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Bentley Incorporated : AECCafe Technology Wrap–Up of 2021 - Energy And Water Development Corp

Bentley Incorporated : AECCafe Technology Wrap–Up of 2021

December 16th, 2021 by Susan Smith

Much of 2021’s important news had to do with response to climate change, coupled with the Covid-19 response for businesses. Technologies have been in place for many years to respond, but the time is now, and actually the time is yesterday, to respond to these critical social and environmental issues. Digital twin technology and artificial intelligence are front and center in addressing these challenges. Reducing the world’s carbon footprint is a major priority for most organizations and technologies are being lined up to address this priority.

At the Bentley Systems Year In Infrastructure 2021 Online conference, CEO Greg Bentley spoke on going digital for resilience and adaptation. Bentley CTO and founder Keith Bentley joined his brother to honor the year’s most noteworthy projects in infrastructure.

Another popular term threaded throughout the conference was “future-proof” – future-proofing infrastructure assets means what it suggests – ensuring against impacts caused by changing circumstances, i.e., Covid, weather events, outages, etc. According to Siemens CEO of Smart Infrastructure Matthias Rebellius, future-proofing organizations may be a wave of the future as it becomes more apparent that we are living in a shifting world with a need for greater resilience. AEC Advisors’ recent Chief Executive Summit also shared some insights and research presented here by Andrej Avelini, President of AEC Advisors.

Greg Bentley expanded on future-proofing the infrastructure by saying that we are also future-proofing our infrastructure engineering organizations that are responsible for building better infrastructure.

Water scarcity was a topic raised in the recent Lyceum Conference, which was highlighted by a number of award recipient projects.

The relationship between Bentley and Microsoft virtualized talent throughout the pandemic so that infrastructure engineering would continue with better collaboration. This year, according to Bentley, “though we’re still virtual, we’re prioritizing improvements to our physical infrastructure for fitness to changing purposes, including resilience to unexpected circumstances which could include pandemics, environmental concerns, and adaptation including necessary energy transitions.”

Bentley continues to maintain a strategic alliance with Siemens. Bentley introduced Matthias Rebellius, CEO of Siemens Smart Infrastructure and member of the parent Siemens managing board. The relationship between Bentley and Siemens can be described as a “digital co-venture in which we work towards seamlessly federating our respective digital twin cloud services for advancing infrastructure.” What that may mean is that the two companies bring to market synergies between Bentley’s physical infrastructure modeling and Siemens’ functional or schematic modeling, begun with R&D investments made mutually. A lot has been learned from applying digital twins internally and externally.

“In the heart of our partnership, we have a shared vision of creating digital twins for different verticals with enhanced technologies,” said Rebellius.

“What we’re working on now can make a big difference in what I might call future-proofing,” said Bentley. “What are some of the areas in which you see joint opportunities in this notion of better infrastructure, greener, safer, more resilient, more adaptable, future-proof?”

“The markets where we are in and started working together of course, are electrification and automation of rail networks,” said Rebellius. “The world is also going through the transformation of the energy system, which is about going from fossil to renewable, which makes it a lot cleaner, and where a lot of intelligence is needed.”

“Europe can’t possibly meet the net zero goals without electrifying al of the remaining diesel rail networks. In fact, I think it needs to get done 10 times faster,” said Bentley. ‘Siemens had 3D software that was used in isolation for that aspect of rail and was somewhat difficult to maintain in the environment. And so, we had the idea together to adapt Siemens’ catenary design software, to generalize it for any manufacturers’ equipment, then incorporate it into our Bentley OpenRail environment. And today it’s known as Bentley’s OpenRail Overhead Line Designer.”

Lamina Tower, Saudi Arabia

Recognizing that 70% of the world’s carbon emissions come from cities, and digital twin technology may hold the key to reversing this, according to company materials from CityZenith.

A recent Markets & Markets report estimated the Digital Twin market would grow from $3.1 billion in 2020 to $48.2 billion per year by 2026, at an annual CAGR of 58%. Digital Twin software is already revolutionizing industries such as Construction, Energy, Architecture, Aerospace, and Automotive & Transportation.

Furthermore, the global Smart Infrastructure market is forecast to grow to $56b over the next four years, an annual growth rate of 19.5%, according to Market Research Explore. The report for the global Smart Infrastructure market named Cityzenith, Siemens, and Black & Veatch, as the leading companies in the sector.

Cityzenith just landed a large project in Saudi Arabia on the Red Sea. The Lamina Tower is under construction at the Jeddah Corniche resort on the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia, and with premium 10,000 ft² units revealing unobstructed views of the Red Sea from all rooms. It is billed to be one of the most luxurious residential properties in the country.

Cityzenith’s contract with the Lamina Tower makes it the first of its type in the Middle East to use a digital twin to optimize and enhance marketing and sales, daily operations, and the overall tenant experience.

In addition, Cityzenith ‘s AI technology platform specializes in energy resilience and has recently launched an international campaign to help cities become climate-friendly under the banner of its Clean Cities – Clean Future campaign. Cityzenith will donate its SmartWorldPro2 solution to up to 100 cities over the next three years to help them become carbon neutral.

In a conversation with Cityzenith CEO Michael Jansen, he remarked that cities product more than 70% of greenhouse gases and that the use of data and artificial intelligence could reduce this footprint dramatically.

