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Nov 9, 2011

Bentley Announces Commercial Availability of AECOsim Energy Simulator and AECOsim Building Designer

Bentley Systems today announced the immediate commercial availability of its new AECOsim Energy Simulator software and commercial availability in early Q1 2012 of its new AECOsim Building Designer software (currently in Bentley’s early adopter program). AECOsim Compliance Manager for LEED certification was released in May. The AECOsim family of products provides interdisciplinary building design, analysis, and simulation software focused on helping architectural, engineering, construction, and operations practice leaders deliver high-performance buildings. It enables best practices in integrated building systems design and performance simulation, and results in simulations that rigorously incorporate design specifications and accurately predict the performance of the delivered building.

AECOsim Energy Simulator

AECOsim Energy Simulator is a unique application for the immersive design, simulation, and analysis of building mechanical systems, environmental conditions, and energy performance. The application provides comprehensive simulation for both quick and comparative evaluations, as well as for detailed engineering, allowing designers to timely assess design trade-offs in both new construction and retrofits.

AECOsim Energy Simulator contributes to the creation of better-performing, more sustainable buildings that consume less energy; provide greater occupant productivity, comfort, and safety; and control lifecycle operational energy costs for owners. Its EnergyPlus simulation engine is the industry standard-setter developed and maintained by the U.S. Department of Energy, and it can greatly improve project quality with accurate simulations that closely correspond to actual building performance.

AECOsim Energy Simulator users can interoperate with Bentley applications and BIM or CAD formats including MicroStation, AutoCAD, Revit, and others. Workflows can incorporate i-models and gbXML, IFC, DXF, and DWG formats.

Dru Crawley, Bentley director, Building Energy Performance Products, said, “AECOsim Energy Simulator doesn’t stop at just high-level results but delivers building performance with engineering rigor and depth – allowing users to understand what is driving the energy in their buildings. Uniquely, AECOsim Energy Simulator engages building systems engineers’ expertise in specifying detailed building mechanical systems – along with all the other relevant building information and its context – and then again takes full advantage of its EnergyPlus engine to rigorously and reliably simulate performance. This will enable building designers, engineers, energy consultants, and owners to finally have confidence that the building will deliver on predicted energy performance.”

Gerald Kettler, managing principal, CEO, Facility Performance Associates, said, “AECOsim Energy Simulator gives us a precise and quick way to consider energy usage and efficiency to produce better-performing buildings. Compared to other software available, it is more powerful and flexible while still being very easy to use. We have been doing energy modeling for ten years, and we’ve always wanted to be able to evaluate all of the key variables at once within the context of the architectural model, including lighting, materials, and heating and cooling systems. AECOsim Energy Simulator gives us the ability to do all of this with unmatched power and flexibility leveraging the EnergyPlus engine. As a result, we now have a holistic view of building performance and the impact of proposed design choices.”

Added Kettler, “Thanks to AECOsim Energy Simulator, we are able to work even better with architects in the schematic design phase, and have had more impact on projects, ultimately resulting in better-performing buildings. It delivers more precise calculations and a broader range of capabilities to help us evaluate the most effective combination of changes to help meet building codes, achieve required certifications, and meet owners’ needs. And because we offer commissioning and testing services as well, AECOsim Compliance Manager has also been very helpful in tracking and achieving the certification for our projects.”

AECOsim Building Designer

AECOsim Building Designer provides information-rich multidisciplinary models for design, simulation, analysis, and documentation of buildings. This single, integrated application includes capabilities for architectural, structural, mechanical and electrical systems design, and for construction documentation. Its innovative capabilities help users lower project costs, save time, reduce project risk, and enhance overall project quality – while providing owner-operators with higher returns on their investments.

