big benIn November, nearly 1,000 management-level executives in architecture and engineering firms, construction companies, owner-operators, government employees and members of the press from around the globe attended Bentley’s Year in Infrastructure 2015 Conference in London, United Kingdom.  Held Nov. 3-5, discussions centered on the future of technology and innovative thinking in infrastructure design, construction and operations.

Bentley’s annual conference is a global gathering of leading figures in the world of infrastructure. This year’s three-day event, held at the Hilton London Metropole Hotel, featured a series of presentations and interactive workshops exploring the intersection of technology and business drivers, and how they are shaping the future of infrastructure delivery and investment returns.

The Year in Infrastructure Conference is geared toward professionals involved in the design, delivery or operations of infrastructure. Encompassing all types of infrastructure, the week provided attendees an array of discussions focused on applying technology to deliver the best performing buildings, bridges, roads, power plants, utility networks, mines and other infrastructure projects on time, on budget and with less risk.

Headquartered in Exton, Pa., Bentley Systems has offices around the globe, including London, where its Year in Infrastructure Conference has been held in recent years. Bentley is a software development company that supports the creation and management of infrastructure, including roadways, bridges, airports, skyscrapers, industrial and power plants and utility networks using 3D models and other solutions for the entire lifecycle of the infrastructure assets.

These 3D models can be tailored to the needs of the various professions – the engineers, architects, planners, contractors, fabricators, IT managers, operators and maintenance engineers – who will work on and work with that asset over its lifetime. Comprised of integrated applications and services built on an open platform, each solution is designed to ensure that information flows between workflow processes and project team members to enable interoperability and collaboration.

In addition to modern applications of technology for infrastructure projects, a central theme of the Year in Infrastructure Conference was new ways of thinking when it comes to using technology in business. A number of presentations highlighted these points for attendees of over the course of five separate forums – Building and Facilities; Oil, Gas, Offshore and Mining; Rail and Road; Utilities; and Visions of the Future. Keynote speaker David Coplin, chief envisioning officer of Microsoft UK, spoke in the Utilities Forum about the changing paradigm of focusing on technology itself to the outcome it enables. Coplin spoke of the need for individuals and organizations to harness the flood of the digital age and take control of the potential that technology offers society.

Bentley Introduces ContextCapture Supporting Reality Modeling
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As part of Bentley’s Year in Infrastructure 2015 Conference, Bentley CEO Greg Bentley (right) announced the release of its new ContextCapture offering.ContextCapture is Bentley’s first product release of the Acute3D software technology it acquired earlier this year. The software is suited for any organization that could apply 3D models of real-world context to benefit infrastructure design, construction or operations.

With ContextCapture, users can easily produce high-resolution 3D models of existing conditions using photos taken with any digital camera. The software generates a detailed reality mesh incorporating the referenced photography. This results in a navigable 3D model with fine and photo realistic detail, sharp edges and precise geometric accuracy. These highly detailed models can be of virtually any size or resolution, up to city scale and created much more quickly than with other technologies.

Bentley also announced general access to ContextCapture Center for “grid computing” power to dramatically expedite processing time for very large models (typically involving more than 30 gigapixels of imagery).

“ContextCapture offers a new and versatile way of capturing reality to serve as context for design, monitoring, inspection, and surveying processes, complementing Bentley Pointools and Bentley Descartes, said Pascal Martinez, Bentley Systems director of business development. “I’m pleased to say that reality meshes produced by ContextCapture can now be intrinsically integrated throughout Bentley’s common modeling environment, by way of native support within MicroStation CONNECT Edition.”

Be Inspired Awards

Bentley’s annual Be Inspired Awards competition, part of the Year in Infrastructure 2015 Conference, brings together infrastructure professionals and members of the media from around the globe to share innovative practices in infrastructure project design, engineering, construction and operations, and to celebrate the extraordinary work of the world’s architects, engineers, contractors and owner-operators.bentley awards

Since 2004 the Be Inspired Awards program has recognized more than 2,000 infrastructure projects worldwide. The program, open to all users of Bentley software, is a unique competition – the only of its kind that is global in scope and comprehensive in categories covered, encompassing all types of infrastructure projects. Nominations are judged and narrowed down to three finalists per category, who are invited to Bentley’s Year in Infrastructure Conference. From there, the winner is chosen based on a jury decision and honored at the Gala Dinner (right) at the conference. Bentley’s Be Inspired Awards feature two primary categories for water and wastewater – Innovation in Water Network Analysis and Innovation in Water Treatment Plants.

This year, Prolagos/Aegea was the winner in the Water Network Analysis category. Prolagos provides water and sewerage services to five municipalities in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Its 2041 Master Plan aims to expand the water supply system for Região dos Lagos (Region of the Lakes) over short-, medium-, and long-term horizons. Key goals of this $187 million (Brazilian Real) project (approx. $49 million USD) were to reduce energy consumption by 50 percent and reduce non-revenue water from 45 percent to 25 percent. Prolagos used Bentley’s WaterGEMS to leverage network data to help improve efficiency and increase supply from 91 percent to 98 percent of residents. In high season, that means increasing service from 400,000 residents to 730,000 residents. More than 50 scenarios were modeled to make collaborative decisions about alternative designs.

In the Water Treatment Plants category, the winner was Aqua+ for its Complex Scheduling and Automatic Water Quality Monitoring of Groundwater in Khabarovsk, Far East Federal District, Russia. Vodokanal of Khabarovsk Municipal Unitary Enterprise retained Aqua+ to develop an integrated remote monitoring and control system for the $10 billion Russian Ruble (approx. $150 million USD) Tunguska water intake facilities. Aqua+ performed design, construction, installation and commissioning works for local automation facilities and integrated the works with the existing management system. All project and design documentation was performed using Bentley software. About 2,000 documents were generated automatically using Bentley’s Promis.e in about half the usual time, which allowed the company to quickly and accurately complete the design work. The integration of detailed documentation with design work minimized errors and ensured optimal use of space. Using Bentley software, Aqua+ issued project documentation totaling about 6,000 pages in 10 months, which is two months faster than planned.

About Bentley
Founded in 1984, Bentley has more than 3,000 colleagues in over 50 countries, more than $600 million in annual revenues, and since 2008 has invested more than $1 billion in research, development and acquisitions.

Andrew Farr is associate editor of Water Utility Infrastructure Management, a sister publication of Trenchless Technology.

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