2D, or not 2D? That is the question – at least, that’s part of it. In this blog, we’ll be looking at what defines the parameters of the different levels of BIM maturity.
What is BIM? Why and where is it used?
BIM, or Building Information Management, is an intelligent model-based process employed by architects, contractors and engineers to assist with the design, construction and maintenance of buildings and infrastructure. A BIM model is a 3D digital plan which encapsulates the physical and functional properties of both structural components and entire structures themselves.
BIM can offer an indication of how materials will work together in a design and helps with everything from securing buy-in from clients, to construction cost management, building maintenance and even demolition. One of the major benefits of BIM is the way in which it allows complete collaboration between all project stakeholders for more effective, more efficient outcomes. But it’s through the facility management term that BIM really comes into its own, allowing easy access to asset registers and other vital handover data.
In many countries such as the UK, Ireland, Australia, Japan, the USA and Brazil, BIM is already mandatory to some degree. And its benefits are palpable. Construction markets where BIM adoption is lagging will no doubt be following suit soon.
In order to enforce mandatory BIM protocols, there needs to be some kind of definition of what BIM is. That’s where BIM levels come in.
Ranging from levels 0 to 3, BIM levels indicate degrees of ‘BIM maturity’, defining the construction supply chain’s ability to operate and exchange digital information. Think of BIM levels like a BIM scoring system; higher scores indicate better BIM collaboration.
Although there is some debate as to where the boundaries of BIM levels fall exactly, the following descriptions offer a widely accepted outline:
Level 0 BIM
Only 2D CAD (Computer Assisted Design) drafting is utilised. Output is shared electronically or via paper printouts. Essentially, there is no exchange and collaboration of digital information.
Level 1 BIM
3D CAD is used for concept work. 2D CAD is used for the drafting of statutory approval documents and Production Information. Data is shared electronically through a CDE and is generally arranged by the contractor. To achieve BIM level 1 compliance:
- Roles and responsibilities should be agreed upon
- Naming conventions must be adhered to
- Arrangements should be made to create and maintain project specific codes and project spatial co-ordination
- CDE should be utilised
- An information hierarchy should be agreed supporting the concepts of the CDE
Level 2 BIM
The UK standard for public sector funded construction projects, terms for BIM level 2 compliance were originally laid out in the PAS 1192 specifications and have since been replaced by the BS EN ISO 19650-1:2018 standards.
PAS 1192 made clear that information must be created in a suitable format and at the appropriate time so that better decisions can be made throughout the design, construction and operation phases. To ensure that information is properly managed and validated, data must be submitted to the employer at key milestones. Broadly speaking, BIM level 2 compliance denotes a highly collaborative approach.
Level 3 BIM
Although this level has not yet been fully defined, key measures to facilitate BIM level 3 have been outlined and include:
- The creation of international open data standards to enable easy sharing of information across the entire market
- A contractual framework for BIM which will ensure consistency, avoid confusion and encourage open, collaborative working
- A culture of cooperation which seeks to learn and share
- Training of the client in BIM techniques and processes
- Driving growth and employment in technology and construction
Although BIM levels largely apply to public sector projects at the moment, it seems highly likely that these standards will filter through into the private sector in the future. Couple pending requirements with obvious benefits (see below) and it becomes clear that contractors would be wise to embrace BIM now if they haven’t already.
BIM delivers a host of benefits to contractors, architects and clients. It facilitates better design, improved productivity, more accurate costing, better project outcomes and much more.
With Zutec BIM, you can centralise your 3D models on a single cloud-based platform for seamless access and collaboration, avoiding third party licensing costs. Models can be accessed anytime, from anywhere which is especially useful for asset registers and handover data.
As with all Zutec modules, BIM works seamlessly with the rest of the Zutec suite. And our modular approach to digital construction software means that with Zutec, you only pay for the services you actually need.
See what Zutec BIM can do for your team. Book a free demo.