Glossary of terms – BIM

Following on from our series of articles on Building Information Modelling (BIM), we have produced a glossary of terms and key acronyms to help guide you through the various levels and documents involved in BIM.

Glossary of Terms and Acronyms used in BIM


American Institute of Architects


Architectural Information Model


Building Information Model

BIM Task Group

A group that brings together expertise from industry, government, public sector, institutes and academia to help deliver the government’s construction strategy


Business Process Modelling Notation


Building Engineering Services version of the common model


Common Data Environment


Construction Industry Council


Construction Operations Building Information Exchange

Core Maturity Model

Model used within BS 8541 to define levels of BIM as follows:

0 – Unmanaged CAD probably 2D, with paper (or electronic paper) as the most likely data exchange mechanism

1 – Managed CAD in 2 or 3D format using BS 1192:2007 with a collaboration tool providing
a common data environment, possibly some standard data structures and formats. Commercial data managed by standalone finance and cost management packages with no integration

2 – Managed 3D environment held in separate discipline “BIM” tools with attached data. Commercial data managed by an ERP. Integration on the basis of proprietary interfaces or bespoke middleware could be regarded as “pBIM” (proprietary). The approach may utilise 4D programme data and 5D cost elements

3 – Fully open process and data integration enabled by IFC/IFD. Managed by a collaborative model server. Could be regarded as iBIM or integrated BIM potentially employingconcurrent engineering processes

Data Drops

A level of data as yet undefined that will be the output from the BIM process at various stages. RIBA have identified data drops at stages B, C, E, G, K and L


Electronic Digital Management System


Electronic Reporting Process


Information Delivery Manual


International Framework for Dictionaries


Industry Foundation Classes


Integrated Project Delivery


Facilities Information Model

Government Construction Strategy

Issued in May 2011, spells out the Governments 4 year programme, in Construction, including the use of level 2 BIM on all public sector projects by 2016 (3D collaborative models with all project and asset information, documentation and data being electronic)

Meta Data

Data used for the description and management of documents and other containers of information


Publicly Available Specification


Structural Information Model

Standards and Codes used in BIM

AIA E202- 2008

Building Information Modelling Protocol produced by AIA used in the UK as a reference document

BS 1192:2007

Collaborative production of architectural,engineering and construction information. Code of practice

BS 7000-4:1996

Design management systems. Guide to managing design in construction

BS 8541-1:2011

Library objects for architecture, engineering and construction: identification and classification

BS 8541-2:2011

Library objects for architecture, engineering and construction: recommended 2d symbols
of building elements for use in building information modelling

BS 8541-3:2011

Library objects for architecture, engineering and construction: shape and measurement

BS 8541-4:2011

Library objects for architecture, engineering and construction: attributes for specification and assessment

BS ISO 29841-1:2010

Building information modelling, information delivery manual part 1: methodology and format

PAS 1192:2012

Early adopter document to enable the delivery of HMG BIM strategy projects to level 2 maturity indicator