BIM maturity level 2: a detailed analysis regarding definitions, the necessary deliverables, documents and its benefits
What are the various BIM digital maturity levels? What is BIM level 2? Which procedures and documents characterize it?
Let’s see what BIM maturity level 2 provides and how AEC professionals can benefit from its adoption.
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BIM maturity levels
To begin with, I just wanted to remind you that BIM maturity levels specify the technological progress achieved in the AEC sector according to the different degrees of collaboration and information sharing between the different project stakeholders.
It starts from a basic level (L0) where there is no collaboration for the execution of work activities and reaches the last level (L3) characterized by perfect integration of information and the use of cloud-based platforms and BIM models.
BIM levels are defined slightly differently in relation to the different regulations.
In detail, PAS 1192 introduces 4 levels of digital maturity:
- L0 – low collaboration – used when project drawings are created in 2 dimensions with either Computer Aided Design (CAD) Software or directly on paper;
- L1 – partial collaboration – when construction drawings are created in 2 or 3 dimensions using 3D Computer Aided Design Software with digital files;
- L2 – full collaboration – when all design and modelling operations are carried out in 3 dimensions;
- L3 – full integration.
Currently the indications of PAS 1192 have been exceeded and absorbed by ISO 19650, which introduces 3 levels of BIM maturity:
- stage 1 – 2D CAD documents and information models are combined, in compliance with national regulatory requirements, for works project management;
- stage 2 – the disciplinary, federated information models, complying with international ISO 19650 standards, guarantee the integrated management of the project;
- stage 3 – the structured database systems of the information models, that can be queried at any time, allow OPEN BIM procedures to be imposed as a project management system and subsequent commissioning.
To learn more about these different BIM maturity levels, you can also read this interesting article, “From 0 to 3, what are BIM maturity levels“.
Let’s look more specifically at what the BIM 2 digital maturity level provides.
BIM maturity level 2
BIM level 2 specifies a complete collaboration between all actors involved in the design process. Collaboration takes place by working on 3D BIM models shared among professionals that is enriched with many useful sources of information that concern the entire asset lifecycle.
In this phase, in fact, two new dimensions of BIM are introduced: 4D that adds information regarding time management and scheduling and 5D, relating to the project cost estimate aspects.
The step to reach BIM level 2 is regulated by the international standard, PAS 1192.
Although collaborative work is at the center of BIM level 2, it is not necessary for all team members to operate on the same 3D CAD models. Each member can use a separate modello, but it must be shareable by means of open and interoperable formats (an IFC file, for example, essential for exchanging BIM data) that also contain all project information.
In this way, all stakeholders involved in the project have an overview of all the information available and can modify and update it at each stage of the asset life cycle. This allows full collaboration between the parties and, in fact, the creation of a unified BIM model.
To achieve this, you need to work with open file formats (IFC, COBie etc.).
Summarizing, at this stage all team members work in a coordinated way to obtain a federated model that maintains the specific characteristics of each project discipline.
The advantages of BIM Level 2
Respecting the requirements for BIM maturity level 2, you can achieve many advantages for your project:
The transition to BIM maturity level 2 (and even better to level 3) will have some important benefits for the construction sector.
Here’s a summary of some of the benefits below:
- Increased productivity – The ability to share information faster and more easily can offer a significant increase in productivity. Collaborative work can reduce the time it takes to incorporate and edit new information. Increased productivity also means lower costs and, by extension, greater efficiency in terms of project planning.
- Big Data – BIM will offer significant help in managing large amounts of data. The most effective management of big data will change the way many of the professionals work within the construction industry (e.g. technicians, companies, etc.).
- New possibilities for smaller markets – BIM can play an important role in optimising the construction process. This could soon lead to the opening up and development of new markets that until now did not have the right tools to expand. Thanks to a fully or partially integrated collaborative model, they will be able to face a large number of difficulties that they face daily at the moment.
- Higher quality buildings – The greater amount of data combined with the ability to handle it more accurately will ultimately lead to a noticeable improvement in the quality of our buildings. To put it simply, more complex buildings will be designed and built with much more to offer to residents and owners. Parameters such as the environment and the modernization of the designed structures will be easier to take into account during the construction procedure.
- Improved interference detection – Thanks to BIM, the interference detection process improves significantly.
The term “clash” refers to potential errors that emerge during the design and construction of a building. BIM can help in detecting interferences and consequently increase the efficiency of the project. IFC files offer great assistance during this process.
- Time Saving – In Level 2, time saving translates into early delivery of work resulting from several factors (for example, the use of a Common Data Environment and collaboration tools that allow easier working arrangements and faster exchange of information);
- Material and Cost Savings – Higher cost savings result from fewer changes, better detection of interferences, and optimization of asset management and maintenance activities;
- Improved health and safety – The use of BIM Level 2 can help improve health and safety at all stages of the works and execution life cycle. For example, a 3D model provides the visual basis for direct staff training, including 4D simulations and immersive virtual reality. The benefits are quantified by analysing the reduction in the number of work-related accidents and diseases attributable to BIM level 2;
- Improving the use and quality of resources – The use of BIM models and working methods consistent with BIM level 2 standards ensure an optimal understanding of project choices by everyone (designers, clients, companies, etc.). This ensures higher quality of the final product compared to the customer’s needs. For example, 3D and 4D visualization help in the creation of a comfortable environment because they allow to evaluate many aspects not easily identifiable with traditional methods (2D drawings, etc.). The higher the architectural quality of the finished product, the better the response from clients and investors. For example, a comfortable working environment influences the productivity of workers, etc.
BIM Level 2: Deliverables
In BIM level 2, the documents to be delivered (deliverables) must derive from an overall model that represents a federation between the models coming from different disciplines (structural, plant engineering, architectural, etc.) and that has been checked using clash detection procedures (verification of inconsistencies/conflicts).
Here’s the list of standard deliverables and procedures to follow for BIM level 2:
- compliance with the requirements of the EIR (Exchange Information Requirements);
- BIM Execution Plan (BEP);
- classification through Uniclass 2015;
- compliance with BS (PAS);
- digital workplan (describes the level of detail – LoD / CIC work phases);
- intelligent 3D libraries;
- intelligent 3D models;
- 3D-based collaboration;
- 3D digital survey;
- optimisation of asset performance;
- COBie (Construction Operations Building Information Exchange);
- Common Data Environment (CDE).
The standard ones are accompanied by deliverables that would not be strictly necessary at this level of maturity but that would undoubtedly brinf significant improvements:
- CIR (Contractors Information Requirements);
- preventive interference checks (clash prevention);
- validation of the model (model validation);
- cost estimates from 3D model (model quantity take-off);
- 4D and 5D models;
- collaboration based on BIM models.