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BIM maturity Levels: from stage 0 to stage 3

BIM maturity Levels: from stage 0 to stage 3

BIM maturity levels 0, 1, 2 and 3: what are they, what are they used for and what are the requirements to be in line with the digitisation of the construction industry

With the advancement of the BIM technology in the construction sector, there is also a growing need to measure the degree of development of this new methodology, according to predefined criteria.

What are BIM maturity levels? What standard defines them?

Let’s find out now in this in-depth article.

Furthermore, if you are interested in BIM and collaborative working, I suggest you try usBIM, the BIM management system for working according to the requirements of BIM digital maturity level 3.

What are the BIM maturity levels?

BIM maturity levels define the technological progress achieved in the AEC sector according to the degree of collaboration and information sharing between the different stakeholders involved in a project.

Starting from a basic level where there is no collaboration to carry out the work activities and going up to the last level characterised by seamless integration of information and the use of cloud platforms and BIM models.

PAS 1192 introduces 4 levels of digital maturity:

L0 – low collaboration – you work in 2 dimensions with Computer Aided Design (CAD) software or on paperwork;
L1 – partial collaboration – working in 2 or 3 dimensions 3D Computer Aided Design Software with digital files;
L2 – full collaboration – works in 3 dimensions
L3 – full integration.

BIM maturity levels

The 4 levels of BIM maturity

BIM level 0 (low collaboration)

It is the easiest step of the information generation process, there is practically no level of cooperation.

At this stage, the production and sharing of the information take place with non-interoperable, paper-based documents: CAD drawings are used, but the information of the model is not shared.

Nowadays, the majority of technicians is at this stage: although they use BIM oriented software, they exchange paper-based information that cannot communicate between one another.

For more information, I suggest you read the in-depth article “BIM Maturity Levels: BIM Level 0

BIM level 1 (partial collaboration)

Many studios and companies are adapting their work at this stage. A Common Data Environment (CDE) is used in this case.

A CDE is an online shared repository where all the data of the project are collected and managed.

In other words, BIM level 1 focuses on the transition from CAD information to 2D and 3D one. Despite the presence of a common data environment, the generated models are not distributed among the different stakeholders.

This level is about information management through a standardization of the model among team members.

For more information, I suggest you read the in-depth article “BIM Maturity Level 1

BIM level 2 (full collaboration)

This level focuses on how the information is shared among the various members of the project.

At this stage, two new dimensions of the project are introduced: the 4D, time management and the 5D, calculation of the budget. International standard PAS 1192, regulates the steps to reach the BIM level 2.

Although the collaborative working is at the center of the BIM level 2, it is not necessary that all the team members operate on the same CAD 3D models. In fact, every member can use a distinct CAD model in a common file type (an IFC file for instance, used to exchange BIM data) that contains all the designing information.

In this way, all the stakeholders involved in the project have an overview of all the available information and can modify it accordingly. This allows the full collaboration among the numerous parts of the project and the creation of a unified BIM model.

To reach this goal the CAD software, that every member uses, should export in common file types such as IFC file, COBie file etc.

To sum up, at this stage all the members of the team work in a coordinated way to obtain a federate model that maintains the specific characteristics of every discipline of designing.

For more information, I suggest you read the in-depth article “The advantages of BIM Maturity Level 2


BIM maturity levels

BIM level 3 (full integration)

BIM level 3 is the final goal for the construction sector.

The main purpose of this level is to obtain a full integration of information in a cloud-based environment. This is possible using a common shared model that will be available to all the stakeholders of the project who can add or modify their own information.

This model in IFC format, is the mile stone that can be shared and preserved in a cloud, so that all the agents can have access to the same information. The project team verifies in real time the effects of the single action on the model.

In this way the entire life cycle of a building, from its designing to its construction and maintenance can be managed.

This is a future implementation but the majority of AEC markets all over the world keep focusing on support, formation and education to obtain BIM maturity level 2 capacities.

