Digital future of pool planning, building and operation


As of 2020 public builders can require planning with BIM / Congress for Pool and Bath Technology presents new technologies and software solutions

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is one of the focuses at the Congress for Pool and Bath Technology at interbad 2018. Architects, engineers, builders, manufacturers, tradespeople and operators in the pool construction business are all interested in how building information modelling (BIM) can make highly sophisticated buildings like indoor pools more controlled, transparent and efficient across their life cycle.

The advantages seem obvious: "BIM permits seamless digital processing of construction models throughout the planning process and during pool operation", explains Michael Weilandt, Deputy Managing Director of the German Association for the Recreational and Medicinal Bath Industry (DGfdB) and Head of the "Research and Regulations" division. All relevant construction data are recorded in an intelligent 3D model for further processing. Further developments have since ensued: now, for instance a 3D model of a swimming pool can provide planning interfaces, direct links to the pool operator's facility management program and even serve as the basis for virtual reality training courses.

Positive response from the law
Already at the end of 2015 the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure approved a step-by-step plan for planning and construction in the future. And the key planning tool is BIM. The Federal Ministry of Building followed suit, and since 2016 pilot projects have been conducted using BIM. As of 2020 public builders should be able to require planning with BIM.

Uncertainty abounds
"There is however a lot of uncertainty about BIM," says Weilandt, interpreting the many responses from the pool and bath industry. Planners often cite an absence of open interfaces as a major obstacle to the efficient use of BIM. Error-free data transfer between different programs, and thus also between partners involved in the planning process, is therefore not guaranteed. Another stumbling block is the lack of any German standards for interfaces and thus no planning safeguards for the stakeholders' own software strategy. Manufacturers are also keenly aware of the absence of a universal standard for equipment and parts. Will this take the form of the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) or Construction-Operations Building information exchange (COBie) standard? Or perhaps even a combination of the two? Or something completely different like MySQL?

Host DGfdB aims to discuss this and other issues at the Congress for Pool and Bath Technology. Aside from BIM, other technologies and software solutions which can be linked with BIM are on the agenda. Photogrammetric recording of swimming pools, in-planning simulation and evaluation of the sustainability of building materials and facility management will therefore also be presented and evaluated at the congress.

With its coherent mixture of a trade fair, a congress and an extensive accompanying programme, interbad, the international trade fair for swimming pools, saunas and spas, provides an ideal setting to exchange professional experiences and information, carry out networking and find out about technical developments and innovative trends relating to swimming pools, saunas and wellness. The next interbad takes places from 23 to 26 October 2018 at Messe Stuttgart.

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