Earlier this month, ARCHITECT attended Bentley Systems' annual Year in Infrastructure (YII) Conference, as a member of a 130-person press corps invited to the Oct. 15–18 event in London. During the conference, the Exton, Pa.–based AEC software company announced a series of acquisitions and introduced several new products designed to streamline the design process and enhance collaboration in architecture, urban planning, construction, infrastructure, and engineering.
Below you can find an overview of some of these recently launched digital tools.
Nearly four months after announcing the acquisition of London-based 4D construction modeling software company Synchro, Bentley announced the acquisition of pedestrian simulation and modeling software Legion during its YII 2018 Conference. For use in large-scale urban planning, architecture, and transportation projects, Legion can simulate pedestrians' activities (including circulation and evacuation behavior), and interactions with physical obstacles within public spaces, such as metro and railway stations, airports, and stadiums. Using Legion simulation tools with Bentley's OpenBuildings Designer (formerly AECOsim Building Designer—see more below), architects and engineers can develop design alternatives that includes pedestrian activities and journeys to and from public spaces, according to Bentley's press release.
Updated with new features and capabilities (including a building energy model that helps users comply with the ASHRAE standards), the recently launched OpenBuildings Designer, which spins off from the Bentley's AECOsim Building Designer, aims to enhance collaboration among project teams. According to Bentley, the multidisciplinary BIM software was used in 32 of its 57 project finalists in the YII 2018 Awards program.
Bentley also announced the acquisition of 3D visualization software company Agency9. Since 2012, the Stockholm-based company has used Bentley's ContextCapture reality modeling software to produce digital twin reality mesh models for several cities in Sweden, according to Bentley's press release. Intended for visualizing urban infrastructure assets in GIS data and BIM models, OpenCities Planner (formerly known as Agency9 CityPlanner) helps with the predictive analysis of different planning and design scenarios. "Ultimately synchronizing reality and virtuality, OpenCities Planner offers the perfect web solution to enable every city in going digital," said Phil Christensen, Bentley's senior vice president of reality modeling, in the same release. Bentley's new iTwin Cloud Services (also launched during the conference) helps expand OpenCities Planner's capabilities by adding digital alignment and change synchronization.
Microsoft 365 and ProjectWise Integration
Bentley has also integrated its ProjectWise 365 Services with Microsoft Office 365, giving ProjectWise users access to Microsoft's collaborative platforms, such as Teams, Flow, SharePoint, and Power BI, within the ProjectWise platform. "The integration will enable collaborative digital workflows that transcend system boundaries throughout infrastructure capital project delivery, ensuring standards and best practices are propagated across projects, and increasing repeatability, scalability, quality, and predictability—in effect, industrializing project delivery," according to Bentley's press release.