BIM Maturity /// Easy as 1, 2, 3 | The B1M

Lots of people talk about the different levels
of BIM, but what do they actually mean? Well the levels run from 0 to 3 and are used
as measures of BIM maturity; that is the construction supply chain’s ability to operate and exchange
information. Level 0 is essentially the use of computer
aided design (or CAD tools) to create drawings and drawn elements using IT software. It’s
the first step up from generating information by hand. By contrast levels 1-3 deal with varying degrees
of modelling, collaboration and eventually the exchange of fully integrated, interoperable
data. Within Level 1, we progress from CAD to generate
suites of 2D information, followed by non-federated 3D models. Level 2 sees the progression to building information
models and the federation of those models between different parties in the project team.
Federation takes place within a single shared online area known as a common data environment. In broad terms, Level 2 is defined as “file
based collaboration and library management” but we’ll take a closer look at what that
really means in a moment. Levels 1 and 2 are supported by various guidance
documents available online. Level 3 envisages a wholly integrated project
information model, hosted and fully developed in a common data environment, by all members
of the project team in real time. That model could then be passed to the Employer for use
in lifecycle management as an ‘Asset Information Model’. We’re still some way off that, and most
AEC markets around the world remain firmly focused on the support, training and education
required to achieve and hone our capabilities at Level 2. So what does Level 2 BIM mean and how do you
know when you’ve reached it? The exact definition is still evolving and
hotly debated at industry level so we’re not offering a definitive answer here. There
is however general consensus on the core principles. The first is that originators produce information
in models which they control, sourcing information from other models by reference, federation
or direct exchanges. These information models are developed using
discipline based software, proprietary databases and varying degrees of interoperability. There should be an agreed process and protocol
for digital information exchange. This might be grounded in guidance such as PAS 1192-2. There’ll also be clear Employer’s Information
Requirements or EIRs, either issued by the Employer or developed by the service provider,
with the Employer, using plain language questions to accurately interpret their needs. Each supplier’s ability should be evaluated
prior to contract award, and in this sense ‘Supplier’ refers to all professional
service providers in the project team. There’ll be a BIM Protocol, a BIM Execution
Plan, and information exchanges will occur within that shared area we described earlier,
known as the common data environment. All of those elements will result in the delivery
of a co-ordinated graphical and non-graphical project information model to the Employer
for use in Asset Management. As we said a moment ago, whilst these represent
core principles, the constituents of a Level 2 BIM project are still evolving so do ensure
that you keep up to date with the latest developments. The 0-3 Levels of BIM maturity are different
to the various dimensions of building information model data. In addition to 3D drawn information, attribute
data can be included at 4D, 5D and 6D. 4D refers to time or project programme information,
5D to refers to cost data and 6D facilities management. The key thing here is that these are dimensions,
not levels. All of these elements could be found within a Level 2 or Level 3 BIM model. This diagram was developed by Mark Bew and
Mervyn Richards and is hence known as the Bew-Richards BIM Maturity Model. Further information can be found within PAS
1192-2 available from the British Standards website:

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