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Year in Infrastructure 2019: Final summary

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  • Year in Infrastructure 2019: Final summary

This has been quite an intense week in Singapore. On a personal level, I have to recognise that I was deeply impacted by this modern and orderly city-state, by its architecture and by how different religious groups live in harmony here. It is hard not to be overwhelmed when you gaze at Marina Bay's magnificence from land, water or air. While on a boat cruise in the bay, I told a Conference colleague that if 20 years ago someone had told me he was taking me to another planet, and then took me here, I would have believed it.

And now focusing on Bentley Systems' Year in Infrastructure Conference, the first thing I would like to do is thank the company for facilitating the press’s work who covers the event. From a well organised app so you do not miss a single session, to a Press Kit including press releases, photographs and shareables on all sessions and on successful cases, to the possibility of scheduling interviews with experts and conference participants. Thanks to the entire communications and marketing team at Bentley for a fantastic job.

Digital Twins: Increased efficiency, increased security and new business models

On the technical side, Digital Twins have definitely been the key topic: digital models that allow users to visualise an asset, carry out an analysis of its condition and generate information to predict and optimise its performance. It is a huge advance that will enable decision making based on each portion of an asset's life cycle. The advantages are huge for construction processes, as they facilitate constant monitoring of how the works progress, ensuring optimal resource use, and improving the security of the entire process to a great extent. During the operation stage, the combination of these tools with IoT and Artificial Intelligence promise a future where we will be able to make high precision decisions in real time and even anticipate events which have been common up to now, such as a pipeline breaking, or a pump failure.

Thames Tideway Tunnel​

Many organisations are already deploying these advances. A good example is the project that won the Year in Infrastructure Award in the Water, Wastewater and Stormwater Networks category: the Thames Tideway Tunnel, presented by Balfour Beatty, Morgan Sindall, BAM Nuttall Joint Venture.

We are talking about an initiative with a budget of 450 million British pounds, including a 25 km tunnel in its western section that interacts significantly with already existing assets. Balfour Beatty, Morgan Sindall, BAM Nuttall Joint Venture, the main designer of this section, had to provide data access in real time and information exchange to address the technical challenges among the multiple project participants.

To do it, the project team established a common data environment (CDE) using ProjectWise. whereas the digital twin facilitated construction management and stakeholder acceptance. The CDE helped to work with different file formats, eliminating delays and work on site, since problems were identified digitally before construction. LumenRT enabled planning the digital maintenance to reduce browsing ad-hoc models, thereby saving 56,000 British pounds in a period of six months. Finally, linking the SYNCHRO model to the digital twins was shown visually as a virtual reality environment; this made possible optimising construction and saving costs.

Vancouver 2020

In essence, another successful Conference, bringing together more than 2000 world experts, and consolidating Bentley as a leader in the digitalisation of the infrastructure sector. In the horizon, Vancouver, where the Year in Infrastructure 2020 Conference will be held. See you then.

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