Bentley Systems acquires Synchro Software to extend digital workflows through 4D construction modelling

synchroBy synchronising changes from BIM, schedule and/or field conditions, Synchro provides clear visibility into both the project data and the design, making it quick and easy to communicate and analyse the impact of changes on the entire project delivery process. (Image source: Bentley Systems)Bentley Systems Inc., provider of comprehensive software solutions for advancing infrastructure, has acquired UK-headquartered Synchro Software, the market creator of 4D construction modelling software, for scheduling and project management

Synchro, a construction’s time machine, has been globally adopted for building and civil infrastructure projects. The acquisition broadens Bentley’s ProjectWise construction offerings, which already include ConstructSim, the leader for 4D construction modelling in project delivery of industrial plants. With construction project management in 4D, benefits of BIM can extend throughout infrastructure project delivery and asset lifecycles, as traditionally disconnected workflows become digital workflows.

For London’s Crossrail, Synchro digital construction innovatively applied Bentley Systems’ iModel work packaging to complete the reach of its BIM application portfolio and its CDE. Crossrail, the largest European construction project over this period, is now being completed on time and on budget. Synchro has increasingly become the standard for major constructors leveraging BIM through project delivery.

Synchro’s 2018 4D Digital Construction Conference in Amsterdam brought together infrastructure construction thought leaders from 18 countries, including presentations by Royal BAM Group, Mortenson Construction, Robins & Morton, Shanghai Construction No. 4 Group, Skanska UK, and Larsen & Toubro, who shared their benefits achieved through innovatively applying 4D construction modelling with Synchro.

In industrial project delivery, characterised by engineering procurement construction (EPC) contracting, integrated processes are already the norm – leading to ConstructSim’s digital workflows for advanced work packaging. However, in vertical buildings and civil infrastructure projects, notwithstanding the advancement of BIM for design and engineering, prevalent design/bid/build contracting has institutionalised disconnected workflows isolating construction planning from BIM data and geometry.

• Constructors have been constrained by the limitations of stand-alone planning and scheduling programmes, without digital visibility into the engineering information coalesced within the separate 3D BIM environment;

• Construction planning typically lacks the workface-level granularity and depth of detail, and exploration of sequencing alternatives, to sufficiently minimise risk and schedule variance; and

• Constructors characteristically need to create their own independent 3D models to serve construction only, in the process orphaning the BIM deliverables which can then never, despite their engineering intelligence, accurately represent the as-built asset for operations and maintenance.

Within Synchro, 3D BIM deliverables are linked with the 4D time dimension to intrinsically and synchronise, through digital workflows, the construction strategy, work breakdown structure, schedule, costs, resources, supply chain logistics, and progress. Synchro’s 4D construction modelling appropriately incorporates other construction variables (human, materials, equipment, falseworks, and space) for safe, reliable, and predictable project delivery performance. Synchro includes intrinsic CPM scheduling, or users can maintain external project schedules.

By synchronising changes from BIM, schedule and/or field conditions, Synchro provides clear visibility into both the project data and the design, making it quick and easy to communicate and analyse the impact of changes on the entire project delivery process. This also enables Synchro users to compare construction strategy alternatives even in early stages of design and bid processes and to evaluate the feasibility and efficiency of different scenarios, deriving insights toward the best possible construction outcomes.

“I’m very excited about what Synchro brings to Bentley’s capabilities for comprehensive project delivery, not only in terms of technology but also by virtue of the proven construction expertise of the Synchro team, led by the vision and advocacy of Tom Dengenis,” said Stephen Jolley, vice-president of construction for Bentley.

“In construction modelling for industrial projects, the market is already converging around ConstructSim’s advanced work packaging and workface planning. In the advancement of going digital for civil and building construction, the needed impetus for these ‘industrialised’ advantages is precisely what we are now announcing. For infrastructure projects, integrating Synchro’s 4D construction modelling completes the reach of our ProjectWise CDE.”

Tom Dengenis, CEO of Synchro Software, said, “This combination reflects my conviction about what’s imperative for finally driving infrastructure construction substantially forward. At Synchro, we accomplished the breakthrough of 4D construction modelling software many years ago, but we have wanted to advance the market faster than our own continuous growth. With my 40+ Synchro colleagues in the UK, Boston, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Moscow, I look forward to working more directly with our new Bentley colleagues, thanks to our now so much greater combined power and commitment, to accelerate the global industry in going digital.”

Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
T: +44 20 7834 7676, F: +44 20 7973 0076, W: www.alaincharles.com

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