Reimagining Urban Planning with 3DEXPERIENCity: New urban morphologies for connected work- and lifestyles

By Akio
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Rocker 9-22-2015 7-52-28 PMBy: Ingeborg Rocker, PhD, Vice President of 3DEXPERIENCity | Geosphere and member of Dassault Systèmes’ Corporate Strategy Team. Rocker is responsible for developing a vision and strategy for modeling and simulating our planet with a particular focus on urban settlements.


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3DEXPERIENCity, Wind Simulation for Singapore City, Singapore.

3DEXPERIENCity, Wind Simulation for Singapore City, Singapore.

Traditional models of urbanism are challenged today by the growing and increasingly diversified population in cities. Urban planners will find they need a new planning model that takes into consideration the needs of hyper-dense cities. They will need to re-think how we imagine, plan, design, analyze, simulate, realize and manage cities in order to better plan for the future. New urban planning tools also are needed to foster better communication among governments, business and citizens.

One solution with the potential to transform urban planning is the 3DEXPERIENCE city map. By creating a data-rich virtual model of the city in all its complexity, and linking it back to actual existing conditions in real-time, we can understand through simulations the potential effects of various systemic changes before implementing them.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: #Urbanplanners need a new planning model to consider the needs of hyper-dense #cities

Taking a Holistic Approach to City Planning

The key to this holistic digital map of the processes of life and work in the city is that it is continuously updated. Everyone who has access rights to the model—from city planners to business interests and even citizens—sees the most current data, creating a real-time shared point of reference. Through this data, we can understand the entire lifecycle of the city. You will know which lot is empty, which lot is occupied. You will know which segment of the population lives where. You will see how certain changes might decrease pollution or improve traffic flow. This model can capture everything we possibly could know about a city and gives all players access to this collaborative platform.

Most traditional smart city approaches have focused on technology to address urban challenges by collecting massive amounts of sensor data. But this rather technocratic approach—focused on projects narrow in scope and often siloed in individual agencies and research bodies—left cities and citizens alike with vast amounts of data related to very narrow fields of inquiry. A holistic view of the city’s system of systems, the interrelation between people and city, remained elusive.

What has been lacking in these smart city approaches is the intelligence necessary to capture the city and its processes as a whole and to capture and integrate this knowledge into a holistic, real-time virtual model of the city that dynamically updates. A holistic approach is a key aspect of Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCity, as is the dynamic data model, which enables real-time collaboration and communication.

Using Dynamic Models to Recreate Cities

Think of a city with many players working together: urban planners, urban designers, engineers, architects, landscape architects, developers and many more. Imagine building an extension of a city. One that does not consume more energy than it creates. One with a minimum carbon footprint. One that is hyper dense and yet offers great life-work experiences to all its inhabitants. Different collaborators involved in the planning process of this city interactively explore various design various, and run analytics and simulations to find a design solution with the maximum spatial quality and functional operability.

The dynamic data model keeps track of each version, checks continually for incongruences as different people optimize the city design, and gives warning if the design version does not comply with existing building codes. Once all parties agree on a design version, it will be finalized and its realization is developed, analyzed, simulated and optimized in the virtual model. Every step of the construction process can be explored virtually before it actually will take place in reality. Once the city extension is built, the dynamic model can serve to manage the city. Essentially, the entire lifecycle of a city can be captured this way.

It is here that a 3DEXPERIENCity dynamic data model becomes critical in coordinating the imagination, planning, design, analysis, simulation, realization and management of the city—involving city officials, businesses and citizens alike.

The Interactive New Model for Urban Planning

The 3DEXPERIENCity is the virtual double of the real existing city, capturing changes as they occur over time. The continuous feedback between the virtual dynamic city model and the real city ensures that both represent each other. It maps the entire city lifecycle, exceeding by far the smart city approach, which typically focuses on one topic at a time.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: #3DEXPERIENCity maps the city lifecycle, exceeding a typical smart city approach which focuses on one topic

Dassault Systèmes is currently developing an advanced 3DEXPERIENCity project called Virtual Singapore. Singapore is no larger than 278 square miles, and consists of a main island and 62 islets. Land is scarce in this densely urbanized environment. Because Singapore is running out of space for expansion, lacks natural resources, and is facing both a tremendous population growth and change in demography (aging population and multicultural diversity), the country launched a Smart Nation program in late 2014.

