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BIM Levels and Dimensions explained- Scope and Benefits


BIM revolution is very widespread in the construction industry. When we talk about BIM maturity levels and dimensions, we are primarily talking about the supply chain’s ability to interchange information digitally. The maturity levels from Level 0, through Levels 1, 2, 3, and beyond are often envisioned via the maturity ‘wedge’ diagram conceived by Mark Bew and Mervyn Richards.

BIM dimensions refer to the specific way in which distinct kinds of data are linked to an information model. By adding additional dimensions of data, you can start to get a better understanding of your construction project – how it will be delivered, what it will cost and how it should be maintained etc. These dimensions – 4D5D and 6D BIM – can all feasibly (but not necessarily) occur within a BIM Level 2 workflow.

BIM Levels and Dimensions

BIM Levels and Dimensions explained

Today’s BIM technology provides more than 3D modeling and comes with augmented BIM models or BIM dimensions allowing to compute the 4th dimension of time, 5th dimension of cost 6th dimension of Project life-cycle Information often called facilities management. As a project progresses through different phases, the level of development in a BIM model also increases to different levels namely LOD (Level of Detail) 100, 200, 300, and beyond.

BIM Maturity Levels

BIM Maturity Levels


The most simplistic form of BIM level is LEVEL 0, it effectively means no collaboration. Only 2D CAD drafting is utilized, mainly for Production Information (RIBA Plan of Work 2013 stage 4). Output and administration are via paper or electronic prints, or a mixture of both. The majority of the industry is already well ahead of this now.BIM LEVEL 0 


This typically incorporates a blend of 3D CAD for concept work, and 2D for drafting of sanctioned documentation and Production Information. CAD standards are managed to BS 1192:2007, and digital distribution of data is carried out from a common data environment (CDE), often managed by the constructor.

BIM Level 1


Level 2 BIM is characterized by collaboration and demands “an information exchange process which is specific to that project and coordinated between various systems and stakeholders”. Any CAD software that each party uses must be capable of exporting to one of the common file formats such as IFC (Industry Foundation Class) or COBie (Construction Operations Building Information Exchange).

BIM Level 2


A single, collaborative, online, 3D project model including all building information such as construction sequencing, cost and lifecycle management information. Level 3 has not yet been fully determined, however the vision for this is outlined to follow ‘key measures’ to be secured such as:

  • Designing a set of new, international ‘Open Data’ standards which would pave the way for easy sharing of data across the entire market
  • The establishment of a new contractual framework for projects which have been procured with BIM to ensure consistency, avoid confusion and encourage, open, collaborative working.
  • The creation of a cultural environment that is co-operative seeks to learn and share.
  • Training the public sector client in the use of BIM techniques such as data requirements, operational methods, and contractual processes.
  • Driving domestic and international growth and jobs in technology and construction.

BIM Level 3

Bridging the gap between Detailing and Modeling

1D 2D 3D 4D 5D and 6D BIM Dimensions explained

1D 2D 3D 4D 5D and 6D BIMEngineering drawings start from a scratch point of concept design and move forward with a 2D CAD design drawings dimension, these require an x-axis and y-axis to create the CAD drawings. CAD software are used to generate technical design drawings for floor plans, landscapes, permit drawings, building inspection plans etc. Transformation from 2D CAD to BIM allows better conceptualization and efficient building/facility designs.

3D BIM Dimension

The third dimension of BIM is the shared information Model that adds a third z-axis to existing x and y axis. The 3D BIM incorporates the process of creating graphical and non-graphical information and sharing this information in a Common Data Environment (CDE). 3D BIM enables the stakeholders to manage and collaborate efficiently in modeling and analyzing complex anatomical problems. As the project life cycle progresses this information becomes richer in detail until the point at which the project data is handed over to the owner/user at completion.

4D BIM Dimension

The fourth dimension of BIM has the element of time added o the model and is also called Construction sequencing or scheduling. Time-related data for a specific component may include data for lead time, how long it requires to install/construct, the time expected to get operational/solidify/fix, the grouping where components ought to be installed, and dependencies on different areas of the project. Opting 4D BIM enables improves clash free construction scheduling and provides the right strategy for construction management and optimization.

5D BIM Dimension

The fifth dimension of BIM adopts and applies the element of cost to the model to deduce accurate cost information. A data model is probably going to contain three sorts of Quantities. Quantity dependent on genuine model components (with noticeable details) which you can investigate through the model are the most self-evident. Amounts may likewise be gotten from model segments (like moldings around windows) that aren’t generally noticeable.

