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what are AIA BIM protocol

What is the AIA BIM Protocol

The AIA BIM Protocol collects all of the necessary procedures for professionals in the AEC sector to use BIM oriented workflows in their projects. Here’s what they contain

Traditional design workflows often end up being fragmented and incosistent with client requirements and the need to constantly keep design solutions in line with project budget objectives and eco-sustainable construction technologies that go alongside the more typical architectural design, structural calculations and MEP plant design aspects, but with a coherent BIM process, these coordination problems can be overcome in an integrated design methodogy.

BIM-based processes support the so-called integrated design methodology. A systemic approach in which everyone is involved right from the early stages of planning with everything under control.

The AIA was one of the first organizations to understand the great potential in implementing the digital workflows involved in in BIM.

Let’s see what it’s all about and which tools are commonly used to promote the use of BIM methodology.

The role of the AIA in BIM.

The American Institute of Architects, or AIA, is an organization composed of over 83,000 members, strongly involved since 2007 in promoting the use of BIM in the AEC sector together with many scientific and practical training initiatives .

According to the AIA, BIM is the design methodology that:

  • is highly independent from the type of project and/or delivery methodology;
  • allows AEC professionals to produce a virtual model with full dynamic access to entity data even before the construction process begins;
  • allows all stakeholders to create a centalized database of different types of information that evolves accross the entire project lifecycle;
  • facilitates collaboration among all parties.

The added value of continuous collaboration provide immediate access to important information concerning construction techniques and also analyse potential conflicts that may occur during the construction process.

This translates into a much better understanding of the whole project in the pre-construction phase, avoiding design variations and consequent increases in costs.



Let’s see how the American Institute of Architects (AIA) spreads its principles.

Display of the AIA BIM protocols?

The AIA was the first to introduce the definition of “Level of Development” and did so by setting out a series of protocols, in the form of standard contractual documents.

They were published in 2008 and then updated in 2013. Today, they are the below:

  • AIA Document E202™ – 2008, Building Information Modeling Protocol Exhibit;
  • AIA Document E203™ – 2013, Building Information Modeling and Digital Data Exhibit;
  • AIA Document G201™ – 2013, Project Digital Data Protocol Form;
  • AIA Document G202™ – 2013, Project Building Information Modeling Protocol Form.

These documents, which are the most used in the construction sector, can be consulted and accompanied by a series of examples, instructions and guides to make the methodology open to all.

The AIA documents are:

  • fair – they equally integrate the interests of engineers, architects, contractors, owners, insurers, etc.;
  • practical – they focus on practical guidelines;
  • simple – easy to interpret and use;
  • compliant with the regulation – always updated with respect to those in force;
  • flexible – editable according to the client’s needs;
  • constantly updated – with respect to the technological evolution of the sector.
AIA BIM Protocol

AIA BIM protocol

What is AIA E202?

E202™–2008, Building Information Modeling Protocol Exhibit is a document introduced by AIA in 2008 and consists of a contractual structure for the management of BIM projects.

Not a stand-alone document; it must be attached to any other contract related to design or construction services, and is not rigid as it can be customized for any project.

The E202™–2008 divides the IT model into several components, using the Uniformat™ system and based on the project stage identifies five progressive “Level of Development”, defined as LOD:

  • LOD 100: Concept;
  • LOD 200: Approximate geometry;
  • LOD 300: Precise geometry;
  • LOD 400: Fabrication-ready geometry;
  • LOD 500: “As Built”.

For each LOD, the file formats and standards are identified, by defining:

  • responsibilities for the management of the model;
  • the resolution of clashes;
  • the display;
  • the archiving.

To learn more about the LODs and updates made to them by AIA in 2013, read this article.

Whatis AIA E203 2013?

The E203 – 2013 Building Information Modeling and Digital Data Exhibit is a document drawn up by AIA in 2013 that aims at defining the objectives of the involved parties in relation to the use of digital data and Building Information Modeling in design.

It consists of five articles:

  • Article 1: contains the general provisions related to the data flow;
  • Article 2: contains the framework for the transmission of digital data and the processing of confidential data;
  • Article 3: establishes the procedure for the use and transmission of data between the various parties, also identifying the users responsible for the management of digital documents;
  • Article 4: contains the protocols relating to the use of the BIM methodology in the project, identifying who is responsible for managing the information models;
  • Article 5: outlines any other provisions and conditions.

This document is also enriched by the AIA Document G201™ – 2013 Project Digital Data Protocol Form and by the AIA Document G202™ – 2013 Project Building Information Modeling Protocol Form.

They shall detail the development of protocols and procedures to govern the development, use, transmission and exchange of digital data.

The protocols will be reviewed from time to time as the circumstances of the project change and designated with revision date and number.

AIA G201 – 2013 – Project Digital Data Protocol Form

AIA Document G201 – 2013 – Project Digital Data Protocol Form allows the participants in the project to document the protocols related to digital data, protocols that will be addressed in more detail in AIA G202 – 2013.

The protocols are contained in these modules rather than in the main document as they are subject to variation during the design phases and this avoids modifying the main agreement as the protocols change.

AIA G202 – 2013 – Project Building Information Modeling Protocol Form

AIA Document G202 – 2013 – Project Building Information Modeling Protocol Form, coordinated with E203 – 2013 and with a compilation table, details:

  • the content requirements of the model in relation to the five Levels of Development;
  • the uses of the model according to the five LODs;
  • the allocation of the various elements of the model;
  • the properties of the model;
  • modelling standards;
  • file formats.

To easily manage contractual documents and protocols and share them with the various professionals of a BIM project, I suggest you use a BIM Management System platform, completely free and online, with which you can check and update all the changes made in real-time.