The Power of Bentley AECOsim

AECOsim is Bentley’s new iteration of their building CAD and BIM solution. This one holds a unique distinction, in that it is the first BIM package to hit the market which fully integrates all the unique disciplines in building design into one electronic document. No longer are the disciplines working in segregated silos, now all disciplines are integrated together in real time development of the design.

There has been some concern raised that allowing all disciplines access to the complete design would allow unauthorized changes, such as a structural engineers to change the architect’s design. When asked about this, Bentley responded that traditional data sharing strategies and referencing should easily minimize this risk. The fact that anyone making such a change would be easily found and corrected for their actions drastically lowers the chance of them doing so.

In all fairness, it must be mentioned that AECOsim is not the only BIM package that is fully interdisciplinary. Autodesk has also created this capability in their latest version of Revit. However, Bentley beat Autodesk to the punch by releasing their version first.

AECOsim is a truly integrated BIM solution, including architecture, engineering, construction, owner/operator simulations, building and design. The package is designed in such a way that it can take the project through its entire life cycle, from concept to use and maintenance. This provides valuable tools to not only the design team, but also to the project owners.

The core of the system is the AECOsim Building Designer, which is a 3D CAD package with capability for working multi-disciplinary, integrating design, running simulations and finding design clashes before they become construction problems. The package has incredibly realistic rendering capability, providing photo quality renderings of the completed project.

The hypermodeling features allows the insertion of markers into the design, which instantly take the viewer to the section, drawing or sheet for that particular part of the design. This allows a quick cross-reference and the ability to see details without losing your place in the main model.

Together with the building designer is the AECOsim Energy Simulator. This allows mechanical and electrical engineers to simulate energy needs, environmental conditions and their requirements, so that these systems can be designed to meet the building’s needs. Guesswork is eliminated by allowing the simulator to determine the actual needs for these services.

Another companion product, AECOsim Compliance Manager provides automated certification for the United States Green Building Council’s LEED certification process. By providing a centralized online LEED data storage point, it facilitates the certification process, along with wizards, checklists and calculators to streamline the certification.

AECOsim is compatible with all of Bentley’s other software solutions, with built-in solar shading capabilities, the capability to export to gbXML for energy analysis, and integration with packages from other vendors.

More than anything, the true power of this package is the ability to integrate the entire design team into one team, rather than a number of separate teams working on parallel parts of the project. By providing real-time feedback on how each part affects the whole of the design, AECOsim should streamline the design process, increasing communication between disciplines and reducing rework caused by design conflicts.


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