Within the framework of this initiative, Dassault Systèmes and Singapore work closely together on Virtual Singapore. It’s an extensive effort to collect data of the city-state’s daily activities and to reflect them in a 3DEXPERIENCity that actively involves city agencies, businesses and citizens alike. Virtual Singapore is the virtual double of real Singapore in the sense that the project’s online platform gives insight into the country’s real-time functioning, and the government shares data with the private sector and the public. The program is designed to improve government services through technology, better connect its citizens, and encourage private-sector innovations.

The 3DEXPERIENCity for Singapore also enables the city to envision and plan future city extensions and densifications in a significant way. The centerpiece of Singapore’s effort is a dynamic data model that will store building’s exact dimensions, window placement, types of construction materials, etc. Virtual Singapore’s options for direct application and experiences seem unlimited.

With the city project, Dassault Systèmes leverages all of its diverse capabilities, including authoring, analytics and simulation capabilities. City planning based on a dynamic data model will be much more sophisticated than ever before.

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Benefits of Virtual Design and Construction to Civil Construction Projects

By Akio
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& Construction to #Civil Projects

The ability to visualize the built environment is critical to the design and construction of civil construction projects. While 3D simulation is widely used in the design phase of infrastructure projects, it is still gaining momentum in the construction phase.

Advancements in 3D and 4D simulation technology, however, now make it possible for project stakeholders to better visualize the construction process of complex buildings and infrastructure projects. This advanced visual communication provides a valuable asset to the building design process and is one that civil engineering projects should adopt.

More construction project sites now use virtual design and construction simulation. Virtual simulation provides a 3D and 4D computer-generated representation and offers a very realistic view of buildings, bridges, infrastructure, and other graphical models.

These models can deliver many benefits to civil projects by making it possible to show stakeholders the planned construction sequence of a project and visualize its physical evolution.

Before the building process starts, construction plans can be virtually conceived and fine-tuned to cut out inefficiencies. For example, a visual simulation can allow for changes to a structure’s geometry.

This offers clients the ability to reduce costs by making the changes virtually before actual construction has begun. Virtual construction also increases safety because it can identify any problem issues early in the design process. In addition, communication and decision-making across the project life cycle is enhanced.

Most construction project sites now use BIM software, which allows for 3D and 4D visualization. Contractors either procure 3D and 4D models externally or they employ their own BIM teams internally.

Admiralty Station

Admiralty Station

In China, it’s common practice to fully simulate and validate the construction process before getting started. An example is Admiralty Station, part of the South Island Line (East) Project, an extension of the Hong Kong MTR metro system. It will become the first four-line interchange in Hong Kong and is expected to open by the end of 2016.

Syntegrate, a Hong Kong-based firm specializing in the application of computer-based technology in the building industry, is collaborating with project owner MTR Corporation and general contractor Kier, Laing O’Rourke and Kaden (KLKJV), which uses BIM technology on its global construction projects.


RelatedSpotlight on Lionel Lambourn of Syntegrate: Looking Beyond BIM to Improve Construction Efficiencies


The team chose Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform as their BIM platform to visualize construction sequencing, including excavation, concrete pours, and formwork erection. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform provided the team with a visualization of the underpinning work required to support the existing rail lines and platforms, which remained in operation throughout construction. 3D laser scanning offers the built conditions of the tunneling works.

Repeated simulations of the onsite work is helping the construction team in step-by-step planning. KLKJV has been able to execute each phase with minimal rework to reduce schedule delays and materials.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: Simulating onsite work helps in step-by-step
planning, minimizing rework #civildesign

Chenta Bridge Project

Photo Credit: Yang Hui/Global Times

(Construction workers complete the last plat for the Chenta Bridge. Photo credit: Yang Hui/Global Times)

The Shanghai Foundation Engineering Group (SFEG) constructed the Chenta Bridge, an extremely challenging project with high complexity and a need for integration among stakeholders and schedules. It led the firm to adopt an advanced BIM platform.


