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Top 10 BIM Acronyms Explained

The B1M | @TheB1M

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BIM is an acronym for the building information modelling process, but you’ve probably realised that within that process there are many more acronyms lurking around to confuse you! Here, The B1M’s Co-Founder Tom Payne counts down the 10 most common ones, helpfully taking you through the basics of BIM at the same time.

(Clicking the blue title links will take you to that specific part of the video on YouTube).

10 - PAS 1192

10 – PAS 1192 – “Publically Available Specification 1192” series, published by the British Standards Institution. There are five parts to it, with parts two to five each describing a different aspect of BIM Level 2. The key part for project delivery is PAS 1192-2. Download it for free here or learn more in PAS 1192-2 in 5 Minutes.

9 - CDE

9 – CDE – “Common Data Environment”. It’s a shared digital space online that everyone in your project team has access to. It could be a server, an extranet or a cloud based system. You can find out more about CDEs in What is a Common Data Environment?

8 - PIM // AIM

8 – PIM // AIM – “Project Information Model” // “Asset Information Model”. Within the BIM process, project teams create information models in their common data environment using both graphical and non-graphical data, clearly structured and accurately linked. That data builds in richness as the project stages progress until handover where the complete data set is passed to the asset’s owner or end-user. The information model is called a “Project Information Model” or PIM during the delivery phase, and an “Asset Information Model” or AIM once a project is handed over and complete. You can learn more about this in What is a ‘BIM Model’?

7 - EIR

7 – EIR – “Employer’s Information Requirements”. Right at the outset, Clients or Employers set out the information they will require in this document. It will state what they need at key stages of the project to make decisions, and what they’ll need at handover to operate their new asset at an optimum level. It’s important that this document is in place so project teams know what graphical and non-graphical information is needed, and when. Find out more about EIRs in What are Employer's Information Requirements? 

6 - BIM EP

6 – BIM EP – “BIM Execution Plan” (sometimes shortened to BEP). This document is shared and agreed by all parties in the project team. It sets outs how they will work together through the BIM process to deliver the requirements of the EIRs. BIM Execution Plans will typically detail: team roles and responsibilities; deliverables, and the timescales associated with them; approval procedures, and; logistics, formats and conventions for interoperable file sharing. Please note that this is by no means an exhaustive list.

5 - MIDP

5 – MIDP – “Master Information Delivery Plan”. This is a document that’s developed from the BIM Execution Plan, setting out what information needs to be delivered, the format is should be delivered in, the timescales and who needs to produce it. Below an MIDP sit various Task Information Delivery Plans (TIDPs) which all feed into the master document. You can find out more about MIDPs in our simple 90 second overview here.

4 - LOI

4 – LOI – “Level of Information” or the amount of non-graphical data within an information model at a given stage. It might be formed of schedules, specifications or other 2D documentation.

3 - LOD

3 – LOD – “Level of Detail” - meaning the amount of graphical or 3D data within an information model at any given point in a project. Collectively, Levels of Detail and Levels of Information and termed “Levels of Definition”. Further clarity is available in Levels of Definition Explained.

2 - IFC

2 – IFC – “Industry Foundation Classes”. It’s the open and neutral file format for exchanging data, and was developed by a global organisation called BuildingSMART. IFC is like an international language that everyone speaks, so that – regardless of what software platform they’re using – information can be openly exchanged. Most software platforms will have an IFC export function or the ability to save data in IFC format.

1 - BIM

1 – BIM – “Building Information Modelling”. The important thing to note is that this is a verb, it’s a process and a way of working, rather than a physical entity. We clarify this in What is a ‘BIM Model’?

You can learn more about many of these acronyms in the BS/PAS 1192 series of publications by The British Standards Institution. For those engaged in project delivery, PAS 1192-2 is particularly useful. For those focusing on asset management, PAS 1192-3 is more relevant.

This video contains extracts of PAS 1192-2: 2013, © 2013 The British Standards Institution, © 2013 Mervyn Richards OBE and © 2013 Mark Bew MBE. Model imagery courtesy of InteliBuild

This video was kindly sponsored by 4Projects. Find out more about them here.

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Mostafa Saber • 14-Mar-2016 09:10 AM

Very informative, thanks for explaining.

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