From BIM maturity levels to industry standards for digital construction in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry, this insight aims to demystify the complexities of BIM levels.
Here we examine the implications of BIM levels on project lifecycles and how this complex data environment is the key to revolutionising construction projects. We will look at how to achieve BIM level 2 compliance while also sharing insights from Waldeck’s path towards BRE ISO 19650-2 Certification.
- Understanding BIM levels and maturity levels
- Moving beyond the drawing board: the leap to digital construction
- A common language for construction: understanding Industry Foundation Classes (IFCS)
- Entering the future: BIM level 2 and beyond
- The importance of BIM level compliance in the construction industry
- Bridging technology and AEC practices
- Raising the bar with digital construction techniques
- The role of standards and education
- Achieving BIM level 2 compliance: best practices and challenges
- The role of collaborative working in achieving compliance
- The importance of standardised exchange processes
- Waldeck’s journey to BRE ISO 19650-2 Certification
- The pathway towards ISO standards
- Achieving UKAS Accreditation
- Beyond compliance – delivering value
- The role of training in achieving BIM compliance
- BRE BIM ISO 19650 Information Management course: a key tool for mastery
- Middlesex University London’s BIM Management and Integrated Digital Delivery course
- The tangible benefits – success stories from the drawing board to the construction site
- The future of BIM levels – looking ahead to 2024 and beyond
- Digital transformation driven by public sector clients
- Avoiding confusion with clear contractual frameworks
- FAQs in relation to BIM levels
- What are the five levels of BIM?
- What are the three main levels of BIM?
- What do the BIM levels mean?
Understanding BIM levels and maturity levels
In the world of construction, Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a crucial tool that lets us digitally visualise built assets before they even exist. This practice helps avoid confusion and ensures consistency across all project stages.
The concept work behind BIM has been divided into different ‘levels’, each representing an increase in digital maturity within the industry. At its most basic, BIM level 0, we are at the drawing board stage with traditional CAD drafting methods used for production information.
But as we climb up to BIM level 1, there is more sophistication involved. We start seeing a mix of paper-based and digital data management systems being used. Think about it like moving from pen-and-paper notes to keeping your schedule on Google Calendar – still not entirely perfect but definitely a step towards progress.
Moving beyond the drawing board: the leap to digital construction
The leap from level 1 to BIM level 2 represents quite an exciting shift – it is when we really start embracing technology for collaborative working on projects. This is where common data environments come into play, allowing easy sharing of design models between teams.
A common language for construction: understanding Industry Foundation Classes (IFCs)
Industry Foundation Classes or IFCs provide standardised ‘open data’ formats. Just like having a common language can make international travel easier, these standards help avoid confusion in the construction sector.
Entering the future: BIM level 2 and beyond
BIM level 2 involves not just digital design but also information exchange processes and even construction sequencing. This is where Waldeck’s expertise truly shines – our projects have been fully compliant with government-mandated BIM level 2 requirements since April 2016.
The importance of BIM level compliance in the construction industry
As we continue to embrace the digital age, Building Information Modelling (BIM) has become a key player in transforming construction operations. However, it is not just about adopting this innovative approach; achieving BIM level compliance is crucial for success.
In 2016, the UK government mandated that all publicly-funded projects must adhere to BIM level 2, highlighting its importance within public sector work. This step was aimed at driving domestic and international growth while ensuring consistency across an entire market through standardised practices.
At Waldeck, we have seen first-hand how implementing good information management systems can lead to more efficient project lifecycles. Over the past decade, our team has been using software that supports such initiatives – making sure our schemes are always compliant with these industry standards.
Bridging technology and AEC practices
To make sense of why adherence matters so much requires understanding what is behind those maturity levels: each BIM level represents a different stage of sophistication regarding data environment use within Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC).
Achieving level 2 signifies mastering collaborative working procedures as well as handling common data environments effectively. It involves navigating document management systems with ease – from production information exchange processes right down to shared model usage for easy sharing among stakeholders.
Raising the bar with digital construction techniques
Digital construction methods, like CAD drafting based on strict CAD standards, bring numerous benefits but require careful attention when dealing with unique file formats or adhering to contractual framework rules specific to built assets’ lifecycle stages.
The role of standards and education
As part of our journey, we achieved BRE BIM level 2 Business Systems Certification in 2017 and were awarded BRE ISO 19650-2:2018 Certification Scheme for Businesses in 2023. Our consultants continually participate in recognised training schemes to stay ahead.
The cultural landscape of BIM compliance is quickly shifting and, to avoid getting lost in the shuffle, it’s crucial we stay committed to continuous learning and strict adherence to these ever-evolving rules.
Achieving BIM level 2 compliance: best practices and challenges
Stepping up to the milestone of BIM level 2 compliance can feel like a big leap, but with the right best practice approach it becomes manageable.
The role of collaborative working in achieving compliance
Fostering collaborative working is key when aiming for BIM level 2 compliance. With shared models at our fingertips, we can foster an environment where every team member contributes to a common data environment (CDE). This way, all parties have access to the same information which helps avoid confusion and ensure consistency.
Beyond that, our decade-long experience has shown us how important it is to establish clear naming conventions early on. This promotes easy sharing and prevents miscommunication down the line.
The importance of standardised exchange processes
Another critical aspect lies within standardising exchange processes. An agreed-upon process lets everyone know what kind of file formats they need for their work – be it CAD drafting or more detailed production information – and how these should be exchanged among stakeholders.
