Creating intelligent infrastructure assets is part of the enabling role that construction technology can play these days. Some new partnerships in the construction-technology space are accelerating this trend, creating new workflows and data model capabilities for all project stakeholders.

A new partnership between Bentley Systems, www.bentley.com, Exton, Pa., and Bluebeam Software, www.bluebeam.com, Pasadena, Calif., focuses on the PDF as being the collaboration tool for all stakeholders on a job, from construction to operations.

As part of the agreement, PDFs will now be i-model-enabled. Bentley’s i-models, which are containers for open infrastructure information exchange, will provide custom capabilities for workflows during the entire construction process to allow users to interactively navigate and query information-rich 3D models and drawings within PDF documents, as one example.

Bluebeam’s primary product is the Bluebeam PDF Revu, which will now become more interoperable with Bentley’s ProjectWise collaboration platform. In addition, Bentley will now be able to incorporate Adobe digital rights management capabilities in optional services of its ProjectWise and AssetWise products. The hope here is that this collaboration will help to further enhance the security of key intellectual property shared among project stakeholders. This includes such things as transmittals, project records, and operational documents.

As Harry Vitelli, vice president, collaboration products, Bentley, says, the hope is this announcement will make it easier for project members to distribute and interact with project-scale models in PDF, to help ensure project quality by synchronizing PDF-based markups dynamically and in correct context, and to protect their intellectual property.

Vitelli also comments on the role Bluebeam is playing for facilitating the use of the PDF in construction as a whole at a time when, as he sates, “… Adobe has determined that its efforts are best concentrated on important horizontal capabilities …” It looks as if Bluebeam has stepped in to help take the PDF further in construction, and this latest collaboration with Bentley is just another example.

In other news, Bentley Systems announced its acquisition of Pointools Ltd, www.pointools.com, London, England, a provider of point cloud software. The hardware-agnostic approach taken by Pointools allows the company to integrate point cloud processing in new ways throughout its product portfolio.

The use of point cloud scanning devices in the construction industry is gaining some traction, as the products allow images to be captured in a cost-effective manner. According to Bentley, point clouds, as a fundamental data type, can usefully serve the function of an “as-operated” 3D model for every infrastructure asset.

With this acquisition, Bentley can now extend point cloud value through all of its solutions, applications, and workflows. This goes beyond just embedding the Vortex engine in MicroStation, to assimilate point cloud processing and data management through the ProjectWise and AssetWise platforms