Bentley Structural

BIM for Design and Documentation of Structural Systems

Bentley Structural is an advanced, yet intuitive and easy-to-use building information modeling (BIM) application that empowers structural engineers and designers to create structural systems for buildings and industrial plants in steel, concrete, and timber with unlimited freedom.

Bentley Structural is an advanced, yet intuitive and easy-to-use building information modeling (BIM) application that empowers structural engineers and designers to:

Design and construction documents are automatically coordinated, eliminating errors and omissions. So structural engineering and construction companies can deliver better engineered buildings on time and on budget, thus improving client services and increasing revenue-business-critical benefits in today's competitive environment.

Unlike stand-alone structural engineering applications offered by most vendors, Bentley Structural is part of Bentley's integrated suite of building information modeling (BIM) applications, which provide seamless integration between design, engineering, analysis, construction, and operations for the entire lifecycle of facilities.

Used by the world's leading architectural, engineering, and construction companies on the largest and most complex projects, this unique solution supports multi-disciplinary workgroups and global teams in a managed environment, allowing them to build as one.

Who Uses


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Model building information

Bentley is committed to delivering complete BIM solutions that support the whole project delivery process for the entire lifecycle of facilities. Built on a single platform while supporting industry standards, these solutions focus on design rather than drafting, integrate design with engineering, facilitate multi-disciplinary collaboration, and allow distributed teams to build as one within a managed information environment.

Bentley Structural, an advanced building information modeling (BIM) application, virtually creates prototypes of structural systems, thereby providing significant business-critical benefits for structural engineering and EA/AE firms, consultants, and contractors of all sizes. Allowing them to deliver better engineered buildings on time and on budget, they can substantially improve client services, reduce costs, and increase revenue.



Compress design development time

To facilitate the design and modeling of complex structures in steel, concrete, and timber, Bentley Structural supports the widest variety of structural objects and materials with a comprehensive range of dedicated tools. Components can be created as hot-rolled and cold-formed steel members from 18 international steel tables, roof and floor metal deck, steel trusses, steel bar joists, concrete double tees, spread footings, retaining walls, grade beams, caissons/drilled piers, and many more. Concrete components, such as foundations, walls, columns, slabs, and beams, are parametric allowing dimension-driven creation and modification, with support for a wide variety of cross sections.

Unique in the industry, intersecting members are automatically coped or cut back from supporting members with user-definable clearance, and-if necessary-rotated to the slope angle of their supports. If the supporting is column rotates or changed in size, the cope of the supported beam is adjusted automatically. Members may be straight or along any regular curve or B-Spline curve. In addition, powerful utilities are provided for the parametric creation of steel trusses, corbels, platforms, stairs, etc. Connectivity between components further accelerate the implementation of design changes, thus allowing the evaluation of far more design iterations or the compression of the design development process.

Bentley Structural provides immediate visual feedback and streamlines the creation of convincing presentations without the need to export data to an external visualization application, because powerful design visualization tools, which include ray and particle tracing, radiosity, animation, lighting, and camera controls, and more, are seamlessly integrated.

In addition, Bentley Structural not only supports Adobe PDF, the standard for electronic deliverables in AEC, including embedded 3D models, but also connects to the Google Earth service. 2D and 3D models in DGN and DWG can be published directly to the Google Earth environment, so you can zoom from space onto a site, view the facility in the context of rich geography imagery, fly around the structure, and then view associated content, like framing plans, details, schedules, rendered images, Web pages, etc. via embedded links.



Structural components of any complexity

With a full range of advanced solids modeling tools, Bentley Structural allows the creation of structural components of virtually any shape and complexity, such as free-form concrete columns, beams, pile caps, caissons, foundations, etc., which may contain openings, recesses, and protrusions.

Unlike applications that use facets to emulate curved surfaces, Bentley Structural creates truly curved and double-curved surfaces and solids for accurate construction information and smooth rendering.



Integrate design, analysis, and documentation

Simultaneously with the physical members, Bentley Structural creates the analytical model, which contains finite element data, such as nodes, member releases, boundary conditions, loads and finite element segments, within the same objects. A variety of load cases and load combinations can also be created and managed in the model, and structural engineers have complete control over the numbering, splitting and location of the analytical elements. This finite element information integrates directly with the leading structural analysis applications, such as STAAD Pro, RAM, GT-STRUDL, S-Frame, Robot, and Midas/GenW, Changes as the results of the analysis and member optimization can be applied to the Bentley Structural model, thus allowing round tripping of data between design, analysis, and documentation.

