The digital revolution in French stations: BIM, all aboard!

In June 2020, three partners signed an unprecedented innovation partnership that will eventually make it possible to pool huge sets of data from French stations, centralise their energy management and even carry out simulations and forecasts based on their "digital twins"... A thrilling conversation spanning present and future with Marlène Dolveck, CEO of SNCF Gares & Connexions, Sylvie Jéhanno, Chairwoman & CEO of Dalkia, and Manuel Gomes, Chairman of Stereograph.

Bus parked in the SNCF station leaded and managed with BIM GEM

The first large-scale BIM GEM

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a concept used to create digital 3D models of buildings that can display a full range of features including everything from the type of boiler to the position of windows and wiring. The term BIM GEM is used when these building models, dubbed "digital twins", are used for asset management, operations and maintenance, known as “Gestion de patrimoine, Exploitation & Maintenance” (GEM) or “Asset Management, Operations & Maintenance” in France. BIM GEM provides a single platform through which to access all of these features, giving all relevant parties, such as engineers, energy managers and building managers a full array of data in real time.

The digital twins built for BIM GEM display data on building operations and the movement of occupants using smart sensors installed in key areas. The SNCF Gares & Connexions project is unique in its scope: the three partners are collectively creating a platform that marks a world first by bringing together digital twins for some 122 stations. The initiative could potentially be rolled out in all 3,000 stations across France…

Effective co-construction!

SNCF Gares & Connexions: project sponsor

In charge of the management, operation and development of France's 3,000 stations, SNCF Gares & Connexions is committed to constantly improving the quality of operations, inventing new services and modernising…

Dalkia: expert in energy and performance improvements for buildings

Dalkia develops renewable and recovered energy solutions and improves energy efficiency to help its clients pursue their energy transition and digital transformation . The company has already developed BIM by Dalkia, a…

Stereograph: expert in 3D imaging and modelling

3D software and image specialist, Stereograph is the company behind Teia, the first BIM GEM web solution capable of using the BIM model in operations while making it smart and connected.

Marlène Dolveck, how did this project come about ? What sort of improvements will it usher in for stations and their users ?

Our goal with BIM is to go even further in improving the quality of station operations to offer passengers facilities that are increasingly practical, efficient and modern. Every day, we cater to over 10 million people…

Marlène Dolveck,

CEO, SNCF Gares & Connexions

Sylvie Jéhanno, what is new about this BIM GEM project ? What innovations will it bring to the market ?

It is new in a number of ways. The first is the type of partnership we have established: a public-private partnership focused on innovation and a drive to pool the experience and resources of the three companies…

Sylvie Jéhanno,

Chairwoman & CEO, Dalkia

Manuel Gomes, what are the technological challenges? In what way does this new tool represent a revolution?

It is one of the biggest-ever technological initiatives to use BIM in day-to-day operations. In other words, an unprecedented quantity and quality of data will be funnelled through the platform every day, making it…

Manuel Gomes,

Chairman, Stereograph

Schedule for the project

  1. 2020
    • Prototypes and trials in two stations: Nîmes Pont-du-Gard and Toulouse Matabiau
    • Creation of first two digital twins
  2. 2021

    System deployment at 10 stations in Brittany: Auray, Guingamp, Saint-Brieuc, Lorient, Vannes, Saint-Malo, Quimper, Rennes, Morlaix and Brest

  3. 2022 to 2024

    Deployment at 110 more stations throughout France

Dalkia and BIM: background

  • Dalkia has been using BIM GEM for several years, along with other digital solutions such as its Dalkia Energy Savings Center (DESC) to promote Smart buildings: buildings that are green, intelligent and connected.
  • Since 2019, Dalkia has been developing its own BIM system under the name "BIM by Dalkia".
  • Dalkia uses BIM with clients in the UK: Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and shopping centres including 10 Hammersmith Grove and 70 Mark Lane in London.
  • Since 2014, Europe has been encouraging the use of digital technology in construction. In 2019, a French national scheme called "Plan BIM 2022" replaced the Digital Transition in Construction Plan (Plan Transition Numérique dans le Bâtiment, or PTNB) to mobilise and support the building industry and give professionals the specific tools required to meet their digital needs.
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