June 25, 2012
Integration is the Name of the Game For Trelligence and Bentley Systems
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Integration is the Name of the Game For Trelligence and Bentley Systems
By Susan Smith
In a recent discussion with Carole Kernohan of Trelligence, Inc. and Bentley’s David Huie, the new integration between Bentley’s AECOsim Building Designer and Trelligence’s Affinity was discussed.
Trelligence recognizes Bentley’s significant position in the AEC market and how its outreach and traction can benefit Affinity. For Trelligence it’s a win-win: Bentley is very large player in the market – “this integration will provide some good reach and access to Bentley customers worldwide which is exciting for us,” said Kernohan. “Not just in the AEC industry but other industry sectors where Bentley is strong as well.”
Affinity is a software for the worldwide AECO industry that offers a full suite of architectural programming, early design and design-to-program validation analysis tools. AECOsim Building Designer is a single, integrated application that includes tools for a range of disciplines, including architectural, structural, mechanical systems, electrical design and construction documentation.
Bentley has a wide range of tools and solutions that will also benefit from the integration. Kernohan said they can then provide more opportunities to varied users. An example is loading extended programming, equipment knowledge, and equipment data, into the ProjectWise platform for enterprise deployment. It would seem that Bentley and Trelligence are looking at ProjectWise as the next platform for integration. The integration with Bentley expands the interoperability capabilities of Trelligence to include a wider user base.
“What we’re bringing to Bentley AECOsim Building Designer is robust planning and programming functionality so everything we have to offer in Affinity will now be available to Building Designer users,” explained Kernohan. “Likewise we are bringing to them our easy to use conceptual as well as schematic design functionality and then with the integration with Building Designer which is bi-directional, it’s giving them the ability to validate the ongoing design to the program – validate against the client’s requirements, making sure the design does ultimately meet the client’s needs.”
More importantly, perhaps, is that this integration brings an end-to-end solution starting at the beginning of building projects with planning, programming, and early design with Affinity. Bentley Building Designer then takes that from design development all the way through to Facilities Management, “so the two of us together are bringing forth a much more end-to-end solution into the marketplace,” said Kernohan.
For Bentley users, doing the design in Building Designer they will have real time access to real detailed program information that has been loaded from Affinity so they can use that to guide the design. “For example, critical client requirement s such as adjacencies, room contents, equipment needs, quantities, areas, all that that’s maintained and readily available to the designer through design process,” said Kernohan.
There is a lot less data loss as you’re transitioning from early design into more detailed design phases with this integration. “Because we’re loading the information there’s not a human factor or manual intervention there which will help prevent more waste or rework,” said Kernohan. “Integrated sets of tools across the building lifecycle provide information all the way through to completion and the Facilities Management phase. As far as the integration itself we’re actually using Bentley standard file formats for data exchange that’s in both directions so that Affinity program information from the user experience is seamlessly loaded into AECOsim Building Designer so the designer using Building Designer has access to all the program requirements. They can build up the design and then that design can be loaded back into Affinity so they can do design validation. The program information and conceptual design model loads directly into Building Designer – the designer works with that information and sends that design back into Affinity where viewing as well as reports indicate how well that design is meeting program requirements.”
Another way to use Affinity for design as well as programming is to build the program in Affinity and use the Affinity design features to do some early design as a conceptual or schematics design. It would be good for multiple scenarios to get to a point where a design has been agreed upon with a client, and then load that design itself into Building Designer. The designer using Building Designer can start from this point with the Affinity design information loaded, then sync it back with the information available for design validation.
Affinity is also integrated with Revit Architecture, ArchiCAD, IES VE-Gaia and VE Navigator for LEED, Google SketchUp and FM Systems. Its integration with SketchUp, for example, enables the reuse of conceptual design information to speed the development of the building program, which is often created elsewhere. With SketchUp you can also do conceptual design and load it into Affinity, add more detail, then begin the design and documentation process in AECOsim Building Designer.
"This new integration with AECOsim Building Designer also allows the user to do multiple design scenarios because you want to do them quickly, easily and be able to convey specific scenarios and options in an easy way," said Kernohan.
Conceptual design can be very broad and come in from various places, such as SketchUp. With SketchUp you can also do conceptual design and load it into Affinity, add more detail then add it to Building Designer.
“It also allows the user to do multiple design scenarios because you want to do them quickly, easily and be able to convey specific scenarios and options to the client in an easy way,” said Kernohan.
According to David Huie, this gives architects "information mobility" where users are no longer limited to doing program design with one set of tools and then recreating that information from scratch in AECOsim Building Designer in a fragmented workflow. Instead users can take all the information that’s developed within Affinity and bring it into Building Designer to design and document the building. All the program information created in Affinity is right there for the designers and the design team to help make the best decisions in their design process.”
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