Chapter 26 International approaches to BIM

A number of international jurisdictions have sought to address the risks associated with BIM by developing and incorporating, within standard form contracts, BIM protocols or addendums. For instance, the United Kingdom has successfully mandated the limited use of BIM on government funded projects by 2016 and industry wide by 2020.  It aims to achieve a greater level of BIM use by 2025.  The United States has also experienced a professional, industry-driven approach to implementing BIM.

The American Institute of Architects has designated six levels of BIM that apply to the BIM process from conceptualisation through to construction.  The relevant level of BIM assists the end user in knowing how accurate and reliable the information at each level is.  At Level 0 BIM there is little to no collaboration, whereas at Level 3 BIM there exists full collaboration between disciplines through use of a single, shared project model which is held by an ‘owner’ in a common repository.  All parties can access and modify that same model.  This is known as ‘Open BIM’.  Level 6 BIM involves various additions including the incorporation of facilities management information.

The international BIM protocols and addendums include:

Broadly, the CIC BIM Protocol and ConsensusDocs Addendum:

  • provide definitions unique to the BIM process;
  • outline the duties of an individual who coordinates BIM operations;
  • develops a life-cycle BIM Execution Plan; and
  • incorporate specific provisions in relation to the legal risks identified in the Legal issues and risks associated with BIM section of this chapter.

The CIC BIM Protocol establishes bilateral arrangements between the client and each project participant, whereas the ConsensusDocs Addendum adopts a multilateral project participant model. 

BIM is also the focus of a new international standards series, ISO 19650, Organization and digitization of information about buildings and civil engineering works, including building information modelling (BIM) – Information management using building information modelling. This series largely reflects lower level BIM use and provides for managing information over the whole life cycle of a built asset using BIM.  VDAS, for example, has embedded ISO 19650 in its information process for BIM.  ISO 19650 constitutes a step-change in how data and information should flow through the asset lifecycle and forms part of a larger international push towards implementing BIM on construction projects.

Updated July 2020