Understanding Building Information Modelling (BIM) in Foodservice

Big Data, the Internet of Things, Industry 4.0 – whatever we want to call it BIM is going to the key driver for the foodservice equipment industry and indeed every industry.

Reducing design, construction and facilities management cost is the key driver with savings of 20% in the construction phase alone making it the reason that the EU have mandated the use of BIM for public procurement projects. This is part of the Public Procurement Directive and the national requirements stated with the UK from 1st Jan 2016 and is rolling out across Europe.

What is BIM?
BIM is a process that enables the effective exchange of data and illustrations. It means that all those involved with or associated with a project or building can share files drawings and data electronically, on screen, without the need for separate files to be circulated for comment and approval. It saves time, improves accuracy and saves clashes being discovered on-site.

So what does it mean to you?
If you are a manufacturer or distributor you may have had requests for BIM models and data. The data or Product Data Template is a spreadsheet that captures what is basically the same technical information that you have on your spec. sheets today. It is all the basic information about the product, its size, capacity, energy & water connections, mass and any approvals that it may have. The template means that all products in a building report the same information in the same units in the same cell on the spreadsheet. This allows for easy reporting of overall loadings. The information can be used to identify services need for the equipment and it will be used to produce 2D plans as well as 3D imagery.

The model that accompanies this pdt is the representation of the product, not in line form as with a CAD model but as a visual rendered image of the product so that visuals which are close to photographic quality, can be viewed.

BIM allows cloud based sharing of information that can be accessed by all interested parties.

This allows total interoperability between all of the partners in a building project – this will save 20% of the construction cost. Other savings will accrue for operational efficiencies, in essence everything in the commercial kitchen will be managed remotely for whatever purpose is required. Specification, installation, servicing and end of life disposal/decommissioning.

As we expect the future will be a very different environment, by developing EFCEMBIM as the free resource library for manufacturers and free for users to download; the catering equipment industry is in line with these developments placing our industry in a great position. This demonstrates the value of collaborative engagement and operation with European catering equipment national associations. EFCEMBIM free for designers to download information from.

We have agreed the parameters for the PDT with the help of the FCSI and manufacturers – just putting up the PDT with the information currently on a technical specification sheet is enough to get your business on the BIM journey to specification on key projects.

Start the journey today and enjoy the ride and the business that follows!

The Model
EFCEMBIM will be a library of all BIM product resources –whether ifc or proprietary.

Industry Foundation Class (ifc) is the only model format that is interoperable with all 163 BIM software’s. Using this format will allow the widest use of information for only one origination cost per product.

Proprietary model formats will only work with a specific software brand. Therefore manufacturers would need to originate and maintain models for each software type that the design community uses. This is expensive and time consuming.

EFCEMBIM is a non-commercial library of models and data for catering equipment industry. The initiative has been developed by EFCEM in order to make the specification and design of kitchens easier using BIM models prepared to a standardised format structure and level of detail. It has been funded with the support of the eight leading catering equipment trade associations in Europe in order to help companies get product specified effectively bay having a central resource prepared and categorised to an agreed standard and structure.

What to do next.
Embrace the change that is going on to give your company and its products the support they need to get specified. Already BIM is an essential requirement and it will continue to evolve to be as common place as CAD is today.

Further information is available from:
Keith Warren
EFCEM Technical Committee Chairman