The BIM virtual model management: Common Data Environment (CDE) in BS 1192 and Pas 1192-2. The EU BIM  consultative task group

Talking about BIM methodology means talking about collaborative work processes based on computer applications capable of creating virtual models of the type of product to be built – so much more so than just talking about software.

BIM methodology from software to standards

So-called BIM-oriented software remains one of the cornerstones of this methodology. They create models of the product that, being able to dialogue with each other, form the federation of models around which all the various professional activities interact.

To be more precise:

  • software BIM authoring, software that can create models with alphanumeric information (properties and outputs) as well as geometric coordinates and congruent with the first among them;
  • software BIM tools, formed of a “constellation” of utilities for each BIM authoring, capable of performing specific project calculations or other design processes (eg. structural analysis, construction cost estimates, etc.), returning the output data to its reference models.

The following figure, taken from English legislation, is explained in this description, where architectural, structural and plant engineering models are considered.


The way these models can exchange information is a technical aspect guaranteed by shared data formats between the software (hence the term “interoperable software”), the most common of which is the Industry Foundation Classes, better known as IFC. (see article “Bim and software interoperability”).

The EU BIM consultative task group

Under the English initiative and with the European Union, an “EU BIM Task Group” (an Advisory Group) was set up, with the task to coordinate and link the ways in which BIM will be introduced into the European Union’s public works infrastructure.



Common data environment: BS 1192 – Pas 1192-2

Many trade associations, along with the UK government, have made technical documentation available to help businesses, professionals and contracting entities in the practical application of the new method.

The British Standard Institution BSI (British Standard Institution) has produced a series of standards, organically conceived and of great importance.

The 1192 standard (BS 1192Pas 11922 parts /3 /4 /5) and the other related therapies constitute an important reference to the application of the BIM methodology, covering all the phases of a product’s Construction life, from the design phase to the construction and management phase.


Area of competence according to Pas-1192

The figure offers an interesting picture of the whole building process: you can locate the “competence area” of “BIM-oriented software(area of the chart highlighted in yellow):

Area of competence according to Pas-1192-2-2013

Area of competence according to Pas-1192-2-2013

It is certainly important to highlight how the representation of Pas 1192: 2: 2013 synthesizes two distinct chain processes that can be described as follows:

The first relating to the management of the whole building process

Process management according to PAS-1192

The second concerning the management of project information through the creation, development and maturity level of the building’s virtual model.

Project information management-Pas-1192

Project information management-Pas-1192

In particular, note that in this second figure, all virtual operations are developed within a defined Common Data Environment (CDE) area.

Click here for more information and download Edificius, the architectural BIM design software