Going Digital: The Year in Infrastructure


    Under the theme, “Going Digital,” Bentley Systems convened its Year in Infrastructure Conference and Be Inspired Awards presentations in early October in Singapore. The annual event — held for the first time in Asia — provides a global stage for the company to feature its latest advancements and honor its users’ successes.

    iModel 2.0

    One of the most significant announcements at the conference was the introduction of the iModel 2.0 cloud platform and iModelHub cloud service for users of ProjectWise Design Integration services. Recognizing the inherent nature of infrastructure projects, Keith Bentley, Bentley founder and chief technology officer, said, “Change is the lifeblood of your projects. Embrace change. Store the change.”

    According to Bentley, managing change — transforming heterogeneous engineering files and documents into a truly reliable, reusable, and scalable database — requires rethinking:

    • Alignment — Database queries and analytics only work when the database contains consistent units, semantics, and structure.
    • Accountability — In infrastructure projects, change is the only constant. Change must be a first-order concept, not an unwelcome inconvenience.
    • Accessibility — Any authorized user or program that can benefit from the information in the database should be able to easily access the information without impacting other users.

    Without requiring changes to existing BIM applications or processes, the iModelHub cloud service, invoking application-specific “iModel Bridges” triggered automatically by ProjectWise, synchronizes and distributes changes made through discipline-specific BIM applications, aligns, semantically and physically, their constituent digital components, and maintains immersive visibility for comprehensive and continuous design reviews across all project disciplines and participants.  iModelHub takes advantage of Microsoft Azure cloud services to fully enable a connected project — synchronizing all checked-in project changes and automatically updating a composite project iModel.  iModelHub journals all project changes on a timeline.

    An iModel Bridge aligns information from an application’s native format into the iModelHub’s registry of semantics, structure, units, and coordinates. Bentley Systems is providing iModel Bridge programs for its applications and for other common BIM applications, such as Autodesk REVIT, and will provide an API for the creation of bridges from other applications.

    By adding change synchronization and digital alignment to the connected data environment shared across ProjectWise and Bentley’s AssetWise operations services, iModelHub increases the value of digital workflows within and between connected projects, connected assets, and enterprise data lakes.

    “With our ‘iModel 2.0’ cloud platform, I foresee an accelerating ecosystem of innovation for true digital workflows around infrastructure assets,” Keith Bentley said. “To get there, our first priority has been to make possible substantial improvements in infrastructure project delivery and asset performance outcomes, without needing to change current BIM workflows. iModelHub cloud services provide the solution for many infrastructure engineering challenges where BIM modeling has created the potential for advancement, but where information misalignment has limited its value.

    “ProjectWise Design Integration users can set up their iModel Bridges to connect to iModelHub without retraining users or changing their existing applications or work processes — and without introducing any risk to their projects,” Keith Bentley said.

    More information about the iModel 2.0 cloud platform and iModelHub cloud service is available in a white paper at https://www.bentley.com/en/perspectives-and-viewpoints/topics/campaign/imodelhub.

    Complete CONNECT Edition portfolio

    The product keynote presentation at The Year in Infrastructure 2017 Conference showcased digital workflows for digital cities now enabled by the full CONNECT Edition application portfolio. “We are excited to now offer the full portfolio of CONNECT Edition applications and to provide a connected data environment scalable to even the most complex projects,” said Bhupinder Singh, Bentley Systems’ chief product officer.

    Four interdisciplinary vignettes on the design, construction, and operation of road, rail, water and wastewater, and airport infrastructure illustrated the intersection and interdependence of civil, utility, building, and plant applications, and the digital workflow collaboration between multidiscipline teams made possible by the complete CONNECT Edition portfolio.

    Roads — Dustin Parkman, vice president, civil and reality modeling, presented CONNECT Edition digital workflows for a road project, from its conception through construction. He began by bringing engineering-ready digital context into OpenRoads ConceptStation, starting with highly precise reality meshes of the underlying terrain prepared using ContextCapture and streamed into the application through ContextShare. He then brought in orthophotos, digital surface models, and point clouds to use in combination with detailed surveying data.

    With this digital context, he rapidly created a conceptual design. Then, moving to OpenRoads Designer for detailed design, he incorporated the digital context and geometry from the conceptual design, along with a bridge designed in OpenBridge Modeler CONNECT Edition and the geotechnical data for the substrata along the bridge footings and piles. He was then able to analyze the segmental bridge elements, ensuring form, function, and structural integrity as he designed the roadways and other structures. OpenBridge Modeler CONNECT Edition enables BIM modeling of bridges and can adjust dynamically to changes in the roadway design made in OpenRoads Designer.

