BIM News

Next-Generation BIM Leadership Propels Infrastructure Design Forward


November 26, 2014  │By Jeff Thurston  │Posted on

A "global gathering of leading executives and thought leaders in the world of infrastructure" is how Bentley Systems describes the Year In Infrastructure 2014 event. With an audience coming from around the world, the event has numerous forums including building, rail and road, oil, gas, chemical and mining, EPC and A/E, utilities and a Vision for the Future section that takes a peek into the future with thought provoking ideas and discussions. 

Malcolm Walter, COO at Bentley Systems kicked things off stating that nominees for the awards originated from 49 countries with 54 finalists coming from 23 countries. There was also a large media contingent of 115 journalists from around the globe attending.

He immediately mentioned several key projects including the Michigan Department of Transportation who have revolutionized their transportation system using Bentley products, Jacobs and Bouygues Civil Works Florida for their work on the Port of Miami Tunnel, Guangdong Hydropower Planning & Design Institute for their 3D Design for Qingyuan Pumped Storage Power Station and an amazing Chinese project that resulted in the building of a 500 meter radio telescope - the world's largest - by Beijing Building Construction Research Institute Co., Ltd.; Beijing Institute of Architectural Design; National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He also mentioned several others to come in the updated yearbook following the conference. 

Walter said, "London and the UK is the centre of the infrastructure world," referring to the fact that many of the most advanced projects in Europe (ie. CrossRail, Thames Tideway Tunnel) and the world (BIM leadership) are occurring in the country. Indeed, legislation is now in place for building information modeling (BIM) standards in the UK - which will likely spark other nations to consider. "There are over 400 cranes towering over London today," he pointed out. "And 20% of installed costs benefit through the use of BIM," he added.  he also mentioned the highly touted HS2 Rail Project proposed in the UK, a project expected to cost upward of 42 billion GBP.

Greg Bentley, CEO at Bentley Systems then took center stage. He tied together a wide perspective of the company that included new acquisitions and products such as SITEOPS, MineCycle,AECOsim and OpenRoads.

He also described ongoing work with Siemens in the area of PLM that includes 3D point clouds for plant design as well as a newBentley-Trimble working agreement in areas involving BIM construction modeling. Bentley also mentioned the first instance of what will be known as Bentley Connect Edition - a "software at your service" that will include a common data format along with project management dashboards. This edition, as explained, would be a next-generation thrust into Cloud services with a highly integrated federation of company products readily experienced in easy-to-understand interfaces and dashboards.

CONNECT Edition Announced
"The CONNECT Edition converges Bentley’s platform technology to support a hybrid environment across desktop modeling applications, cloud-services, on-premise servers, and mobile apps. The CONNECT Edition leverages Microsoft’s Azure cloud services to connect all users across projects," says the company.

BIM and HS2 - Year in Infrastructure 2014 Featured Speaker

Prof. Andrew McNaughton, FREng, Technical Director HS2 Ltd. presented a keynote address at the event entitled "Advancing BIM at HS2".  This proposed project would transform rail in central UK through the development of a high speed network. High speed rail is not new," McNaughton began, that in reference to the fact that Japan has 50 years of high speed experience. "And China is currently a leader in the high speed field," he added. 

Interestingly, he pointed out the experience of high speed in France indicating that "it brings people together" and clearly showed a map to back up his point that showed those areas without rail were further from Europe - not linked as well. "The UK population is growing," he said.  Suggesting that more people are becoming unlinked in the UK without rail services. 

The central point of the new HS2 Network would be Birmingham. "We want people to travel, we want people to connect," he added. In addition, he hinted at a new city in the center of the country - a so called "UK Central". This new city would develop around HS2 with a suggested focus of becoming carbon neutral.

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