Building Information Management



Building Information Management or BIM is the process of designing, constructing and operating a building with the use of electronic object-orientated information, i.e. Building Information Models.

Underpinned by the collation, creation and exchange of virtual geometric models and intelligent structured data it enables, Building Information Management is identified as a value maintaining and creating process through the entire life cycle of a building and its parts (after UK BIM Task Group, 2013).



Building Information Management should not be confused with BIM software. BIM software are digital tools to set up a Building Information Management process and create BIM models. It is therefore advised to make explicitly clear if the acronym BIM relates to the process, the software or the model of building information.

When BIM relates to the process of managing building information, four levels of collaboration are distinguished in the UK, varying from the individual use of computer aided design tools to the full collaboration by means of a single shared model. Within the BAMB project BIM refers to information management at the second collaboration level, i.e. different parties exchanging information, using their own models.


The different levels of maturity used to characterise BIM by the UK BIM Task Group (2013) are:

  • Level 0: no collaboration between stakeholders on a project, through unmanaged computer aided design
  • Level 1: electronic sharing of 2D and 3D CAD data from a common data environment, often managed by the contractor.
  • Level 2: collaboration in the form of exchangeable information between different parties, using their own 3D CAD models.
  • Level 3: full collaboration between all disciplines by means of using a single shared project model that is held in a centralised repository.


Related terms

BIM object: a repository of data regarding the geometry or any relevant characteristic of a part of a building, defining its behaviour according to the type it belongs to. Windows, for example, have a specific relation with walls, while walls are typically related to floors and ceilings.

BIM model: a two- or three-dimensional object-oriented electronic model of a building and all its parts based on BIM objects with the related information embedded.


BIM software: digital platform allowing to create, manage and exchange BIM models according to the idea of Building Information Management.

Industry Foundation Classes, IFC: object-based file formats, based on data models and file format specifications, used for describing typical building data. They are platform-neutral, open formats facilitating interoperability between actors in architecture, engineering and construction industry.


Denis F. et al. (2015) Building Information Modelling: Belgian guide for the construction Industry. Brussels: ADEB/VBA. Accessed March 2017 via

ISO (2013) ISO 16739 Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) for data sharing in the construction and facility management industries. International Organisation for Standardisation.

UK BIM Task Group (2013) Building information modelling. London: Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. Accessed March 2017 via