    Parkman then demonstrated a digital workflow for construction, through federation of ProjectWise CONNECT Edition and Topcon’s Magnet Enterprise cloud services, showing the OpenRoads design driving an autonomous paving machine. He concluded by showing Topcon drones capturing imagery of the completed highway, bringing that data via Topcon’s MAGNET Enterprise through ContextCapture Cloud Processing Service to create an as-constructed reality mesh for use in the new AssetWise road network management, maintenance, and inspection workflows.

    OpenRail Designer CONNECT Edition allows rapid development of multidiscipline designs in context using 3D reality meshes. Image courtesy of Bentley Systems

    Rail — Jeremy Shaffer, vice president rail solutions, announced Bentley’s new OpenRail solution, taking a rail project from planning through performance. OpenRail’s foundation is Bentley’s connected data environment, shared by ProjectWise collaboration services and AssetWise operations services. Shaffer began with conceptual design, bringing ContextCapture-created digital context into OpenRail ConceptStation and leveraging digital components from Components Center to design a section of track.

    ContextCapture processes digital photography and laser scans from UAVs or hand-held or train-mounted devices to produce an engineering-ready “reality mesh” accurately representing the continuously surveyed conditions of a railway corridor, site, or station. Because the reality mesh can be captured continuously, construction progress can be tracked and compared to the expected progress of the detailed design. In operations, the reality mesh can be used to compare the as-operated 3D model with the as-designed model, and serve as an immersive 3D environment with hyperlinks to equipment sensors.

    Components Center is an Azure cloud service of libraries that align, across disciplines and applications, the semantic content of catalogued components, potentially including vendor data, fabrication details, component requirements (for example, electrical specifications and connections), reliability characteristics, and representational views required for documentation (for example, 3D, plan, schematic). A digital component is reused across BIM workflows in design modeling, analytical modeling, construction modeling, and asset registries.

    OpenRail ConceptStation can quickly calculate quantities of railway elements such as track, ballast, sleepers, contact and catenary wire, equipment, bridge decking, concrete, and steel, as well as the cut-and-fill earthwork required for the conceptual design, and interactively produce a preliminary cost estimate to evaluate feasibility. All the design information, components, and context in the conceptual design can be reused in a digital workflow to OpenRail Designer for detailed design of the railway infrastructure.

    Shaffer used AECOsim Station Designer to design a complex, multi-faceted rail station. The station was coordinated with the detailed civil design, created with OpenRail Designer. Platform, facilities, and road and parking changes were performed in parallel with bridge, tunnel, track, electrification, and signaling design.

    Shaffer then introduced Navigator Web, first exploring in a zero-footprint browser a large 3D model of the designed station and track for design and construction review, and then interactively examining the 3D model for an operational inspection. He concluded by reviewing the new ConstructSim Completions cloud service for commissioning and mechanical handover, underscoring the importance of delivering the digital engineering models and digital context of the railroad for operational use in AssetWise.   

    Water/Wastewater — Robert Mankowski, vice president, asset performance, began his session using the CONNECT Editions of WaterGEMS and SewerGEMS to simulate the behavior of a water distribution network and a wastewater collection system to show how engineers can rapidly evaluate thousands of planning scenarios to identify optimal improvements to meet the future needs of the city.

    Focusing next on treatment plants, Mankowski introduced OpenPlant Modeler CONNECT Edition, which leverages digital components from Components Center for multidiscipline digital workflows, and used Navigator Web to interactively query a large and complex 3D OpenPlant model with just a web browser.

    He then demonstrated new AssetWise capabilities purpose built for water and wastewater operators to capture asset activities or interventions, including CCTV condition surveys, sanitary sewer overflows, pipe cleaning, and more.

    Airports — Andy Smith, director of product management, design modeling, explained how the CONNECT Edition’s multidiscipline digital workflows are ideally suited to resolve land use, engineer airfields, design terminals, and support facility operations. He began by bringing in engineering-ready digital context of existing site and building conditions using ContextCapture. He created master and land use plans for the airport, demonstrating Bentley Map CONNECT Edition’s ability to combine GIS and BIM data, and then used OpenRoads Designer for detailed engineering of the runways and stormwater management.

    Turning to the terminal itself, Smith used AECOsim Building Designer CONNECT Edition’s GenerativeComponents to explore building forms, then physically modeled and analyzed the chosen structure using STAAD CONNECT Edition. Design review was conducted with Navigator Web. The final design was then realistically simulated using AECOsim Building Designer and its now included Bentley LumenRT functionality.

