What is BIM?
Building information modeling or BIM is a process supported by various tools, technologies and contracts involving the generation and management of digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of places. Building information models (BIMs) are computer files (often but not always in proprietary formats and containing proprietary data) which can be extracted, exchanged or networked to support decision-making regarding a built asset. BIM software is used by individuals, businesses and government agencies who plan, design, construct, operate and maintain buildings and diverse physical infrastructures, such as water, refuse, electricity, gas, communication utilities, roads, railways, bridges, ports and tunnels.
The concept of BIM has been in development since the 1970s, but it only became an agreed term in the early 2000s. Development of standards and adoption of BIM has progressed at different speeds in different countries; standards developed in the United Kingdom from 2007 onwards have formed the basis of international standard ISO 19650, launched in January 2019.
More about BIM in the UK.
Data Dictionary sets the standard for BIM
The international foodservice equipment industry needs agreed standards for BIM modelling. To that end, the European Federation of Catering Equipment Manufacturers (EFCEM) has endorsed the latest update to the International Foodservice Equipment (IFSE) Data Dictionary, version 7.21. It covers all types of foodservice equipment, listing specific brands and individual models.
It’s called a dictionary because it describes each product’s parameters, holding all the information required by kitchen designers. The data includes, for example, the weight, size, connected load, water and energy consumption, and so on.
“This is the authoritative, multi-lingual international standard for Revit,” says EFCEM president, Phil Williams. “Its continuing development will ultimately lead to it also being a multi-platform data dictionary. As BIM continues to evolve, and its use grows, the Data Dictionary will help futureproof the industry by providing manufacturers and kitchen designers with the latest set of parameters for every product.”
The work is co-ordinated by an EFCEM working group that includes representatives from the FCSI EAME which represents the collective voice of Europe, Middle East and Africa design communities The objective is to have a single standard for BIM data, rather than developing multi-platform solutions that will not necessarily be compatible or interoperable. “Having a single, universal solution will save time, money and effort for developers. It also means savings for users since they will have a uniform format for data and information, covering all products and brands in a commercial kitchen,” says Williams.
The Data Dictionary is based on the original FCSI Revit Standards. Through the EFCEM working group this has evolved to become the recognised international foodservice equipment standard for BIM. The working group is in the process of publishing a position paper giving advice and guidance on BIM, to help the industry reap its benefits.
The latest version of the dictionary includes a variety of changes and updates. For example, it has the facility to turn equipment logos on and off; it allows manufacturers to include the connectivity features of their equipment; and designers can turn clearances ‘on and off’ in a project. There are also changes to the original data format of some fields, to allow easy conversion into different units of measurement, something that previously required manual intervention.
“This work is a major step forward,” says Williams. “It builds on the established standard but takes it to another level. The Data Dictionary is a great example of what can be achieved through effective collaboration. It will increase efficiency, and save time and money from the very start of a design project – which is exactly what BIM is designed for.”
The latest version of the Data Dictionary is available free of charge for download from ifsebim.org. This is a new web site which is designed to be a central repository for foodservice BIM information. The eight EFCEM national associations covering France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Sweden and the UK are expected to promote the Data Dictionary’s standards to their members and provide links to the new site.
Requests for parameter changes or development are welcomed, using the IFSE comment form, which is available from the website. “Feedback and updated data are essential to ensure relevance and alignment, so that the Data Dictionary continues to meet the current and anticipated needs of the industry,” says Williams.
EFCEM, the European Federation of Catering Equipment Manufacturers, represents manufacturers of commercial kitchen equipment.
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