RelatedShanghai Foundation Engineering Group Brings Information-Based Approach to Civil Engineering Projects


The entire construction process of the Chenta Bridge was implemented in advance through simulations. The team used CATIA to model the entire bridge, based on CATIA design template and parametric modeling.

SFEG created a framework-driven concept, using actual measured data as inputs to update the model. This way, the digital models would be exactly as same as the real product, based on data obtained from actual onsite measurements.

Comparing the actual model with the original design model allowed them to detect potential risks visually, early in the process. They included all of the critical construction equipment in the model. For example, the scaffolding on the main tower and the cradle platforms. Throughout this process, the equipment, the scene layout, and the design structure were closely linked and interconnected, providing a comprehensive view of this complex project.


The benefits of using a BIM platform for civil infrastructure projects are clear: enhanced simulation offers a clear understanding of a design’s implications before it reaches the work site. This predictability enables civil construction firms to reduce risk, improve quality, and increase competitiveness.

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& Construction to #Civil Projects

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Watch SFEG explain how they use BIM for civil design projects:

Watch How “Façade Design for Fabrication” Can Boost Efficiency

By Akio
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clicktotweetClick to Tweet: [VIDEO] See how #3DEXPERIENCE improves collaboration &
efficiency between architects, fabricators @3DSAEC http://ctt.ec/e7MDN+

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 2.35.28 PM

In this video, you’ll learn get a firsthand look at how Façade Design for Fabrication can help architects, engineers and construction managers to work more efficiently with façade fabricators.

Façade Design for Fabrication, powered by the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, connects all processes from design through fabrication and construction. The result is a significant reduction in design process and fabrication waste.

This video will walk you through the process of designing a new stadium and then demonstrate how a façade engineer can use this same 3D model to produce shop drawings.

Upon logging in to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, you’ll see the façade designer create an initial sketch of the stadium in CATIA.

The designer create a User Defined Feature—in this case, a single panel and all of its design details that is repeated around the entire stadium. The shape of each panel can be modified individually to match the overall curve.

Each panel is generated from a template, but can be modified individually.

Each panel is generated from a template, but can be modified individually.

Through the use of Knowledge Patterns that control how the User Defined Feature behaves in the model, the designer will simulate multiple patterns to determine which design plan works best. In our stadium example, the designer quickly simulates several options before determining the best number of panels with which to work.

Although a façade engineer can continue to work on the stadium’s detail design in the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud, the video will next explore how to use the conceptual model as the basis for a fabrication model.

Data generated during the conceptual phase can be exported to inform quantity take-offs.

Data generated during the conceptual phase can be exported to inform quantity take-offs.

The engineer then uses CATIA to create a detailed sheet metal model. Once placed in the assembly, the model and its associated information can be exported to easily create shop drawings.

The façade engineer will then create a basic Assembly Template that other team members can reuse. Once the template is created, the engineer runs a Knowledge Ware script that automatically generates assemblies around the stadium.

You will see how the engineer easily fills in missing parts by using a standard part from the existing catalog. Next, the engineer will extract the data needed for part fabrication. In the end, each sheet metal panel has its own drawing.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: Conceptual designs & shop drawings should be connected.
Our video on #Façade Design for Fab shows how #AEC @3DSAEC

Each drawing can be exported with unfolded views that can be used for fabrication. By generating component information directly from the model, the engineer benefits from highly accurate cost predictions.

Each sheet metal panel drawing includes unfolded views from every angle.

Each sheet metal panel drawing includes unfolded views from every angle.

To see more features of the Façade Design for Fabrication industry solution experience in action, watch the full video.

The detailed stadium will help generate more accurate cost predictions and reduce waste.

The detailed stadium will help generate more accurate cost predictions and reduce waste.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: [VIDEO] See how #3DEXPERIENCE improves collaboration &
efficiency between architects, fabricators @3DSAEC http://ctt.ec/e7MDN+


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