As is the hallmark of Bentley software, AECOsim Building Designer fully supports large, complex, distributed projects, empowering teams to deliver bigger and more finely detailed projects taking full advantage of information modeling’s potential. In addition, by virtue of Bentley’s comprehensive platform and applications portfolio, AECOsim Building Designer can incorporate the context of related disciplines to support better design decisions resulting in better-performing buildings and projects.

AECOsim Building Designer’s interdisciplinary information modeling facilitates:

simulating designs with direct links to analysis applications for interdisciplinary optimization,
producing compelling images and animations,
improving coordination and work sharing across disciplines by way of common toolsets,
interference resolution directly within the design environment, and
fully leveraging information mobility with integrity through i-models and ProjectWise, Bentley Navigator, and many other Bentley Passport-enabled apps.

With AECOsim Building Designer, users also can produce high-quality, fully coordinated building and project documentation for use throughout the project lifecycle of design, construction, and operations. Bentley’s new hypermodels allow immersively interacting with drawings in their appropriate 3D context, navigating callout links to enhance and clarify the 3D model, which serves as a spatial index. Delivering hypermodels to constructors and owners conveys the design team’s full and best work, and contributes to integrated-project benefits regardless of the project contractual format.

Commenting on Bentley’s hypermodel innovation, Stephen Holmes, design systems manager, Foster + Partners, said, “Hypermodel technology sees the maturing of Bentley’s Dynamic View technology and the emergence of a new standard in design presentation and review process. What has traditionally been a linear process from 3D design model to 2D production drawings has now come full circle. This enables our teams to have a much more fluid production workflow, in particular when working in large design teams with complex building geometry. Inlaying 2D production drawings into 3D models has always been labor intensive; now, with hypermodels, it can be done with two clicks of a mouse button.”

Said Marty Doscher, president, SYNTHESIS Technology Integration, “Bentley’s approach is unique in this integration of the drawing and modeling processes. By literally putting the drawings and models in the same space, a new understanding is permitted. This superposition of views augments our understanding of the individual building elements and systems, providing a new holistic view not possible when modeling and drawing were separated.”

The upgrade to AECOsim Building Designer will be available at no cost for all current SELECT subscribers of Bentley BIM applications including Bentley Architecture, Structural Modeler, Bentley Building Mechanical Systems, and Bentley Building Electrical Systems.

Santanu Das, Bentley vice president, Integrated Engineering, said, “I’m really proud of our team for having met the market needs to significantly help users deliver better-performing buildings. The name ‘AECOsim’ incorporates all key players with stakes in integrated-project success. In particular, Architects, Engineers, Constructors, and Owner-operators all benefit from simulation with engineering rigor to achieve the goal of intelligent, highly sustainable buildings. For all that everyone has heard about ‘BIM’ to date – while it may be benefiting design coordination and document production – it’s not clear that ‘BIM’ has substantively improved building quality or performance. It turns out that just producing documents faster and with fewer inconsistencies isn’t sufficient!”

Das continued, “AECOsim Building Designer is all about comprehensiveness – across disciplines, building types, scale, detail, and more. Rather than separating architects and engineers with incompatible software and data models, it empowers them to work together so that each can make better decisions in fuller context.”

Anna-Brita Krakenberger, architect SAR, MSA, SWECO, said, “With AECOsim Building Designer, we now have a single tool that is very flexible, making it possible to have one cohesive way of working. Components that we architects place, such as structural columns, can easily be resized as necessary by the structural engineers using the same components, eliminating errors and rework. Similarly, when structural engineers are working on an industrial project, they can access architectural doors in their designs, something that’s simply not possible with discipline-specific modeling products. In addition, we can perform quick and easy clash detection right from within the design environment, enabling us to find and immediately correct any problems that are discovered.”

Added Krakenberger, “The newly introduced hypermodels improve our understanding of our design and help us better convey our design intent to other project stakeholders by enabling us to display drawings and other related documents within the context of the model. We are happy that Bentley has taken a larger view of the building design process creating a single design environment for the entire multidisciplinary team with AECOsim Building Designer.”