Tonda Pizza - Going global with BIM

Nina Quist - 2018-10-26

What began as a small, family-owned pizzeria by the beach of the Adriatic Sea, is turning into a global franchising venture. And as the popular pizza chain is expanding outside the borders of Italy, BIM plays an important part in their strategy for growth.

A family affair

It all started in 1948, when freshly baked pizzas were packed in wicker baskets and delivered by bicycle from the small bakery in Corso Manthonè. 70 years and plenty of entrepreneurial spirit later, Tonda Pizza is a loved Italian pizza chain well on its way to conquer the global market with their crusty dough and an authentic Italian taste palette. Architect Franco Rebecchi, founder of RS2 Architetti Studio Associato and bimOOpen Innovation, the first Italian startup focusing on BIM design, is currently working on implementing BIM as part of the company’s global expansion.

“We are involved in two pioneer projects, where we are creating the BIM models for Tonda's new restaurants in Ho Chi Minh and in Dubai. The idea is for Tonda to be able to use this model as a base, and then develop and adapt it to the requirements and conditions of their different locations globally”, he says.

Cost-efficient and scalable with BIM

In a restaurant, the kitchen is the core and the center of processes. The equipment for a professional kitchen is expensive, and represents a large percentage of the total investment. Franco stresses the importance of using real, manufacturer-specific objects in the BIM model, to be able to make detailed calculations and predictions.

“The BIM model allows us to calculate and make accurate estimates of everything from energy levels to maintenance costs”, he says.

In order to make calculations complete, it is important to be able to analyse the total cost all through a project's lifecycle. For example, a certain machine might be very expensive to purchase. But if it needs less energy, it might still be the best choice both in terms of cost and environmental impact. Franco Rebecchi sees BIM as an opportunity for producers to become included in plans from the very beginning.

“The point of using manufacturer-specific BIM objects is that they are completely defined. The detailed information they contain forms the very core of BIM and the digital project”, he says.

Visualisation with VR

Franco observes that new technologies like AR and VR are quickly gaining ground among architects, and notes that the combination of BIM and VR presents unprecedented possibilities to visualise ideas, plans and concepts.

“Combining BIM with new technologies like VR, allows us to bring our clients inside the planned building, and better understand what the end result will be like.”

Being able to enter a building virtually, before it is even built, dramatically reduces the risk of making costly mistakes. The chefs can move around in the kitchen and give their input on what works best for them, and the waiting staff can walk around in the restaurant and help identifying the best design solutions. Franco predicts a future where designers and manufacturers work even closer together, through the whole design process.

“With BIM, the supplier can be brought into the process early, even in things like complicated and sophisticated installations. In the future the design part will integrate even more with the technical part.”

Italy is going BIM

Franco stresses the convenience of finding all products in one place like in the BIMobject Cloud, and he points out that the world is increasingly turning in to one, single, big market, where geographic boundaries mean less and less.

“For us, BIMobject saves a lot of time. Before, we had to go to each manufacturer’s website to find their catalogue. Now it’s all in one place. BIMobject is like a Google for BIM objects”

Franco observes that the digitalisation of the industry is bringing many big changes. He sees this not as a problem, but as a big opportunity for all parties involved.

“There has definitely been a change in attitude in Italy. People are starting to understand that this can’t be postponed, that this it is happening right now”, he says.


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