail ConceptStation was previewed, leveraging reality modeling for conceptioneering.
Award Winner - Los Angeles Community College District - BuildLACCD exemplifies this level of integration. "Educating more than 3 million students during its 77-year history, the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) has the distinction of being one of the largest college districts in the world. AECOM is providing program management services for the final phase of the Los Angeles Community College District’s 14-year, $6 billion program to modernize and renovate the district’s nine colleges and create 67 new buildings; funded primarily through taxpayer-approved bonds with supplemental funding from the state of California. The measures specify that each building be managed using comprehensive BIM standards. All project data, including the BIM specifications, are stored and coordinated via ProjectWise."
YII2016 continues to impress. Each year the projects become more interesting, including new features from products and providing insight into the world of infrastructure that few might be aware. There are so many interesting aspects to the infrastructure industry today ranging from design to modeling to visualization that this event should cause young students, SMEs and other larger participants to become inspired, more foreword thinking and more interested in these products and projects.
It seems that Bentley Systems stands truly at the forefront in the AEC industry - for many real reasons. The company is filled with employees with domain specific knowledge - adding depth to solutions and it's products link together with high interoperable performance - coinciding with how projects flow and process. It is not often that one can move within an event, listen to many participant presentations, and hear about links between projects and different parts of the world in a consistent manner. This means the products are cohesive, aligned, coordinated and adaptable.
Digital mobility in infrastructure is here. The door to the future is open.