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BIM Maturity /// Easy as 1, 2, 3

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The 3 levels of BIM maturity explained in simple terms!

Narrated by Fred Mills, The B1M. Copyright in PAS 1192-2:2013 is owned by The British Standards Institution, Mark Bew MBE and Mervyn Richards OBE.

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. 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.

The wedge-shaped diagram in this video was developed by Mark Bew and Mervyn Richards and is hence known at 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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