BIM Standards: ISO 19605 and more

GlossaryNovember 18, 2020

As a relatively new technology, Building Information Modeling (BIM) is bound to have a list of widely accepted standards sooner or later. BIM itself can be defined as a shared knowledge resource that hosts various information about a specific project, helping make appropriate decisions on all of the stages of the project.

BIM has been a hot topic for the last few years, and for a good reason. The potential advantages of adopting a comprehensive BIM strategy massively outweigh any potential disadvantages. The substantial benefits can be noticed when it comes to efficiency, speed, collaboration, accuracy, and much more.

However, the spread of BIM is still quite limited. There’s a severe lack of understanding of how everything works, and also the amount of investment needed to truly take advantage of all the benefits. But one of the most significant factors impacting the spread of the BIM is the number of different software solutions on the market and the lack of standardization.

The existence of so many different BIM applications makes it incredibly difficult for potential users to pick the proper solution for themself, and the amount of proprietary formats is simply staggering. This is why BIM needs a specific set of standards to become more widespread.

BIM standards

There are some BIM-related standards that already exist. One of the first international lists of BIM standards is called ISO 19650. The International Organization for Standardization creates these standards, and so far at least two parts of it are included and working:

  1. Concepts and principles.
  2. Delivery phase and assets.

In general, ISO 19650 mostly refers to the organization and digitization of various information about civil engineering buildings – including BIM as one of the methods of interacting with such information. The origins of ISO 19650 can be found in two British standards – BS 1192 and PAS 1192-1.

Both of these standards focus on decreasing the overall construction costs and providing a more effective framework to help different participants of the process with collaborative efforts, which improves almost all of the construction stages. Additional parts of the ISO 19650 are also in the development process and are focused on BIM security, asset management, the operational phase of the process in general, and so on.

Level 1 of the UK BIM standards

Right now there are two levels of BIM standards available within the context of ISO 19650. Level 1 is fully defined by BS 1192 – Collaborative production of construction, engineering, and architectural information. There are several requirements that are included in this level:

  • BS 7000-4 – Design management
  • BS 8541-2 – Recommendations about 2D symbols to use with building elements
  • ISO 12006-2 – Information classification in construction (framework)
  • BS EN ISO 13567-1, 13567-2 – CAD overview, codes, and formats used in the construction documentation.

Level 2 of the UK BIM standards

The next level of BIM standards in the UK is much more extensive and now includes 8 different core standards. Each standard can also include one or several different requirements, in one way or another describing the standard in question:

  1. PAS 1192-2. Data management specifications for the delivery and capital phases of the construction project in the context of BIM.
  2. PAS 1192-3. Data management specifications for the operational phase of the BIM project.
  3. BS 1192-4. Collaborative information creation and exchange.
  4. PAS 1192-5. Smart asset management, digital environments, and security-related BIM specifications.
  5. BIM protocol.
  6. dPoW (Digital Plan of Work).
  7. BS 8536-1. Everything about building infrastructure.
  8. Implementation of ISO 12006-2:2015 about classification.

BIM standards Level 3 and what’s next

Standard-wise, level 3 isn’t as refined as the other two, but it’s an ongoing process that continuously improves every day. The expected list of standards to be included in this level are:

  • ISO 12006-3. Building construction.
  • ISO 16739. Facility management.
  • ISO 29481-1. Methodology and format of IDM.
  • ISO 29481-2. Interaction with IDM.
  • BS 8541-1, BS 8541-3, BS 8541-4, BS 8541-5, BS 8541-6, and more.

The amount of potential that BIM possesses is genuinely massive, and it’s possible to improve almost every aspect of the construction process of various projects in engineering, architecture, and more. But it’s also important to have set-in-stone standards that everyone can rely on so that there are no problems with importing file formats, exporting data to different software appliances, and so on. This is why BIM standards are so important now, and the ongoing trend of the integration of BIM in many industries is making this transition even faster.

About the author

James Ocean

BIM/VDC Specialist. James Ocean is Head of BIMspiration at Revizto and keeps everything moving onwards and upwards. From supporting and teaching our internal team as well as our clients, James shows us the ins-and-outs and how to best leverage Revizto to maximize workflows, cut costs, and get all types of projects through the finish line.

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BIM Standards Overview BIM as a technology is a game-changer in many ways, but some factors have limited its growth. One of the most significant factors is the lack of standardization or lack of concrete BIM standards. This article describes the already existing BIM standards and why they’re needed in the first place. 2020-11-18
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