Jun 27, 2014

Technology Mitigates Risk of Building in Underground Environments

Software brings together for subsurface 3-D modeling, interactive inspection and clash resolution

Bentley Systems Inc. SUE 3-D Modeling Interactive Inspection Clash Resolution

Bentley Systems Inc. announced the availability of its Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE). This technology for the integrated engineering management of underground utility networks for water, storm water, gas and electric services is built on OpenRoads, Bentley’s collaborative BIM advancement for multi-discipline civil engineering projects. Bentley’s SUE brings together data from multiple sources and geo-coordinates it for 3-D modeling, interactive inspection, and utility conflict detection and clash resolution.

By providing a framework of powerful software tools and rich content to quickly and easily generate high-fidelity, intelligent 3-D feature-based models of the buried construction zone, SUE mitigates the risks of building in utility-congested, “call-before-you-dig” underground environments. These risks can range from project delays to damaged subsurface utilities to explosions that threaten below- and above-ground infrastructure as well as human life.

SUE automatically creates 3-D models from survey information, CAD data, GIS, Excel spreadsheets, Oracle databases and other industry standard sources of information. In addition, it maintains a relationship between CAD and GIS utility sources and tracks civil features to ensure that data is always synchronized and up to date.

Using the visualization and clash detection capabilities of SUE, users can readily identify and resolve conflicts between new construction features and existing utilities during the design phase. This helps mitigate risk during construction, lowers costs and sustains asset performance.

SUE further enables immersive modeling by empowering users to combine active plan, profile and cross-section views with innovative 3-D modeling technology, providing additional context for decision-making. SUE’s additional provision of parametric design features includes fully dynamic rules, relationships and constraints built into the modeling workflow. The net result of these advancements is improved design quality with unique “optioneering” capabilities that allow users to readily create and compare design alternatives. Moreover, the intelligent 3-D modeling capabilities deliver against the U.S. Federal Highway Administration’s “MAP-21” recommendations for 3-D modeling/virtual construction and visualization technology.

SUE also conforms to essential elements of the Standard Guideline for the Collection and Depiction of Existing Subsurface Utility Data (38-02) that govern subsurface utility information quality. This standard assists engineers, project and utility owners, and constructors in developing strategies to reduce risk by improving the reliability of information on existing subsurface utilities in a defined manner.

SUE provides indispensable insight for contractors employing alternative delivery approaches such as design-build, and taking on the risks associated with identifying and resolving subsurface utility conflicts. Most significantly, those substantially benefitting from SUE’s powerful capabilities include cities and other owners of infrastructure—and all whose quality of life is sustained by underground utilities. 

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