Smart City Expo World Congress 2022

The Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC) is the leading international event for smart cities, and it has been held every year in Barcelona since 2011. There was a break for a couple of years because of the pandemic, but the event returned in 2021 for its 10th anniversary. I had the opportunity to tune into the 2022 event, which was held in person in Barcelona in November and was also streamed online.

While creating a smart city involves a lot more than just technology — aspects such as policy, politics, governance, etc. are key — there is no doubt that technology solutions such as AI, IoT, digital twins, data analytics, etc.  can go a long way in enabling cities to function more efficiently. There are also many more aspects of a city that need to be “smartened” in addition to its infrastructure such as mobility, energy, utilities, safety, etc. While the SCEWC event was devoted to exploring several aspects of smart cities, there were a few sessions related to technology in infrastructure, the highlights of two of which are captured in this article.


Stuttgart Cancer Center: Project Profile

Stefanie Grolik, BIM Coordinator at Schmidt Plöcker Architects describes the implementation of BIM on the Stuttgart Cancer Center Eva Mayr-Stihl in Stuttgart, Germany, for which the firm provided the model-based BIM execution planning to service phase 5, as well as overall BIM coordination.

“The radiation clinic is an excellent example of how OpenBIM can help deliver complicated designs in challenging conditions in relatively short timescales. There are various construction tasks for which BIM has become indispensable. Highly technical buildings such as hospitals or special clinics benefit immensely from the digital model: complex specialist planning can be comprehensively integrated, coordinated, and design errors minimized. The designing architect’s office is thus once again becoming the essential project manager in the design, planning, and construction process.”


Bentley Year in Infrastructure 2022: Customer Projects

In my first article on Bentley’s Year in Infrastructure (YII) 2022 event that was published last month, I provided an overview of the main technology updates shared by Bentley Systems. A key feature of this annual event are the customer presentations of infrastructure projects around the world that are deploying Bentley’s solutions in different ways. Collectively, they provide a concise snapshot every year of the strides that are being made world-wide in technology implementation in infrastructure.

This article provides an overview of some of the projects that were presented at the YII 2022 event. These include DPR’s use of SNYCHRO for prefabricated construction scheduling, the 3D city model of the City of Perry by Foth, Kokusai Kogyo’s work in Japan’s 3D city model project called Project PLATEAU, and ACCONIA’s use of digital construction in Melbourne’s level crossing removal project.


Bentley Year in Infrastructure 2022: Technology Updates

Bentley’s annual Year In Infrastructure (YII) conference is a great way to get updated on the latest technology developments of the company as well as the diverse range of projects all over the world that are being implemented with its solutions. Not only is the number of industries in which Bentley’s solutions are used growing, the number of countries in which they are being implemented is increasing as well. This makes the YII event more than just a showcase for one technology vendor — it’s also a good measure of the “pulse” of AEC technology implementation in infrastructure projects worldwide.

The YII event this year was held last month in London, and while I did not attend it in person, I was able to watch all of the event recordings online, including the technology updates from Bentley as well as the individual customer presentations of all the projects nominated for its “Going Digital” awards. AECbytes is covering this event in two parts, with this article capturing the key technology updates that were shared by Bentley, and a separate article on the project presentations that will be published soon.


Embodied Carbon – Why it Matters to the Structural Engineer

There is a lot of buzz happening in the structural engineering community around reducing carbon. Engineers are being asked from clients what they are doing to reduce embodied carbon in their structural designs. However, many structural engineers are not clear what their role is to play in reducing carbon. If they deliver a “good” structural design that is efficient and well-coordinated, won’t that do its best at reducing carbon? This article by Michael Gustafson responds to this question and elaborates on the topic of embodied carbon as it relates to structural engineering in more detail. 


