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What are BIM standards?

BIM standards are procedures and guidelines recognized by different official bodies to optimize the management of all operations related to the life cycle of a work. Let’s see what they consist of in more detail

The AEC industry is constantly evolving both in terms of methods and processes.

With the constant advancement of technological innovation, BIM is increasingly used and diffused: this is why it is of fundamental importance that BIM (like any other technology or methodology) is also regulated by international standards.

It is precisely the collaborative and interdisciplinary approach that is based on Building Information Modeling that has pushed this methodology towards the development of standards and open workflows, an indispensable prerequisite for the creation of a common working environment and an exchange of information according to methods and formats that guarantee the maximum integrity of data.

Let’s see what BIM standards are.

Meanwhile, if you deal with BIM or are interested in this new methodology, I recommend this BIM management system to manage your projects and plan your work in a collaborative and shared process.

What is an international BIM standard?

International BIM standards are procedures and guidelines recognized by several official bodies at an international level, to better manage all the operations envisaged throughout the entire life cycle of the work.

This allows to obtain better organized processes and a better collaboration even between work teams located in different areas of the world.

The need for an international BIM standard arises, in fact, from the need for a common language that promotes communication between collaborators. This, however, is limited to general provisions, as each nation tends to use its own laws and regulations, reducing the benefits of standards.

ISO 19650 Standard

ISO 19650 Standard

What are the BIM standards?

The first international BIM standard that regulates BIM is undoubtedly the ISO 19650.

ISO 19650 (Organization of information on construction works – Management of information in the use of BIM) is an international standard that regulates the management of information on the entire life cycle of a built asset, using Building Information Modeling (BIM).

Defines collaborative processes for the effective management of information during the delivery and operation of built assets.

In general, we can say that ISO 19650:

  • derives from the British PAS (pas 1192 – 2: 2013 and PAS 1192 – 3: 2014)
  • has been drafted to be used throughout the life cycle of the building (from the design phase to management and maintenance).
  • it consists of 5 parts:
    • part 1 – general concepts and principles;
    • part 2 – delivery phase of real estate assets;
    • part 3 – development processes and information management during the construction phase;
    • part 4 – information exchanges;
    • part 5 – information security requirements.

For more information, read this focus article “What is ISO 19650″.

In addition to the ISO 19650 standard, which can be considered as the most important reference for the BIM industry, there are various other regulatory standards too. Among these, the best known are:

  • ISO 16739 – defines the format characteristics of the IFC for sharing data in a BIM process (see also “What is the ISO 16739?“);
  • ISO 12006 – which defines the classification of the components of a building product.

Why do we need BIM standards?

When we talk about BIM we have to think about a series of more or less complex processes necessary to complete certain works. Therefore, it is of fundamental importance to refer to standards and guidelines that organize and bring order to the entire system.

Some areas of regulation of standards

Some areas of regulation of standards

In some countries these provisions aren’t available because BIM has not been regulated at a national level and, therefore, you can find yourself facing different public or private bodies that develop their own standards. This situation slows down the development and implementation of BIM as technicians have to deal with different standards or rules to apply to the process.

For this reason, ISO 19650 was published in 2018, which seeks to eliminate (or at least limit to a minimum) the differences between the different standards that regulate the construction process.

The ISO 19650 is inspired by the BS 1192 (British Standard) and aims to make the exchange of data consistent, with obvious advantages for the AEC world. This is made possible by guidelines, requirements and various characteristics that specify products, processes and services, ensuring efficiency throughout the building’s life cycle.

Ultimately, the use of BIM standards leads to a number of positive aspects, such as:

  • improvement of the overall quality of the project and related information;
  • reduction of time necessary to complete the various activities;
  • increased efficiency in the coordination of the various disciplines;
  • optimization of processes that exist between the different disciplines of the AEC world.