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What is BIM?

Building Information Modeling is a process that enables the effective exchange of data and illustrations. 


EFCEMBIM is the European catering equipment industry's central database of product information from foodservice equipment manufacturers and importers. EFCEMBIM has been developed by the European Federation of Catering Equipment Manufacturers to assist in the development of the industry and the specification of products through a centralized, catalogued database aligned to a common format, standard and level of development. EFCEM have invested in the project on behalf of the industry and there will never be any hosting or download charges associated with EFCEMBIM. 

When will BIM become a requirement?

The official European Directive for Public Procurement , states that the 28 European union member states, starting January 2016, may require, specify, promote, or mandate the use of BIM in construction projects financed by EU public funds. The United Kingdom, Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, and Norway already require BIM for public works.


View the Directive

Why is BIM being implemented by government?

To reduce construction costs through more effective planning and control. To manage the utilities, use of buildings and to provide a full inventory of an etire building. 


BIM is the next evolutionary stage from CAD. Rather than the products being shown as a series of lines, BIM will mean that images and representations of products will be shown in 3D with supplementary product specific technical data. 


The models are images of equipment in 3D with product data attached to it; such as dimensions, product description and services information. 

How do I get involved?

Consultants and kitchen designers will require manufacturers and prime importers to provide models for use in their software programs. This will ensure the accuracy of the model and associated information. Models for EFCEMBIM can be uploaded in BIM format.

How do I upload? - For manufacturers and prime importers

EFCEM associated manufacturers who have BIM Models and Product Data can upload their resources directly to EFCEMBIM free of charge. Models can be originated to a standard specification to ensure consistency using the recognized standards in the downloads section of this website. There is not charge for hosting models on EFCEMBIM. 

How do I download? - For kitchen designers and specifiers

Users can download BIM models and data free of charge making EFCEMBIM an industry relevant free delivery program that is a tool to make equipment specification quicker and easier. Sign up for an account now to get access. 

What are the costs?

The only cost to manufacturers will be to develop and maintain their BIM models by their own or asking a third party company.

EFCEMBIM is free of charge for manufacturers to upload data and free of charge for designers to download data. 

What are the benefit to my company and its products?

EFCEM will promote EFCEMBIM at industry events and exhibitions. This will include directing the design community to use EFCEMBIM.

Companies who have their products on EFCEMBIM will have the advantage of the industry recognized branding and profile.

EFCEM will develop the services offered by EFCEMBIM on behalf of the whole industry and not for commercial advantage.

Your competitive advantage as a member of a related EFCEM trade association - EFCEMBIM will not contain information from Non-EFCEM related trade association members. 

Can data be used that is not manufacturer specific?

The purpose of EFCEMBIM is to provide a repository of BIM models with linked information that is specific to real life products. When a model is downloaded with its specific manufacturer’s product information and depending on the BIM tool in use, it is possible to change this information, but it is not recommended.   

What happens when the client changes their specifications?

As with previous methods of design such as AutoCAD, a client change in specification or design will require a change of BIM model to suit a changed specification. For example, if a dishwasher is specified at three phase electric and requires to be changed to single phase, sometimes the BIM model will contain a variant option to change this without having to replace the model. This will update the specification accordingly. This is governed by the manufacturers’ available options for a specific appliance. If variants of this nature are available and suit a change in specification, this can simply be updated and exchanged within the design. An alternative product might be the only way to suit a change in specification if variant options are not available. 

How are one-off's and bespoke products managed?

EFCEMBIM provides a solution for “off the shelf” or “modular” equipment with optional extras. Bespoke cooking suites with a modular approach to their design can be supported, but truly unique one-off designs that are made to order are handled in different ways depending on the BIM tool that is in use. All BIM systems have a proprietary file type that manufacturers are required to support to serve their customers and designer requirements. Designs for bespoke products depend on the tools used to produce what is required and how this can interoperate with other systems. There are a vast number of workflows available to create BIM-ready content. It is also possible that consultants and designers may “Rough Out” blocks for bespoke products and arrangements. Depending on the level of development, this might in some cases be enough to illustrate the requirements. Manufacturers in this scenario may only need to provide manufacturing details and information that can be used to attribute to the existing model or used to tweak the block to suit what will be installed on site.  

Won’t Architects just use whatever is available for their own needs?

EFCEMBIM is freely available to anyone that requires information and Architects can get access to BIM models from EFCEMBIM. This does not substitute the need for specialist design skills within the foodservice industry and is no different to downloading a 3D CAD Block and specification sheet directly from a manufacturer’s website. The only change is that the information and model are merged together in a BIM file.

How can I access EFCEMBIM?

EFCEMBIM is a cloud database system. It has been created in by Specifi Global who have developed the tools to access BIM models and product information. These tools will allow users to access models and information held within the database for use in their foodservice design projects.

Do Manufacturers or Specifi populate EFCEMBIM with models and information?

It is an important requirement to designers and consultants that equipment within EFCEMBIM has cross brand compatibility with information and models. If Manufacturers are unsure about the standards or want to outsource their BIM content creation, contact us for more information.

How much information do manufacturers need to provide?

Most information that is required for BIM is already in the public domain and published by manufacturers. Additional to this may be general arrangement drawings for accurate model creation, or information that is missing from spec sheets that is required to meet the minimum requirements for a specific category of appliances. 

Can you get from Solidworks into EFCEMBIM?

No. Solidworks is a modelling application for production and fabrication drawings. Data contained within the geometry exceeds what is required for BIM and grossly affects the size of the BIM model file. Using exported Solidworks or Inventor models in a BIM software can cause software to crash and instability issues. Performance of a working design is also dramatically reduced and it is not possible to export information and parametric details to the required standard.

How do we get involved with EFCEMBIM?

EFCEMBIM is an EFCEM initiative to provide European manufacturers with an open access, single, unified library of data useable on all BIM software. It is a service to the industry and is managed and operated by EFCEM under contract arrangements with our designated supplier, Specifi LLC.

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BIM is something we need to embrace. Catering equipment fit outs are an integral part of every building design and learning how BIM will affect your business is critical to moving forward. Below is a compilation of frequently asked questions from manufacturers, designers, and other stakeholders.  

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