Last edited 13 Oct 2016

NBS BIM object standard

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a very broad term that describes the process of creating a digital model of a building or other facility such as a bridge, highway, tunnel and so on. Fundamentally, the purpose of BIM is to ensure 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 UK government requires fully collaborative 3D BIM, with all project and asset information, documentation and data being electronic, on centrally-procured public projects in 2016. This represents Level 2 BIM.

BIM models are created from a series of objects. Each object is defined only once and then placed in the model in multiple locations as required. If the object is then changed, these changes will appear throughout the model. This makes models automatically consistent and reduces errors.

In 2014, NBS (part of RIBA Enterprises Ltd) published the NBS BIM object standard. This defines what constitutes a high quality BIM object for use with Level 2 BIM, with the right levels of information, appropriate geometry, and a consistent, structured, easy to use format.

NBS suggest that the lack of an industry-wide standard for BIM objects was a barrier to the take up of BIM and that adopting such a standard facilitates improved collaboration and more meaningful information exchanges, giving clients and the project team confidence in the quality of the BIM objects within their project models.

The standard is intended for use by construction professionals, manufacturers and other BIM content developers for the creation of BIM objects that operate in a Common Data Environment (CDE). It “…defines the information, geometry, behaviour and presentation of BIM Objects to enable consistency, efficiency and interoperability across the construction industry.”

It includes:

  • Section 1: General Requirements.
  • Section 2: Information Requirements.
  • Section 3: Geometry Requirements.
  • Section 4: Functional Requirements.
  • Section 5: Metadata Requirements.

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