    Be Inspired Awards

    At a banquet and gala closing the conference, Bentley announced the winners of the 2017 Be Inspired Awards, honoring 17 Be Inspired Awards winners and six Special Recognition Awards winners. Projects receiving Bentley’s Be Inspired Special Recognition Awards demonstrate visionary achievements that transcend the narrower focus of the standing Be Inspired Awards categories. These projects were reviewed by a panel of Bentley executives, who evaluated them based on the criteria established for each award. The Be Inspired Special Recognition Awards winners for 2017 are as follows:

    • Asset Information Management Advancement — Oregon Department of Transportation — TransInfo, A Connected Data Environment for Transportation, Salem, Ore.
    • Comprehensive BIM Advancement — Guangdong Hydropower Planning & Design Institute — Guangdong Pearl River Delta Water Resources Allocation Project, Guangdong Province, China
    • Conceptioneering Advancement — HNTB Corporation — I-94 Modernization Project, Detroit
    • Constructioneering Advancement — China Construction Sixth Engineering Division, Tianjin University of Technology, and Tianjin Tianhe-Cloud Building Engineering Technology Co., Ltd. — Sanya New Airport Reclamation Project, Sanya, Hainan, China
    • Inspectioneering Advancement — SEIKEY Enterprise Drone Solutions — Cell Tower Inspections 4G and 5G, Caronno Pertusella, Varese, Italy
    • Operationeering Advancement — Outotec — Design for Reliability Project in Counter Current Decantation, Helsinki, Finland

    The Be Inspired Awards winners for 2017 are as follows:

    BIM Advancements in Bridges — Long Jian Road & Bridge Co., Ltd. — Heihe-Blagoveshchensk Heilongjiang River (Amur River) Road Bridge Project, Heihe City, Heilongjiang Province, China

    BIM Advancements in Buildings and Campuses — Morphosis — Bloomberg Center Project, New York City

    BIM Advancements in Construction — Leighton Asia — Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities, Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, Hong Kong

    BIM Advancements in Environmental Engineering — NJS Engineers India Pvt. Ltd. — JICA Assisted Ganga Action Plan II, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

    BIM Advancements in Manufacturing — Satria Technologies Sdn. Bhd. — Sustainable Solutions for Control & Protection Systems, Klang, Selangor, Malaysia

    BIM Advancements in Mining and Offshore Engineering — Offshore Oil Engineering Company Limited — Field Jacket Design and Development of Fixed Offshore Structure Design Tool, Tianjin, China

    BIM Advancements in Municipal Operations — Huadong Engineering Corporation Limited, PowerChina — Application of BIM Strategy for Shenzhen Qianhai Municipal Infrastructure, Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, China

    BIM Advancements in Power Generation — China Water Resource Pearl River Planning Surveying & Designing Co., Ltd. — Wugachong Reservoir Project, Pu’an County, Qianxinan Buyei and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Guizhou Province, China

    BIM Advancements in Project Delivery — Mott MacDonald and the Costain, VINCI Construction Grands Projets, Bachy Soletanche Joint Venture — East Section of the Thames Tideway Tunnel, London

    BIM Advancements in Rail and Transit — Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn. Bhd. — Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit Project, Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya Line,  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    BIM Advancements in Reality Modeling — CEDD-AECOM- The Earth Solutions — Development of Anderson Road Quarry Site, Hong Kong (see page 27)

    BIM Advancements in Roads — CCCC First Highway Consultants, Co., Ltd. — Application of BIM Strategy on the Transformation of Meiguan Expressway to Urban Road Design Project, Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, China

    BIM Advancements in Road and Rail Asset Performance — Highways England — Network Occupancy Management System, Strategic Road Network, England

    BIM Advancements in Utilities and Industrial Asset Performance — BP — Khazzan Central Information Store, Khazzan Field, Block 61, Ad Dhahirah Governorate, Oman

    BIM Advancements in Utilities Transmission and Distribution — Pestech International Berhad — Automation and Integration of Substation Design Project, Kratie and Kampong Cham, Cambodia

    BIM Advancements in Water and Wastewater Plants — Beijing Institute of Water — Tongzhou Water Works of Beijing South-to-North Water Diversion Project, Beijing, China

    BIM Advancements in Water Networks — AEGEA — Prolagos Sewerage Master Plan 2041, Região dos Lagos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Bentley Systems posted highlights of this year’s winning projects at https://www.bentley.com/en/yii/video-gallery.

    Information provided by Bentley Systems (www.bentley.com).