In addition, Bentley Structural supports the industry standards CIS/2 and SDNF to interoperate with other structural analysis and steel detailing applications.


Reduce construction documentation time

From a consistent building information model, coordinated plans, framing layouts, sections, and elevations are generated automatically, which comply with user-definable standards. Full control is given over the cut planes and forward and reflected view representation, as well as levels, symbology, material hatching and patterning, annotation and labeling, and dimensioning. User-definable extraction rules produce a variety of shop drawing representations, e.g. with single- or double-line, hidden lines, labeling and annotation of structural members, and changes since the last extraction can be highlighted.



Predict performance, quantities, and costs

User-definable properties associated with structural members are used to query the building information model and to make selective or global changes to the geometry and non-graphical information. Accurate bills of materials and cost reports, schedules, and specifications can be generated in Microsoft Excel that include lengths, volumes, weights, finite element segments, center of mass, surface area, volumes, and more. Via a bi-directional between the model and the Microsoft Excel, changes to attributes, such as steel section size and height of member, in the spreadsheet to single or multiple structural components update both the physical and analytical model.



Avoid errors and omissions

Bentley Structural automatically coordinates structural design and construction documentation through all project phases and manages inherent component attributes and properties significant for design, documentation, analysis, construction, and operations. All information is tightly linked, so changes made in either the physical model, analytical model, or drawing are reflected in corresponding representations and reports. Structural objects and components can be pre-defined and stored with settings for section name, level, 2D and 3D symbology, and default properties for coping, quantity takeoff, rendering, etc., thus enforcing corporate and project standards as well as capturing knowledge for reuse on subsequent projects.



Empower your organization

Unlike applications that impose a particular way of working, Bentley Structural provides complete workflow flexibility. Using the same tools and an identical interface, you can work in a traditional 2D plan, advanced 3D model, or analytical model environment, attach attributes and properties to structural components and objects at the time of placement or add them as the project progresses. 

You can promote "dumb" 2D graphics, even if from other CAD applications, to "intelligent" 3D objects.

The model can be start in Bentley Structural, then exported to an analytical application. Analysis and optimization results can then be imported back into Bentley Structural for the creation of shop drawings. Alternatively, the model can be create in an analytical application, then imported into Bentley Structural to create shop drawings and schedules. In any case, changes made in either application may be tracked and synchronized.

Available in major languages, Bentley Structural is delivered with localized content for a variety of country-specific CAD standards. Datasets include settings for 2D and 3D symbology, level, and properties for quantity takeoff and rendering, plus attribute schemas, seed files, steel tables, annotation symbols, report templates, and more. So Bentley Structural can be used right out of the box.

The user interface of Bentley Structural is easy to use, intuitive and self-explanatory, making 3D modeling as simple as 2D drafting. Tools are provided to tailor the user interface for particular tasks, workflows, or preferences. In addition to extensive user manuals and documentation, online-help is always at hand.

Designed to increase the productivity and profitability of AEC professionals, Bentley offers professional training programs at Bentley Institute training facilities, on-site, and in virtual classrooms. To minimize training costs even further, Bentley's Enterprise Training Subscription (ETS) offers convenient multi-user training for a fixed annual fee, which not only facilitates budgeting, but also delivers comprehensive training to the entire organization. In addition, this unique program provides access to the ETS Resource Center. With hundreds of hours of feature clips and self-paced lectures and labs, it is a rich source for online on-demand eLearning.



Better collaborate and interoperate

Bentley Structural is fully integrated with other Bentley applications, such as STAAD.Pro, RAM Structural Systems, Bentley Architecture, Bentley Building Mechanical Systems, Bentley Building Electrical Systems, and Bentley Navigator, providing a truly multi-disciplinary collaboration environment.

For interoperability with CAD-based applications, all major industry standards, such as DGN, DWG, DXF, STEP, and IGES, are supported. Model information can be exported in STP-format to facilitate rapid prototyping with laser cutters, 3D printers, and stereo lithography machines. Bentley Structural includes full support for the coordination view of IFC 2x, the emerging standard for information exchange between object-based BIM applications in the building industry, as well as the industry standards CIS/2 and SDNF to interoperate with other structural analysis and steel detailing applications.



Work in a managed environment

Bentley Structural tightly integrates with Bentley ProjectWise, a collaboration server that manages access to project information across a LAN, WAN, VPN, or through the Internet, and publishes and synchronizes shared information, manages change, protects intellectual property rights, and more.



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