Zac Hays, head of product, preconstruction for Autodesk Construction Solutions, spoke with AECCafe Voice about Autodesk’s new BuildingConnected, a building platform to which new building project data can be posted and shared.

Company materials report, according to aggregated and anonymized product data from BuildingConnected – a collection of over one million owners, general contractors, construction managers and subcontractors soliciting or submitting bids – 2021 was a year of record growth for the industry, with new projects published increasing almost 19 percent year-over-year on the platform. March of 2021 also hit a new all-time record for most projects published in a single month, followed closely by June 2021.

The BuildingConnected team also identified the regions of the U.S. and Canada that are seeing the highest volumes of new projects published (chart below). This chart details the top 15 cities with the highest levels of published projects over the course of 2021 so far.

In January of 2020, the AGC released data showing the impacts in construction jobs, which detailed that Texas lost over 33,000 jobs during the pandemic, followed by New York (22,000), Ohio (12,600), Massachusetts (11,300) and Florida (9,900).

“Construction has seen an uptick in technology adoption for the past several years, but the pandemic absolutely hit the fast forward on that,” said Hays. “BuildingConnected allows teams to remotely collect, analyze and accept bids – but it also provides a central hub for this information to live and be accessed by your team anytime, from anywhere. BuildingConnected also offers electronically sealed bids, meaning that subcontractors no longer have to physically hand in bids or attend a public bid opening – eliminating the need to meet in person.”

Along the lines of integration and ease in AEC computing, from Autodesk University 2021 this year, we learned of a new product, GeoBIM, that will be a combo of GIS and BIM, that can point at a feature in a 2D or 3D scene and automatically bring up the document. This dynamic relationship can be the platform for creating a new class of apps, bringing the AEC community to the GIS community and vice versa. This product will dynamically link Esri ArcGIS features to documents in Autodesk. Designers can visualize architectural and engineering assets in their real world locations, making it possible to design and build in a real world environment. GeoBIM brings together data, people and workflows that have traditionally been separate and Autodesk is also using it in construction.

In an overview of Autodesk’s Civil 3D and Revit in ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Pro integration to Civil 3D is a direct read of Autodesk Civil 3D .dwg files in ArcGIS Pro, 2D and 3D, and Object Properties as Attributes.

ArcGIS Pro’s integration with Revit is a direct read of 3D features in Autodesk’s Revit .rvt files in ArcGIS Pro. Revit categories as feature class names by construction disciplines. Object families and types are attributes.

Tools and workflows for Revit include georeferencing support for Revit, BIM to file Geodatabase, Building Filter and Creating Building Scene Layer.

Now there is direct integration of IFC BIM format in ArcGIS Pro.

CEO Jensen Huang presented the keynote at the recent GTC21 NVIDIA Conference, November 8-11, sharing with the audience the importance of accelerated computing and much more. NVIDIA has been building on the Metaverse/Omniverse themes from movies with their Omniverse digital twins. As the AEC industry relies more heavily on AI technology, the rapid advancements made by NVIDIA will have more impact on the industry.

One of the most profound announcements came at the end of the talk, wherein Huang announced that they are building a digital twin of the earth.

“Accelerated computing starts with NVIDIA CUDA general-purpose programmable GPUs,” Huang said. “The magic of accelerated computing comes from the combination of CUDA, the acceleration libraries of algorithms that speed-up applications, and the distributed computing systems and software that scale processing across an entire data center. We have been advancing CUDA and the ecosystem for 15 years and counting.”

What this means is NVIDIA optimizes across the “full-stack”, iterating between GPU, acceleration libraries, systems, applications, continuously, all the while expanding the reach of their platform by adding new application domains that they accelerate.

Robots, AV fleets, warehouses, factories, industrial plants, and whole cities will be created, trained, and operated in Omniverse digital twins.

“We will build a digital twin to simulate and predict climate change. The last supercomputer we built was called Cambridge 1, or C-1. This new supercomputer will be E-2,” said Huang. “Earth Two – the digital twin of Earth, running Modulus-created AI physics, at Million-X speeds, in Omniverse.

All the technologies we’ve invented up to this moment are needed to make Earth Two possible. I can’t imagine a greater and more important use.”

How these various organizations are responding to climate change, Covid-19 and other social and health challenges, with digital twins, AI and machine learning, demonstrate the persistent power of AEC as we advance forward into 2022. With the possibility also of Build Back Better to power essential infrastructure, come January look for the pundits to offer glimpses into what 2022 holds.

May your holiday season be blessed with health, prosperity and good cheer. See you in 2022!


Tags: 3D, AEC, architects, architecture, Autodesk, Autodesk Revit, Autodesk University, Bentley Systems, BIM, building, building design, building information modeling, climate change, Cloud, collaboration, construction, design, engineering, engineers, GIS, infrastructure, reality capture, visualization

Categories: 2D, 3D, AEC, AEC training, AECCafe, apps, architecture, artificial intelligence, Autodesk, Bentley Systems, BIM, building information modeling, civil information modeling, collaboration, construction, construction project management, covid-19, digital twin, engineering, facilities management, field, field solutions, geospatial, GIS, holograms, infrastructure, integrated project delivery, Internet of Things, IoT, mobile, project management, rendering, simulation, site planning, sustainable design, traffic simulation, video, virtual reality, visualization, wearable devices, Year In Infrastructure 2021, YII 2021

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