Chapter 26 International approaches to BIM

BIM usage is increasing at a rapid rate, including in Australia. The driving force behind the increase in BIM usage around the world comes from major private and government owners seeking to reap the benefits of a faster, more certain project delivery, with more reliable quality and cost.

UK adoption

Since April 2016, the British Government has mandated Level 2 BIM for all centrally procured government projects with a value over £5 million (AUD7.1 million), including both new infrastructure and refurbishments.

In the UK, the Construction Industry Council (CIC) BIM Protocol was published in 2013 and updated in 2018 to support Level 2 BIM in line with the mandate. The protocol is the only standard contractual protocol published in the UK for use in projects using BIM. It provides guidance on several issues, including:

  • permitted purposes relating to the use of data from the model;
  • treatment of intellectual property;
  • electronic data exchange;
  • definitions; and
  • change of management regarding the design team and the individuals who manage the BIM process and model itself.

The CIC BIM Protocol is an addendum to the building contract, consultant appointments and sub-contracts. On design and construct projects:

  • the protocol is appended to the designers’ contracts prior to the appointment of the contractor;
  • down the contractual chain, the contractor can arrange to incorporate the protocol into subcontracts that concern the use, production, or delivery of models.

The protocol attempts to integrate BIM with standard form contracts with no amendments needed to the standard form. Incorporating the protocol may result in inconsistencies between the protocol and the contract. For example, the extent to which the intellectual property vests in the designers or consultants.

US adoption

The United States is reportedly the biggest producer and user of BIM, even though there is no federal government mandate.

BIM in the US is widespread and has prompted the need for standardisation.  As a result, two contracts have been developed, the AIA E203-2013 and ConsensusDOCS301.

International standards

BIM is 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.

Generally, ISO 19650 gives practical guidance for information management during the delivery of projects using BIM. It outlines the information flow throughout the asset life cycle, including the management documents that must be produced and the project delivery team roles and responsibilities. This cycle is divided into the project information model and the asset information model.

ISO 19650 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 February 2023