BIM level 2
NB See also our Step-by-step guide to using BIM on projects supported by more than 100 linked articles.
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a very broad term that describes the process of creating and managing a digital model of a building or other facility such as a bridge, highway, tunnel and so on.
There are a number of 'levels of maturity' of BIM:
- Level 0 describes unmanaged CAD (Computer Aided Design).
- Level 1 describes managed CAD in 2D or 3D.
- Level 2 involves developing building information in a collaborative 3D environment with data attached, but created in separate discipline models.
- Level 3 has yet to be defined in detail, but it is thought that it will include a single, collaborative, online, project model including construction sequencing, cost and lifecycle management information.
In the UK, the Government Construction Strategy published in May 2011, stated that the '...Government will require fully collaborative 3D BIM (with all project and asset information, documentation and data being electronic) as a minimum by 2016'. This represents a minimum requirement for level 2 BIM on centrally-procured public projects from April 2016.
The processes necessary to achieve level 2 BIM are set out in:
- PAS 1192-2 Specification for information management for the capital/delivery phase of construction projects using Building Information Modelling.
- PAS 1192-3 Specification for information management for the operational phase of construction projects using building information modelling.
These Publicly-Available Specifications are supported by a number of protocols, standards and tools:
- CIC BIM Protocol. This establishes specific obligations, liabilities and limitations on the use of building information models and can be adopted by clients to mandate particular working practices. It can be incorporated into appointments or contracts by a model enabling amendment.
- Uniclass2015. A classification system that can be used to organise information throughout all aspects of the design and construction process.
- Industry Foundation Classes (IFC). The standard data format facilitating interoperability between different software systems.
- COBie (Construction Operations Building Information Exchange). A spreadsheet data format for the publication of a subset of building model information focused on delivering building information (rather than geometric modelling), such as; equipment lists, product data sheets, warranties, spare parts lists, preventive maintenance schedules and so on. COBie presents information in a more accessible format, so that it is easier to use and re-purpose. This is essential to support operations, maintenance and asset management once the built asset is in service.
- BIM Toolkit. Developed by NBS, and offering a Digital Plan of Work to help define roles and responsibilities for preparing information and a verification tool to identify correctly classified objects and confirm that required data is present in the model.
For more information see BIM resources.
Very broadly, the approach required by PAS 1192-2 ensures that appropriate information is created in a suitable format at the right time so that better decisions can be made throughout the design, construction and operation of built assets. The information is described in the Employer's Information Requirements (EIR).
To ensure projects are properly validated and controlled as they develop, data is extracted from the evolving building information model and submitted to the employer at key milestones. This submission of data is described as a 'data drop' or 'information exchange'.
Generally, data drops are aligned to project stages, and the information required reflects the level of development that the project should have reached by that stage. This might be considered analogous a stage report on a conventional project.
Data drops are likely to include:
- Models (Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) models and native project information models).
- Data structures (such as COBie files and schedules).
- Reports (typically PDF's, although native files can be more useable).
NB It is thought that in parallel to the roll out of BIM, the government will require adoption of the Government Soft Landings protocol (GSL) for central government projects. Soft landings is a strategy adopted to ensure the transition from construction to occupation is 'bump-free' and that operational performance is optimised.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- BIM articles.
- BIM execution plan.
- BIM for dummies - an interview.
- BIM glossary of terms.
- BIM maturity levels.
- BIM resources.
- Construction Operations Building Information Exchange (COBie).
- CIC BIM Protocol.
- Collaborative practices.
- Common data environment.
- Data drops.
- Employers information requirements.
- Federated building information model.
- Government Construction Strategy.
- Government Soft Landings.
- Industry Foundation Classes.
- Information manager.
- Level of detail.
- PAS 1192-2:2013.
- PAS 1192-3:2014.
- Soft landings.
- The rewards of complying with BIM Level 2.
Featured articles and news
Watch one of the first documentaries by the acclaimed Adam Curtis, examining the substandard system building of the 1960s.
Take a look at the tech start-up that could transform construction design and communication.
This house in Barcelona uses an innovative new facade tiling system to blend into the landscape.
The origins, evolution and future of Level 3 BIM.
For new and returning Urban Design students, check out our article list divided up into the modules you'll be studying.
Report states that health of urban dwellers could be significantly improved by rethinking transport design.
The Kremlin, the centre of Russian power, includes some of the country's finest architecture.
Report launched outlining steps for a national infrastructure system that is efficient, sustainable, and delivers until 2050.
A review of Justin Bere's concise and well-presented introductory guide to Passive House.
This article describes in detail the tender process for a typical commercial construction contract.
'The filing cabinet' which was labelled one of the best British buildings of the 21st century.