Whatever the BIM question – IFC is the ‘one solution fits all’ answer
CESA answers concerns about BIM, IFC and Revit
There is a lot of discussion relating to BIM with reference to Revit files. To some, incorrectly, Revit has become synonymous with BIM and vice versa – rather like a hoover and a vacuum cleaner. “This is misleading,” says Keith Warren, director of CESA. “Rivet is one the many designer programmes that use BIM models. We have heard of Rivet files being requested, when what is actually needed is a BIM model.”
Another misunderstanding is that BIM models made in IFC (Industry Foundation Class) format will not be compatible with Revit. “Again, this is incorrect,” says Keith. “IFC is interoperable with over 160 BIM software programmes, including Revit, ArchiCAD and all the other big names. IFC models and data can be imported safely and with the data integrity assured. Also the file size will be manageable – small file sizes are essential in order to prevent the computer capacity being overwhelmed as whole projects are put together.
“Using IFC means manufacturers only have to have one model, as it will work in any of the software packages used by designers. It really is a case of one solution fits all.”
A full list of the IFC-compatible programmes can be found at
CESABIM, the non-commercial library of BIM models and data for the catering equipment industry, uses models prepared in IFC. CESABIM has been developed by CESA in partnership with BIM specialist, Schematic Ltd. It makes the specification and design of kitchens easier, by using BIM IFC models, prepared to a standardised format structure and level of detail.
Models for CESABIM can be used on all proprietary software systems such as Autoscheme, ArchiCAD and Revit.
“What designers actually need is a base file that will work in any of the space planning software systems that can be used, including Revit,” says Keith. “Manufacturers can be assured that having one model in IFC will save time and cost and will improve the service to a designer, regardless of the software used.”
CESABIM is a library of catering equipment models and data. It is free both for CESA members to upload their models, and for the download of models and data by all designers and specifiers.
The Catering Equipment Suppliers Association (CESA) is the authoritative voice of the catering equipment industry, representing over 170 companies who supply, service and maintain all types of commercial catering equipment – from utensils to full kitchen schemes. For more information on CESA visit www.cesa.org.uk