Amsterdam, The Netherlands: The Be Inspired: Thought Leadership in Infrastructure got underway here with CEO Greg Bentley calling the infrastructure community to work smarter, together. Opening the keynote, Greg pointed out that in the downturn, one gets down to the place where there is the highest return on the capital – and that is infrastructure. He said that in enabling users to improve quality of life everywhere, particular contribution is in software for information modelling, creating integrated projects and thereby creating intelligent infrastructure to get highest returns on users’ talents.
Briefly presenting the company’s annual report for 2010, Greg indicated that by the end of 2010, Bentley recovered from economic downturn, and the company compares itself with its competitor Autodesk. However, Bentley created a collaborative arrangement with Autodesk wherein the latter’s products will include Bentley’s libraries, ushering in the spirit of working smarter between companies.
In a bid to provide more complete solutions to its customers, Bentley acquired two companies. It acquired Pointools Ltd, which will enable the company to integrate point cloud processing in innovative ways throughout its product portfolio. The move will expand Bentley’s 2D and 3D modelling capabilities into cloud computing. Bentley has also announced the acquisition of FormSys, a software development company with a proven track record in 3D design, analysis and construction software for structural engineering, offshore engineering and naval architecture. The acquisition will expand Bentley’s SACS offerings for the design and analysis of floating structures.
In addition, the company introduced another novel concept of ‘sustainable licensing through portfolio balancing’ wherein firms can revise and adjust their Bentley portfolio every year. They can exchange underutilised software with more important software of equal value, making licensing perpetual.
Briefing on the company’s product portfolio, senior vice-president Bhupinder Singh detailed the significant innovation carried out on Bentley Map to stream data directly from spatial databases like Oracle Spatial, Web Map Service, Web Feature Service or SQL server spatial. He indicated that Bentley Map is incorporated into civil workflows right from sight planning to roadways analysis. One can also display aerial imagery and provide digital context to designs. This release makes it perfect to edit spatial databases as one works with large databases and files seamlessly in federated and distributed work environments.
The information mobility transformation
Tracing the technology progression and its direction, Greg said that GIS mapping was the hot topic in the decade of 1990’s, while the early 2000s discussed geospatial modelling, but in the decade of 2010, we are moving to semantic simulation – including sub-surface simulation.
To take on the challenges of future cities, he said, it is important to build semantic cities – to work on relationships, behaviours and performance measured by throughput, waste, resilience, safety and return on investments.
Information modelling is required for every kind of infrastructure and in every phase – build, operate, transfer – of infrastructure lifecycle. To enable this, Bentley opined that there ought to be information mobility between and among these phases. Earlier, in design, build and operate phases, information in one phase was hands-off for other phases and people were working in silos. But with information mobility, hand-off becomes hands-on.
Information mobility is required for architects, engineering, construction operators (AECO) to simulate and create a predictive performance of buildings and improve on the same. To this extent, Bentley announced the launch of AECOsim energy simulator and AECOsim building designer.
Information mobility should provide collaboration among disciplines and stakeholders; create context of coordinates and connections; and accomplish continuity. Greg informed that Bentley’s i-models deliver AECO information mobility ‘with integrity’ in PDF workflows by leveraging Adobe and Bluebeam software. This way, he pointed out that from – project information management (build and operate) to asset information management (operate and transfer), there is continuous hands-on rather than hand over.
Several exceptional infrastructure masterpieces were presented during the sessions and the technologies that enabled them were enumerated. The innovation in government session discussed exceptional examples of how city governments have improved their infrastructure to provide better governance and services to its public. Development was affected by underground coal mine operations in the city of Newcastle, Australia. The USD 70,000 civic precinct project explored surface development and underground mining by developing a 3D model of the civic area. The model helped in identifying physical constraints, supported policy decisions and tests various development scenarios while simultaneously supporting financial links to modelling scenarios for costing and planning.
Two old ports were disbanded in the city of Helsinki to build a new port 15 km away from the city at Vuosaari. The project started in 2003 and got operational in 2008 and invoved a cost of 682 million euro. The Vuosaari harbour maintenance system, built using Bentley Map, ProjectWise Integration Server and Geo Web Publisher, integrated different systems like yards, quays and ramps, water and sewer, power distribution system, lighting, crane and railroad tracks, surveillance, telecom and host of other buildings. The cadastral and GIS system developed for the municipality of Metepec, Mexico is another classic modernisation project.
The project updated the munipality’s real estate information and integrated all geo-referenced data into a single mapping system to provide transparency in the management, analysis and exploitation of cadastral information. The system had 52 levels of information and was developed on MicroStation and Bentley Map.
Under the bridges section, the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman memorial bridge is the centrepiece of the 240 million USD Hoover Dam Bypass project. Soaring 890 feet above the Colorado river, the 1900-foot-long structure was anchored in the canyon’s steep rock cliffs. To overcome extreme site conditions, the project team conducted extensive analyses before selecting the alignment and bridge type. Innovation in process manufacturing presented several classic examples.
Qatar Petroleum facilitates on three offshore platforms and one island had no as-built master engineering records. This USD 18.9 million project created a consolidated as-built 2D/3D master engineering records for asset management and maintenance. Qatar Petroleum converted all P&IDs to intelligent 3D models, and extracted and updated as-built inspection isometrics. It reverse engineered the facilities through 3D laser scanning, intelligent modelling and 2D drawing verification. In the generative design section, the ArtScience Museum, situated on the promontory overlooking Marine Bay, a lotus shaped building is an exemplary piece of infrastructure. Given the eccentric shape, Arup used a parametric model to balance the size of structural members and incorporated changes in design and geometry.
The two-day event provided an opportunity for infrastructure firms to show-case their exceptional work and network with like-minded professionals.
Source: our Correspondent