Bentley’s new 3D SUE technology
Mitigates risk of building in utility-congested underground environments
Bentley’s new Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) is a breakthrough technology for the integrated engineering management of underground utility networks for water, stormwater, gas and electric services. Built on OpenRoads, Bentley’s collaborative BIM advancement for multi-disciplinary civil engineering projects, brings together data from multiple sources and geo-coordinates it for 3D modelling, 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 3D 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 belowand above-ground infrastructure as well as human life.
Commenting on the new offering, Bentley Systems CEO Greg Bentley said, “In cities around the world, the area that I believe poses the biggest risk to those designing, building and operating infrastructure is found by looking down. It’s also the area where it seems there’s been the least advancement of information modelling and information mobility to improve construction throughput and enhance the reliability, safety and resilience of infrastructure assets. And for Bentley Systems, with our portfolio spanning building, civil, geospatial and plant domains, it’s a particular priority – as all infrastructure projects are impacted by subsurface conditions, restrictions and requirements.”
He continued, “Our Subsurface Utility Engineering software uniquely provides across disciplines a powerful new information modelling application. Its use will empower project teams to comprehensively understand, and more effectively and efficiently resolve, underground infrastructure conflicts.”
SUE automatically creates 3D 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 modelling by empowering users to combine active plan, profile, and cross-section views with innovative 3D modelling 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 modelling 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 3D modelling capabilities deliver against the U.S. Federal Highway Administration’s “MAP-21” recommendations for 3D modelling/ 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 builders 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