Interesting announcement about Siemens Digital Logistics winning the commision to implement new logistics hubs for Heathrow. Logistic hubs are an interesting new building / infrastructure type that would seem to be right up Bentley's 'street'... espcially if Siemens is involved. Bentley's extensive road and rail app portfolio, and recent acquisition of Citilabs and its increasing emphasis on Digital Twin's all suggest that something like logistic hubs would be of pivotal interest.
How would Bentley's product portfolio relevant or would this really be a mainly Siemens playbook play? At YII 2019, digital twins were portrayed as the 'Next Big Thing' that would ride the IoT, Smart Cities/Grids and Industry 4.0 wave. I accept that Digital Twins are hugely relevant and will encompass and eventually dwarf the BIM world.... so better to get in early: Bravo Bentley + Siemens.
But, what does this mean for the typical Bentley user today? We have been asked to embrace digital transformation and get used to producing BIM models... but I think that digital twins are something else altogether. It is not just BIM models with scanned info from ContextCapture. BIM is focused on creating the 3d model (deriving the 2d drawing info from that model to minimise discrepancies) and clash detection; using the 3d model to support construction scheduling using Synchro (4D); adding classification and cost info to allow quanitity take-offs, substitutions (5D) and Advanced Work Packaging; adding facilities management info (6D) and I think 7D is all about environmental modeling. Plenty of other dimensions and use cases, for sure.
But at the same time, we do not model the occupants using the buildings (OK, I suppose Legion is kind of doing this for pedflow) or the SCADA system monitoring the buildings MEP systems, or the other buildings and their occupants or vehicles. The BIM model is insulated from the wider context by the brief or set of assumptions that is passed to the engineers/designers from your clients who have to guestimate how much and what kind. Even leaving aside the property development aspects, basic stuff like setting up the analytical model to size the HVAC plant is often flawed because of the assumptions it makes. The solar gain that is a big part of any HVAC sizing is dependent on having an understanding of how much overshadowing is provided by the neighbouring buildings or terrain. Ditto on wind pressures for the structure. This 'meta' information would be 'Digital Twin' territory. Therefore, constructing the DT would be more like collating and cleaning contextual info and completely different to what we are used to... in the main.
Where it could be a bit interesting is where the contextual digital twin info intersects with the changes that come with design model. Traffic engineering: City creates DT. Designers come along and perturb a small area and get fast feedback on the impacts at multiple levels.
One impact on your design tools is that there will be increased need to handle and display more dynamic, streaming information. I suppose that Bentley's investment in animation tools in Mstn, Vue Render / LumenRT, Synchro, cesium etc will help the DT world shine into the relatively static BIM world.
Back to logistic hubs:
1. Siemens Digital Logistics creates digital twin of existing airport:
2. Siemens' appointed civils engineering team gets brief confirming site and space requirements and creates the usual BIM model deliverables using:-