The third sort of amount is non-displayed amounts (these incorporate temporary work, construction joints and so forth) Unless the development stage is demonstrated then the design model will show, graphically, design quantities yet not the construction quantities.

A cost estimator is probably going to be skilled in getting the amounts that aren’t exclusively founded on model components. Due to the involvement of surveyors and cost estimators from the early stage of the project BIM modelers along with the design teams have steady information with the help of cloud computing. This leads to better cost and design estimations with BOQ/BOM (bill of quantities/materials)

6D BIM Dimension

The 6D BIM model is also called Project lifecycle information or Facilities management or integrated BIM or iBIM. 6D BIM involves the inclusion of information to support project life cycle management and operation to drive better business outcomes.

This information might include information on the manufacturer of a component, its installation date, required maintenance and details of how the item should be configured and operated for optimal performance, energy performance, along with life expectancy and decommissioning data.

This approach enables facilities managers to pre-plan maintenance activities potentially years in advance and develop spending profiles over the lifetime of a built asset, working out when repairs become uneconomical or existing systems inefficient.

BIM LOD (Level of Detail)

The BIM’s Level of Detail (LOD) describes how the 3D geometry of the building model can produce distinct levels of sophistication. It is used as a measure of the service level required.

BIM LOD 100 – Concept Design 

The building 3D model is produced to interpret the information on an elementary level. Hence, only conceptual model creation is possible in this stage. Parameters like area, height, volume, location and orientation are defined.

BIM LOD 200 – Schematic Design

Comprehensive model where components are modeled with approximate quantities, size, shape, location, and orientation. Non-geometric elements can be inserted with model elements at LOD 200. 

BIM LOD 300 – Detailed Design

Detailed modeling and shop drawings where components are defined with specific assemblies, precise quantity, size, shape, location, and orientation. Non-geometric elements can be inserted with model elements at LOD 300.

BIM LOD 350 – Construction Documentation

Includes added detail and components that represent building elements interface with various building systems and other elements with clear graphics and written definitions.

BIM LOD 400 – Fabrication & Assembly

Model components are modeled as distinct assemblies, with complete fabrication, assembly, and detailed information in addition to precise quantity, size, shape, location, and orientation. Non-geometric elements can be inserted with model elements at LOD 400.

BIM LOD 500 – As Built Models

Elements are modeled as constructed assemblies for operations and maintenance. In addition to actual and accurate in size, shape, location, quantity, and orientation, non-geometric elements can be inserted with model elements at LOD 500.

Read More >> 3D BIM Clash Detection – Significance and Scope

For a long time, the industry has known that buildings cost too much to design, build and maintain while taking too long to deliver. A major reason for this is the lack of effective collaboration among all the stakeholders – architects, designers, contractors, engineers, facilities managers, owners – involved in the process. The National Institute of Standards and Testing (NIST) estimated that this lack of interoperability cost building owners $15.8 billion annually – equivalent to a loss of 23 cents per square foot of US property every year. 

BIM has developed as the primary solution to this problem. The idea of BIM Levels has gotten the ‘acknowledged’ meaning of what models are needed to be considered BIM-complaint, by seeing the selection cycle as the following stages in an excursion that has taken the business from the planning phase to the computerized and the digital age.

The US’s National Building Information Model Standard Project Committee defines BIM as: “a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. A BIM is a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its lifecycle; defined as existing from earliest conception to demolition. A basic premise of BIM is collaboration by different stakeholders at different phases of the life cycle of a facility to insert, extract, update or modify information in the BIM.”

Follow INDOVANCE Inc for AEC Industry Updates, CAD Tips, and Global Construction News. 

INDOVANCE Inc delivers a full range of BIM modeling projects. We work on parametric family creation, model creation for all LOD (Level of Detail), 4D, 5D and 6D support and model phasing, as well. We also provide complete support for AEC Industry Updates and PDF to BIM conversions.

We collaborate with our customers around the world to develop bespoke business solutions using our enormous engineering talent pool and state-of-the-art technology. To deliver long-term engineering and business strategies, we align with your culture and processes to create an unbreakable partnership. With over 500 full-time employees and more than 600 customers in the US, Europe, India, and Asia, we are poised for the next level of success.

For more queries regarding any of the above-mentioned topics, feel free to connect with us on our website www.indovance.com or contact us on +1-919-238-4044


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