Q. What actually is Building Information Modelling (BIM)?

A. There are many definitions of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and largely it depends upon your standpoint. At a headline level BIM is a verb that describes the process of collaboratively creating and managing information for the virtual representation of a construction asset such as a hospital or railway with embedded or related 3D geometric data and other non-graphical information such as performance or operational and management data. BIM allows the virtual production, analysis, evaluation and optimal development of an asset in a digital environment that mimics the understanding and behaviour of the solution to the realization of that solution in reality. This process helps form a reliable basis for decision making and targets better whole–life outcomes.

Q. Level 2 BIM has been quite specifically targeted what actually is it?

A. Level 2 BIM maturity can be described as a series of domain and collaborative federated models, consisting of both 3D geometrical and non-graphical data, prepared by different parties during the project life-cycle within the context of a common data environment. The project participants provide defined, validated outputs via digital data transactions using proprietary information exchanges between various systems in a structured and reusable form.

Q. Why has Level 2 BIM specifically been recommended?

A. Level 2 BIM is a tried and tested British Standard which has cemented regular savings for early adopters. The standard encourages the adoption of open data standards, has proven to help reduce risk and bring added value to construction projects in the context of a more collaborative and innovative environment. Additionally the expected (in 2017) International Draft Standards ISO 19650-1 and -2 will be derived from the Level 2 PAS1192-2 and -3 standards.

Q. When will BIM be implemented in Scotland?

A. The implementation of BIM was endorsed by Scottish Ministers as part for the Review of Public Sector Procurement in construction. This commits to the adoption of BIM Level 2 within Central Government project by April 2017. For all other projects, BIM Level 2 should be adopted where appropriate.

Q. Will in need to invest in a particular piece of technology?

A. The SFT BIM Delivery Group is strongly supporting a vendor neutral position with geometrical models being exchanged in their native file formats plus 2D PDF cuts along with non-graphical information in a COBie format.