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The Must-Know Terms For Beginner BIM Teams

3DIn BIM, 3D is the BIM model everyone is familiar with. A 3D BIM has graphical and non-graphical information that is shared in a Common Data Environment (CDE). 4D4D BIM has an additional dimension of information for construction sequencing. The scheduling data in 4D BIM creates a visualisation of how

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The Must-Know Terms For Beginner BIM Teams


In BIM, 3D is the BIM model everyone is familiar with. A 3D BIM has graphical and non-graphical information that is shared in a Common Data Environment (CDE).


4D BIM has an additional dimension of information for construction sequencing. The scheduling data in 4D BIM creates a visualisation of how your building will progressively develop. 4D BIM can enhance tender processes by exploring initial concepts to increase the team’s confidence to meet the brief.


5D BIM adds cost information on top of sequencing data in 4D. Costings include capital, running and future costs of each component in the project. Cost information is important as managers are able to calculate the budget for the overall project development. This information is also used to measure effective spending and ensure the projects stay within budget.


6D BIM, also known as integrated BIM (iBIM), consists of all the above plus project lifecycle information. Such information refers to details of the manufacturer, installation dates and lifespan of equipment, maintenance services required and any decommissioning data. Knowing the lifecycle information helps make better decisions early during the design process which affects the lifespan of the building after construction is completed.

Read more: BIM dimensions – 3D, 4D, 5D, 6D BIM explained

Approved For Construction (AFC)

AFC refers to the documents and drawings that have been reviewed and approved by authorised individuals in-charge of the construction. Teams can only start construction work once they obtain AFC stamped documents and drawings.

BIM Execution Plan (BEP)

BEP is the strategy provided by BIM Suppliers. It is used to clarify roles and responsibilities, standards to be applied and procedures to be followed. A BEP collates/references a number of other documents including the Master Information Delivery Plan (MIDP) and the Project Implementation Plan (PIP). The BEP may be updated after the contract has been awarded.

Read more: Why You Should Include VR In BIM Execution Plan

Building Information Modeling (BIM)

BIM is a methodology; a strategic approach that utilises 3D geometric information at its core, while further imbuing these geometries with semantic information. Therefore allowing for intelligent applications which help increase the quality and accuracy of construction planning and management.

It’s used in the collaborative process from initial concept, design, construction to demolition. BIM is crucial in increasing efficiency, reducing risks and decreasing costly rework and waste. BIM utilises a lot of coordination and collaboration among various stakeholders and AEC professionals.

Common Data Environment (CDE)

CDE is the one-stop location for project’s data shared among stakeholders. It’s usually stored online in a cloud where all stakeholders can easily access, increasing construction collaboration.

Design-Build (DB)

DB is a project delivery method where the design-builder provides design and construction services. Design-build aims to reduce risk and delivery time by unifying the flow of work from initial concept through completion.

Design-Bid-Build (DBB)

DBB is a project delivery method where design and construction services are split into separate contracts to be fulfilled by different entities.

Design-Build-Operate (DBO)

DBO is a project delivery method where one private entity designs, constructs and operates a new major construction project. Unlike traditional DB, the DBO approach takes long-term efficiencies and cost savings into account.

Digital Terrain Model (DTM)

DTM is the digital representation of land typography that contains elevations of natural terrain features such as barren ridge tops and river valleys. It is a vector data set of regularly spaced points and natural features such as ridges and break lines. A DTM augments a Digital Elevation Model by including linear features of the bare-earth terrain.

Federated Model

A federated building information model is one where several pre-existing models have been combined to create one complete source of information on the project.

Integrated Digital Delivery (IDD)

IDD refers to the use of digital technologies to integrate work processes and connect stakeholders working on the same project throughout the construction and building life-cycle. This includes design, fabrication and assembly on-site, as well as the operations and maintenance of buildings.

Isometric Drawings (ISO)

Isometric drawings refer to full-scaled 3D drawings. An isometric drawing is nothing but a detailed orthographic drawing that represents the details of 3D structure of the piping system in a 2D format.

Issued For Construction (IFC)

IFC refers to drawings and documents prepared by clients or consultants to reflect design changes made during the construction of a project.

Industry Foundation Class (IFC)

A standard format used in BIM to allow free exchange of information between different software programs. The IFC is a data model that was developed by buildingSMART International as a means to create a standard for data that is platform-neutral, uses an open file format specification and is not controlled by a single vendor.

Level Of Accuracy (LOA)

LOA is a guideline used by Architectural, Engineering, Construction, Owner (AECO) to specify the accuracy of building documentation.

Level of Development (LOD)

In BIM, LOD defines the clarity and reliability of BIM elements at different stages or milestones in the construction project. It helps define model deliverables, milestones, and handoffs.

Request for Information (RFI)

A standard business process for collecting written information about the capabilities of various suppliers. RFIs are typically used for gathering basic information and identify next steps

Virtual Design and Construction (VDC)

Virtual Design and Construction or VDC is the integration of BIM processes, building models and stakeholders in order to achieve construction goals and deliverables in a manner that improves efficiency across the project life cycle.

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