BIM for Food Service

What is BIM?

As many people already know, BIM (Building Information Modeling) is not software but a process. It is the digital representation in graphic and non-graphic form of the property and all that it contains. If we think of any object such as a brick of Lego for example, we must imagine a 3D object that also contains data, that features all the values of the brick. It is basically an object with a virtual spec sheet inside it.

What is 3D,4D, 5D 6D?

4D represents development in time, 5D realization costs and 6D property management costs from design to realization to demolition and new reconstruction. In the future, we will also talk about 7D, security (to understand security against possible terrorist attacks). The project represents only a small part of the life cycle of the entire Process.

What are the advantages of BIM?

An advantage of BIM is that paper or workshop drawings with 3 views are not used any more, as the represented digital model provides all the necessary information. In addition, the parametric functions have many benefits, just to give a simple example, legs are added or removed automatically in relation to the size of a table. In addition, if equipment must be changed and there is more than one in the system, they will be changed automatically. This avoids mistakes. Another big advantage is the Clash Test, but there are many others as can be seen in the graphic below:

What challenges does the Foodservice Industry face today?

The big challenge for the Foodservice Industry is to provide from the manufacturer side model libraries that will allow designers to make use of this important tool. But the challenge extends also to designers who are faced with new investments such as buying new powerful computers and software, investing in staff training and learning to work in a shared environment where other people can see what one does, including any mistakes. Learning how to communicate in a coordinated manner, with precise rules such as how to store your work, and so on is another challenge for the designers.

What is the time scale for adopting BIM worldwide?

Some countries such as Scandinavia, the United States, Singapore and the Middle East have already adopted it, others like the UK did so in 2016. France will start using it in 2017, Germany in 2020 and other European states by 2025. So, we must make a move, those who start first will be ahead of the game.

What are the Manufacturing Industry and Foodservice Associations doing?

There have been several initiatives in Europe to establish a working group between EFCEM and FCSI EAME to elaborate the IFSE Data Dictionary parameter list in several languages. Shared parameters are the heart of BIM. In these parameters, there is also data on power requirements and consumption intervals, and required spare parts, all elements that can provide the cost of managing a device or equipment at the preliminary draft stage, allowing you to make the correct decisions at an early stage.


Apart from IFSE Data Dictionary shared parameters, what is the plan of the agenda of the BIM Technical Committee?

The agenda includes 5 points: shared parameters, MEP power connection points, geometry and information definition (Level of Detail LOD), material definitions by group, how to use different formats to open BIM.

But concretely, what are the advantages for the customer in particular?

The main advantage lies in transparency, cost, time and security. I have recently been to a conference during which anti-fire measures were discussed. Wall drilling without proper sealing precautions may propagate the fire, so failure to comply with standards can create problems. Using the CODE CHECK, you can check whether all required standards have been met. In Germany, some insurance companies are also asking for old buildings to be redesigned in BIM to be more transparent about security. Another example in the Foodservice industry (which does not exist now) could be the ability to check the HACCP of the project under analysis.

Which is the most used Software for BIM in the Foodservice Industry?

From a survey that I sent to 1638 FCSI Consultants and Designers throughout the World, 143 answers were received, of which only 105 replied to this question and I found out that the most used software is REVIT from Autodesk. There are also applications like SPECIFI which are embedded in the Software and include, in addition to libraries from various manufacturers, other automated features that make it easier to design a plant. Always talking about databases recently, the EFCEM BIM database has been put into operation on which several manufacturers can make their own libraries available. So, we are moving in the right direction, but there is still a lot to do.

Quale Software va per la maggiore per il BIM nel Settore Grandi Impianti?

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