Part 2 : Is BIM going to be the next revolution in building electrical design? (read part 1 here)
BIM concept (Building Information Modelling) is also promoted out of the US through building SMART International (formerly International alliance for Interoperability, IAI) which recommends a data standard for BIM: IFC (Industry Foundation Classes). I heard about projects requiring BIM design in Northern Europe…
Major CAD sotware suppliers now provide the market with BIM software : Autodesk(Revit), Bentley. These software are very mature with the architectural and structural part of the building: up to xD (one even told me that the instructions for the steel part manufacturing are automatically produced from the design).
However the electrical part is very basic. Autodesk proposes BIM software for MEP (Mechanical Electrical Plumbing). The Electrical part consists mainly in power summary calculation and terminal level spatial drawing (from the sub distribution switchboard to the socket or the lights). There is no short circuit current or voltage drop calculation. So in engineering companies using BIM software, the electrical design is done separately .
The BIM software is seen by the electrical designer just as a common documentation repository for all the project.
However we can imagine all the benefits that all the building players can take from a better integration of the electrical software part in these global softwares:
– visualizing the electrical switchboard in the technical room: footprint and door swing checking,
– integrating automatically electrical installation heating impact in HVAC sizing,
– doing the best trade-off between all the building elements (structural, electrical, mechanical) to save energy,
– calculating automatically the recyclability of the whole building including electrical part,
– and of course avoiding re capturing and data loss because of separated software to design the electrical part
The launching of a software that really integrates the electrical part in the BIM world would be a revolution in the electrical building design which would bring important benefits to all the building players.
I would be very curious to share this information with other views and information or news ?
Some useful links if you want to know more about BIM