For more information, I suggest you read the in-depth article “BIM maturity levels: BIM Level 3

BIM maturity stages- Bew-Richards diagram

BIM maturity model Bew-Richards

Digital maturity stages in ISO 19650

With the publication of ISO 19650 (parts 1 and 2) in 2018, new regulatory scenarios have emerged at the international, EU, and individual State levels. Currently, this standard is the primary reference for all other existing standards.

Specifically, ISO 19650-1:2018 reproposes and actualizes the concept of BIM Maturity, with a schematization similar to the Bew-Richards triangle.

It essentially identifies 3 stages of BIM maturity:

  • BIM STAGE 1 in which 2D CAD deliverables and 3D BIM models (information models) are combined, meeting national regulatory requirements, for project management
  • BIM STAGE 2 in which the information models of the individual disciplines (structural, architectural, MEP systems, etc..), federated and meet international standards ISO 19650, ensuring the integrated management of the construction project
  • BIM STAGE 3 in which the structured database systems of the informative models, immediately interrogable, allow to impose the OPEN BIM as a project management system and of its subsequent commissioning.

In addition, activities of Asset management are envisaged, understood as a real estate asset, i.e. the system of real and/or virtual objects of a building.
Progressing from Stage 1 to 3, there is an increasing integration of data both at technological and information level.

In particular, Stage 2 data sharing is based on the exchange of models and files, while Stage 3 moves towards model management through structured platforms that enable the optimization of all BIM processes and direct model interrogation.

Matrix that schematizes the BIM maturity levels according to the ISO

BIM maturity levels according to ISO 19650 – Matrix scheme

BIM Maturity Levels and Dimensions

BIM maturity levels are often confused with so-called BIM dimensions. They are actually different concepts. Let us clarify.

BIM dimensions define all aspects and information that come into play in the process of digitising a construction project.

BIM is more than just the three-dimensional (3D) modelling for which it is known and can embrace other ‘dimensions’ that serve to add useful information to the work to be built or managed.

The dimensions of BIM are:

  • 3D – three-dimensional restitution of the artefact
  • 4D – analysis of the time required to complete the works
  • 5D – cost analysis
  • 6D – sustainability assessment
  • 7D – facility management.

In addition to the 7 standard dimensions, there is an open debate on the three “new dimensions of BIM”:

  • 8D – safety in the design and construction phase
  • 9D – lean construction
  • 10D – industrialisation of construction.

All these elements can be found within a BIM Level 2 or Level 3 model.

The dimensions of BIM

If you would like to learn more about the dimensions of BIM, we recommend the following articles:

Benefits of BIM Level 3

BIM level 3 brings important advantages for the construction sector. Here are some of them:

  • Increased productivity. Sharing information in an easy and fast way allows a substantial increase of productivity. The collaborative working reduces the time to add and modify new information. Greater productivity means lower costs and greater efficiency in terms of project planification.
  • Big Data. BIM technology offers a help in managing an enormous quantity of data. A more efficiently management of Big Data will change the way in which a lot of professionals work in the construction sector.
  • New possibilities in smaller markets. BIM technology can optimize the construction process. This element allows the opening and development of new markets that till now did not have the right tools to expand. Thanks to a full or a partial integrated collaborative model, they will be able to deal with the difficulties that they encounter at the moment.
  • Buildings of higher quality. The ability to manage more precisely a bigger quantity of data allows an outstanding improvement of the quality of buildings. In other words, in the future more complex buildings that have much more to offer to their residents will be designed and built. The environment and modernization of the designed structures can be easily taken in consideration during the construction process.
  • Improved clash detection. Thanks to BIM, the clash detection process is improved drastically. Clash refers to potential errors that emerge during the designing and construction of a building. This process can be managed through BIM technology and IFC files to increase project efficiency.

It is clear, therefore, that BIM represents a new paradigm within the construction sector encouraging integration of the roles of all stakeholders on a project and interoperability.

BIM technology introduces the concept of interoperability in the construction sector, which is facilitated by the use of the best BIM software certified by buildingSMART International.