FAQ - OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition

 Product(s):OpenBuildings Designer, AECOsim Building Designer
 Version(s):CONNECT Edition


OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition is Bentley’s building information modeling application for designing, documenting, and visualizing buildings of any size, form, and complexity.  

What are the capabilities of OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition?

OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition is the successor to Bentley’s AECOsim Building Designer, MicroStation Triforma, Speedikon, Bentley Architecture, Bentley Structural, Bentley Building Mechanical Systems, Bentley Building Electrical Systems, Hevacomp Mechanical Designer, and Hevacomp Simulator. The software is used for 3D design and documentation of buildings and facilities.

OpenBuildings Designer provides an open modeling environment that addresses all phases of project delivery. The software allows you to collaborate efficiently and work within a shared set of libraries and workflows. Its support for reality modeling lets you work with point clouds and reality mesh models. With OpenBuildings Designer, you can reuse information by incorporating existing data from a variety of AECO and geospatial formats. Its parametric modeling capabilities provide you with a rich catalog of data to meet any project need, while leveraging generative design to explore what-if scenarios and model variations with ease.

OpenBuildings Designer allows you to produce information-rich deliverables by creating 2D drawings directly from 3D models, while adhering to company or project standards. The software’s built-in energy simulation capabilities allow you to consider daylight conditions and whole building analysis. Moreover, you can easily coordinate your design with multidiscipline teams using the software’s built-in clash detection capabilities. Lastly, OpenBuildings Designer allows you to visualize your design through its integration with LumenRT, Bentley’s visualization software. You can produce cinematic visualization by adding vegetation, trees, and climate conditions. A detailed function overview is available online at OpenBuildings Designer.  

What if I have one or more of the applications that OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition is replacing?

To migrate your current software offerings to OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition, each subscription application will be converted to an OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition subscription at renewal. The renewal allows you to use OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition and each of the applications in your current agreement so that you can complete ongoing projects and plan your migration accordingly. 

How do I get OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition SELECT coverage?

OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition SELECT coverage is required for a new purchase of any application that is being replaced. For subscriptions on existing licenses of these applications, your SELECT coverage for these applications will require OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition coverage at your contract renewal date. 

What changes should I expect with my SELECT renewal?

Each license of any individual application to be migrated to OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition will be replaced by an OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition license on your SELECT subscription.

OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition has a SELECT subscription price, which will apply to your OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition licenses. If you find that your covered licenses are more than you need, your SELECT benefits include the flexibility to portfolio balance your subscription at renewal. You can exchange the value of these or other owned licenses for the use of other application titles available under SELECT.  

How can I plan a successful migration to OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition?

A successful transition involves three steps:

1. An accurate assessment of your current processes and configuration
2. A thorough understanding of the benefits that OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition delivers to your organization or project
3. A well-planned migration strategy

Bentley is ready to help you with these steps and make recommendations on how you can improve your design efficiency and project delivery processes by employing the new capabilities.  

What assistance is available for me to make a successful migration to OpenBuildings Designer?

There are several ways that we can help your organization with migration. We recommend that you begin the process by speaking with your Account Manager or User Advancement Advocate to gain a complete understanding of the help that is available, including:

• Licensing and contract assistance (Bentley Subscription Renewals Team)
• Workflow studies, implementation planning, and migration services (Bentley User Advancement Team)
• Training programs (Bentley Institute)  

Will my current workspace work with OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition?

Your current workspace can be migrated to OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition. To take full advantage of new and incremental OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition functionality, existing workspaces will need to be upgraded with the new settings. OpenBuildings also provides a workspace configuration migration tool and dataset utilities to assist with the upgrade process. 

What are the hardware requirements for OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition?

OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition is a native 64-bit application that will operate on Windows 7 and higher versions. Hardware requirements are provided in the table below.  

Operating System

Windows 10 (64-bit)

Windows 8 and 8.1 (64-bit)

Windows 7 (64-bit)


Note: Windows 7 operating system is supported only if you have its service pack (SPI) installed.


Bentley does not support its software running on Microsoft operating systems’ versions that Microsoft has "retired." For more information see Microsoft's application retirement policy and the Bentley application support lifecycle.


Intel® or AMD® processor 1.0 GHz or greater. OpenBuildings Designer is not supported on a CPU that does not support SSE2.


16 GB minimum 32 GB recommended. More memory generally improves performance, particularly when working with larger models.

Hard Disk

24 GB free disk space (includes the 16 GB install footprint for a complete installation), 10-25 GB depending on additional installations such as Companion Features and Companion Products.


See the graphics card manufacturer for latest information on DirectX drivers. 512 MB of video RAM or higher is recommended. If insufficient video RAM or no graphics card supported by DirectX is found, OpenBuildings Designer attempts to use software emulation. For optimal performance, graphics display color depth should be set to 24-bit or higher. When using a color depth setting of 16-bit, some inconsistencies will be noted. For more information on recommended workstation profiles for OpenBuildings Designer, see MicroStation System Requirements


1600 x 1200 or higher

Is MicroStation required as a platform for OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition?

No, OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition is a stand-alone application built on the same platform as MicroStation and includes all of MicroStation’s features and functionality. 

Will my data be preserved?

Yes, DGN remains as the core format. You will be able to reference and open files from other product versions. OpenBuildings Designer also has built-in transformation utilities to upgrade dataset catalog items. 

Will I still be able to use my legacy catalogs?

You will be provided with utilities that will allow you to upgrade DataGroup Schema as well as Component Part Mappings to map parametric and static cells. 

Am I able to run previous versions of AECOsim Building Designer, Bentley Architecture, etc., on the same machine?

Yes, however older versions are subject to the Bentley Support Policy and have limited or no support. More information can be found online at Bentley Support Policy

What should I do if I have additional questions on OpenBuildings Designer capabilities, training, and migration plans?

Please contact us using this form

What should I do if I have additional questions on my OpenBuildings Designer subscription renewal?

Please contact your subscription renewals representative. 

External Links

Bentley LEARN Server