This does not just make life easier; by adhering strictly to common file formats as prescribed by Industry Foundation Class standards (IFCs), you are ensuring interoperability between different software solutions used across your team – a non-negotiable requirement under BIM level 2.
The BRE ISO 19650 Information Management course, a widely recognised training scheme followed by Waldeck’s consultants, suggests defining clear data requirements from day one so that everyone knows exactly what is expected.
It is also worth noting that challenges will inevitably arise. You might face issues with the document repository or even run into electronic prints compatibility problems. But remember, every obstacle is a learning opportunity to help you better your team and processes for future projects.
Waldeck’s journey to BRE ISO 19650-2 Certification
At Waldeck, we have consistently been devoted to keeping up with the times. We understood early on that embracing BIM levels was key for us and our clients.
In 2017, we were proud to achieve BRE BIM level 2 Business Systems Certification. This milestone underlined our commitment to adopting internationally-recognised standards in the built environment sector.
The pathway towards ISO standards
Progressing beyond this milestone posed challenges, yet it enabled us to offer more efficient solutions for our clients. The journey demanded thorough planning, collaboration and substantial effort.
We embarked on rigorous training schemes such as the BRE BIM ISO 19650 Information Management course, making sure that every member of our team was well-equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to meet these new industry requirements.
Achieving UKAS Accreditation
By putting all hands on deck and leaving no stone unturned, in 2023 we finally achieved something monumental: becoming one of the first organisations awarded with BRE ISO 19650-2:2018 Certification Scheme for Businesses by UKAS – United Kingdom Accreditation Service. That meant not just ticking off compliance boxes but going above and beyond them.
Beyond compliance – delivering value
This certification is not just a trophy sitting pretty on a shelf – it means delivering first-class services while complying with global data management standards. And why does that matter? Because it helps us deliver projects more efficiently, reduce risks and provide better value to our clients in a competitive market.
The role of training in achieving BIM compliance
As the digital age takes hold, it is becoming clear that training plays a pivotal role in achieving Building Information Modelling (BIM) compliance.
In essence, thorough and industry-recognised training schemes give construction professionals the tools they need to navigate through complex BIM levels effectively. They equip them with essential knowledge about data environment handling and production information management.
BRE BIM ISO 19650 Information Management course: a key tool for mastery
A prime example of such a scheme is the BRE BIM ISO 19650 Information Management course. This comprehensive programme helps learners get a firm grip on how to manage and exchange project information properly using common data environments. It goes beyond mere theory; it provides practical insights based on real-world scenarios.
At Waldeck Consulting, we understand its value. Our consultants have completed this course as part of their professional development journey towards delivering innovative solutions within major infrastructure industries.
Middlesex University London’s BIM Management and Integrated Digital Delivery course
We also recognise the merits of advanced academic courses like the BIM Management and Integrated Digital Delivery course at Middlesex University London.
This MSc/PGDip/PGCert offers an intensive exploration into topics ranging from understanding maturity levels to efficient collaborative working strategies, helping our team members enhance their expertise while staying ahead of Industry Foundation Class updates and changes in CAD software use.
The future of BIM levels – looking ahead to 2024 and beyond
It is evident that Building Information Modelling (BIM) levels will progress. With international ‘open data’ standards gaining traction, and a growing emphasis on ensuring consistency in digital construction methods, what can we expect from BIM level compliance by 2024?
Beyond just easy sharing of information through common file formats or the use of shared models, advancements are likely towards even more collaborative working environments. This means moving beyond current BIM techniques and creating an operational method that brings together all parties involved in the project lifecycle.
This approach would let everyone work simultaneously on a single model with real-time updates – a step further than our current understanding of BIM level 2. In essence, the maturity levels might morph into something much more dynamic as Industry Foundation Classes become more sophisticated.
Digital transformation driven by public sector clients
With public sector clients driving domestic adoption due to their contractual processes requiring adherence to BIM level 2 guidelines for major projects, we could see these stipulations becoming commonplace across the entire market sector.
Avoiding confusion with clear contractual frameworks
In the face of rapid technological advancements in CAD software platforms such as Revit or Tekla Structures, effectively addressing potential confusion may hinge on establishing clear and robust contractual frameworks that support collaborative working.
With a clear contractual framework in place, businesses can confidently adopt new operational methods and technology platforms without the fear of liability issues arising due to misunderstandings or miscommunications during construction sequencing. It is about creating an environment that encourages growth, innovation and collaboration – all essential components for success in the digital age.
FAQs in relation to BIM levels
What are the five levels of BIM?
BIM has five levels: level 0 – No collaboration; level 1 – Managed CAD in 2D or 3D; level 2 – Collaborative working with shared models and data; level 3 – Full integration and collaboration across all disciplines; level ‘n’ which represents higher degrees of technological advancement.
What are the three main levels of BIM?
The three main BIM levels include: level one consists mainly of a mixture between both digital (CAD) design along with paper-based workflows. The second level involves collaborative work using separate discipline models within a common environment for data sharing. Finally, at level three, you have fully-integrated information management where everyone works from a single project model.
What do the BIM levels mean?
BIM levels denote different stages of technology adoption within the building industry. They represent increasing complexity and interoperability among software systems used by various professionals involved in planning, designing and constructing buildings and infrastructure projects like roads and bridges.