Home » BIM in Construction » BIM Acronyms: here’s a small dictionary of terms that you need to know in BIM

BIM Acronyms

BIM Acronyms: here’s a small dictionary of terms that you need to know in BIM

What do IFC, PAS, Cobie, BEP, EIR mean? Here is a small vocabulary to help those who need to find their way through the labyrinth of BIM software acronyms that is revolutionizing the construction industry. (Part 1)

Interest in BIM processes and technology is constantly growing among all those involved in the construction industry, but only recently has their awareness and attention to switching to BIM started to increase.
Being English the primary language for an internationally recognised design process, together with the continuous use of acronyms, may represent an element of misunderstanding towards a relatively new technology. This week our BibLus team has prepared a very useful vocabulary of acronyms commonly used in the BIM world.
A short list of the most frequently used terms and the expressions, meanings and explanatory notes.

BIM Acronyms

This handy dictionary can be consulted when needed and will be constantly updated even with your suggestions and specific needs that may arise in time.
We hope you find it useful!


Architecture, Engineering and Construction – Expression commonly used internationally to indicate the construction sector


American Institute of Architects – www.aia.org

Asset Information Model – As part of the BIM process, the various project teams create their information models that are continuously enriched with relevant progress data from the various project development phases. This continues until delivery of the complete model (models federation) to the owner or end user. The data model takes the name of “Asset Information Model” or AIM. Once the project is delivered and complete, AIM’s main objective is to manage, maintain and operate the built asset.


BIM Execution Plan – A document prepared by the contractor that illustrates in detail how aspects of the information model of the project will be taken into account in carrying out the planning and implementation phases; In other words, the BEP is the contractor’s response to the requirements contained in the EIR. Operationally speaking, two types of BEP are prepared: the preliminary contract BEP (set out by each agent) and the post-contract BEP (prepared by the tender winner)


Building Information Modeling // Model // Management – A well-known acronym whose meaning has evolved over time. Its universally accepted meaning is “building information modeling”, and essentially refers to the process of design, construction and operation of a building (or an infrastructure – usually a large engineering project) carried out by using object-oriented electronic information.


Building SMART International – a non-profit international organization, open and completely independent. The association is structured in “Regional Chapters” (representing states or groups of states) and brings together professionals and entrepreneurs, owners and/or property asset managers, software manufacturers and building materials, government agencies, research organizations, etc. Its mission is to influence the development of the Building Industry economy through creation and dissemination of open and common standards that facilitate the exchange of data regarding a construction between the various operators. Also promoter of the IFC standard, it was born with the name of International Alliance of Interoperability (IAI), subsequently it changed its name. – www.buildingsmart.orgwww.buildingsmart-tech.org


British Standards Institution – British Authority for Standardization. Founded in 1901, it is the oldest institution of standardization in the world – www.bsigroup.com


Drawing Computer Aided // Design // Drafting – an information technology sector that deals with the development of software technologies to support the activities and preparation of technical drawings or, more generally, of design.


Common Data Environment – a unique source of information for a specific project or property. It’s a structured computing environment used to collect, manage and distribute all data related to the project or asset of interest.


CAPital Expenditure – for Capital Expenditure. For a trader this represents the cash flow for the realization of an investment in fixed assets of an operational nature (fixed capital investments). In other words it is the financial commitment that goes into supporting the construction of an asset or building.


Construction Industry Council – the representative body of professional institutes, research organizations and business associations in the UK construction industry. Founded in 1988, it plays a significant role in the representation and commitment to the development of BIM in the UK. – www.cic.org.uk


is an international standard relating to managed asset information including space and equipment. It is closely associated with building information modeling (BIM) approaches to design, construction and management of built assets, and was devised by Bill East of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, who authored a pilot standard in June 2007.
COBie helps capture and record important project data at the point of origin, including equipment lists, product data sheets, warranties, spare parts lists, and preventive maintenance schedules. This information is essential to support operations, maintenance and asset management once the built asset is in service.
In December 2011, it was approved by the US-based National Institute of Building Sciences as part of its National Building Information Model (NBIMS-US) standard.
COBie has been incorporated into software for planning, design, construction, commissioning, operations, maintenance, and asset management. COBie provides several approved formats including spreadsheets, STEP-Part 21 (also called IFC file format), and ifcXML. Formats are available here: https://www.wbdg.org/cobie.

BIM related terms

BIM related terms


Drawing eXchange Format – A file format used for exporting and importing data between CAD programs.


Employer’s Information Requirements – a pre-tender document drawn up by the client, where the relevant requirements, specifically the production and delivery of information aspects are defined. It therefore represents an equivalent to the Preliminary Design Document.


Enterprise Resource Planning – Type of software aimed at planning of corporate resources and aimed at a more efficient decision-making processes within a company. Generally speaking, software solutions of this kind, allow you to integrate all major business processes: from sales, purchase management, inventory, customers, accounting and fiscal management aspects, etc.


European Union


Facility Management – Facility Management – is the real estate management in its broadest sense, for example both from the material point of view (ordinary and extraordinary maintenance of structures and facilities), and immaterial, being services (cleaning, concierge, etc.) for its proper use and maintenance of value and/or expressible income.

Don’t miss next week’s second part of the BIM acronyms and terms dictionary


Click here to download Edificius, the Architectural BIM Design software