Allplan 2023

This review explores the key updates in the new version of Allplan, including the integration of full BIM for Precast capabilities, expansion of its 3D site planning capabilities, improved support for point clouds, a live connection to Solibri for issue management, a live link with Lumion for visualization, expanded connection design and automated reinforcement for engineering, and several enhancements to its dedicated bridge application, Allplan Bridge.


Graphisoft Building Together 2022

A few weeks ago, Graphisoft held a virtual AEC industry summit, which brought together experts from around the world to share their knowledge and best practices on topics including sustainable architecture, digital workflows, immersive visualization, and empowering future architects and engineers. This article provides an overview of some of the sessions presented at the event by AEC firms around the world, including Enzyme in Hong Kong, Farkasvölgyi Architects in Brazil, Mostostal Warszawa in Poland, and TeCe Architects in Turkey, along with Powerhouse Company, Bond Bryan, and Pita. Together, they provided a fascinating window into how some of Graphisoft’s global customers are using BIM and other advanced technologies in their firms.


SimScale World Cities Day Event

Last week, the engineering simulation company, SimScale, held a one-day event specifically focused on the AEC industry, highlighting the importance of simulation technology in the design of projects ranging from individual buildings to entire cities. It was held to coincide with World Cities Day, which is held on October 31 every year to promote the global effort to create a more sustainable planet.

SimScale is an engineering simulation company that was started in 2013 and develops cloud-based high-fidelity computational fluid dynamics (CFD), finite element analysis and thermal simulations. It has, until now, been primarily focused on industrial and product design in industries such as aerospace, automotive design, electronics, and consumer products, which is why it has been, until now, relatively unknown in AEC. However, with the growing importance of sustainability in building and infrastructure design, SimScale is expanding the scope of its products and services to the AEC industry, not just with its own line of cloud simulation software but also by jointly developing sustainability tools with leading AEC firms like Thornton Tomasetti and KPF and partnering with technology firms like NVIDIA on its Omniverse offering.

SimScale’s World Cities Day Event provided the opportunity to learn more about these initiatives as well as the larger context of climate resilience from which they have emerged.


Trimble Connect

Trimble is one of the leading technology vendors serving the AEC industry today. While it started off being primarily focused on construction — it was founded as Trimble Navigation in 1978 and subsequently changed its name to Trimble Inc. — it has, over the years, acquired many leading applications in design and engineering including SketchUp and Tekla. In 2014, it acquired Gehry Technologies, a spin-off technology firm from Gehry Partners, and continued to develop Gehry Technologies’ GTeam cloud-based project management and collaboration platform, rebranding it as Trimble Connect to facilitate what it calls “connected construction.”

While there is no dearth of cloud-based collaboration platforms in the AEC industry that provide a CDE (Common Data Environment) for project drawings, models, and other documents — examples include Autodesk BIM 360, Graphisoft BIMcloud, Allplan Bimplus, Bentley ProjectWise, 3D Repo, Asite, Revizto, Aconex, Dalux, and BIM Track — what distinguishes Trimble Connect are the deep integrations it has with other Trimble products across all disciplines, not just with SketchUp (design) and Tekla Structures (structural engineering and fabrication), but also with ProjectSight (construction management); Sysque, Stabicad, and Nova (MEP); Quadri (infrastructure model management); Field Points (field layout); and TerraFlex and Trimble Access (topography and positioning).


ODA Summit 2022

The Open Design Alliance (ODA) – the leading nonprofit organization focused on openness and interoperability in the CAD industry – returned with its annual Summit last week in which it provided an overview of the technology updates it has made since last year’s event. While the work of the ODA is not directly used by design professionals, it is licensed by the ODA’s member companies — the current count of which is over 1,200 – most of whom are commercial CAD and BIM software companies located around the world.

Similar to last year, this year’s Summit also included brief presentations from some of these member companies including Safe Software, 3D Repo, and Graebert, demonstrating how they have implemented ODA technologies in their products. This article captures the highlights of the 2022 ODA Summit that are relevant to the AEC industry.