An organisation originally named the International Alliance for Interoperability now called buildingSMART are the worldwide authority driving the transformation of the built environment through creation & adoption of open, international standards. BIM is an acronym that has come to describe this initiative. The meaning of BIM has often been misrepresented and diluted but is commonly used to represent three separate but linked functions:

Building Information Modelling: Is a BUSINESS PROCESS for generating and leveraging building data to design, construct and operate the building during its lifecycle. BIM allows all stakeholders to have access to the same information at the same time through interoperability between technology platforms.
Building Information Model: Is the DIGITAL REPRESENTATION of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. As such it serves as a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility, forming a reliable basis for decisions during its lifecycle from inception onward
Building Information Management: Is the ORGANIZATION CONTROL of the business process by utilizing the information in the digital prototype to effect the sharing of information over the entire lifecycle of an asset. The benefits include centralised and visual communication, early exploration of options, sustainability, efficient design, integration of disciplines, site control, as built documentation, etc. – effectively developing an asset lifecycle process and model from conception to final retirement

BIM can realise many advantages for its consumers, placing it at the heart of any business strategy will drive the supporting IP and technology forward.

  • It supports a transparent, open workflow, allowing project members to participate regardless of the software tools used.
  • It creates a common language for widely referenced processes, allowing industry and government to procure projects with transparent commercial engagement, comparable service evaluation and assured data quality.
  • It provides enduring project data for use throughout the asset lifecycle, avoiding multiple inputs of the same data and consequential errors.
  • Small and large (platform) software vendors can participate and compete on system independent, ‘best of breed’ solutions.
At the heart of BIM are three related paradigms, IFC, IDM and IFD. IFC is the lingua franca, a data schema that allows different facets of construction related information to coexist in a single related model. IDM is a means of defining subsets of the IFC model specific to project stages and project roles. IFD provides a means of translating product information to facilitate searching and selection of products across international boundaries. The adoption of these standards coupled to the processes defined in the PAS1192 series of “specifications for information management” will form the basis for your adoption of BIM.