Last edited 06 Feb 2024

BIM information manager

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a broad term that describes the process of creating and managing digital information about a built asset such as building, bridge, highway, tunnel, and so on.

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 all centrally-procured public projects.

As part of the industry response to this challenge, a number of BIM protocols have been prepared establishing specific obligations, liabilities and limitations on the use of building information models and that can be used by clients to mandate particular working practices.

Protocols such as the Construction Industry Council (CIC) BIM protocol require the appointment of an information manager (or project information manager) to set up and manage the common data environment (CDE). The common data environment (CDE) is used to collect, manage and disseminate documentation, the graphical model and non-graphical data for the whole project team. It facilitates collaboration between project team members and helps avoid duplication and mistakes.

The information manager is a procedural gate-keeper, policing the common data environment to ensure that it follows the agreed protocol and that the data is secure. They are not a BIM co-ordinator and have no design responsibility and no responsibility for clash detection or model coordination.

The CIC BIM protocol requires that the client appoints the information manager. This might be an internal appointment, but is more likely to be a service provided by a tier 1 supplier. The appointment may change through the course of the project. For example, the lead designer or lead consultant may be the information manager during the early stages of the project, but the contractor may take on the role during construction.

NB: The client may have their own information manager, responsible for co-ordinating preparation of the employer's information requirements, extracting relevant parts for inclusion in appointment documents and establishing the client's information environment where project information defined in the employer's information requirements and supplied by tier 1 suppliers is exchanged, verified and stored.

The CIC Outline Scope of Services for the role of Information Management suggests that the information manger should be responsible for:

The information manager might also host the common data environment, as an additional service.

NB Smart Building Overlay to the RIBA Plan of Work, published by the RIBA in 2024, states: ‘The information manager is responsible for maintaining, accepting, and rejecting information within the Common Data Environment (CDE), enabling integration and coordination of information within the information model. Ensuring the right data is captured in the right format and at the right work stage in the project. Preferably independent of the project, so free from bias.’

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings

Designing Buildings Anywhere

Get the Firefox add-on to access 20,000 definitions direct from any website

Find out more Accept cookies and
don't show me this again