- Technical support

The level-2 BIM package

8th April 2015

Rob Manning

Rob Manning

BIM Support Director at Construction Industry Council (CIC)

Around the world, there are many definitions of what BIM is. In the UK, the Government has been very clear in terms what they consider the levels of BIM maturity to be. In this article, Rob Manning from the UK Government's BIM Task Group explains how the UK now has a world-class set of free-to-use standards and tools that define 'level-2 BIM'.


The request was to write an article that addresses the activities of completing the Level 2 BIM documentation and tools. In attempting to do so it seems appropriate to briefly surmise what the artefacts will be, their purpose and their publication dates before moving to the last pieces of the jigsaw.

Level-2 BIM

Asset management and asset construction both need an information management system and process, supported by a number of tools to manage data. The data can then be used through many activities to realise and add value. The overall purpose is to meet the requirements of the stakeholders in the operation and construction of an asset.

Asset Capital Delivery Phase

Fig 1 Some of the components of Level 2 BIM.

Asset Operation Phase

Fig 2 Some of the components of Level 2 BIM.


Enveloping all aspects of information exchange, a key requirement is to identify how to secure for example the intellectual property, the physical asset, the processes, the technology, the people and the information associated with the asset. PAS 1192:5 specifies a security minded approach to be adopted at all times. The security minded approach applies to all processes and tools used by employer and the whole of their supply chain.

Defining required outcomes – BS8536:2015 Facility Management Briefing for design and construction. (published Summer 2015).

Construction projects emerge because there is a person or group of persons who wish to establish an asset that will enhance economic, social or environmental prosperity – hopefully in a balanced and sustainable way.

For buildings infrastructure, guidance upon the definition of required social, environmental and economic outcomes and the process of achieving those required outcomes is addressed in BS8536. The standard refers to the principles of Soft Landings published by BSRIA and UBT and to the approach advocated in Government Soft Landings.

It is hoped that a companion document will be produced for other infrastructure types.

Achieving the required outcomes of the stakeholders through the use of information management is a key purpose of Level 2 BIM.

Added value and leaving complexity in the supply chain.

From the supply chain there are emerging many of the tools and activities that add value by using readily available data to enhance analysis, planning and visualisation. They are the exciting tools of the supply chain, dealing with complexity and adding real value. The core of Level 2 BIM is to provide accessible, up to date, accurate, verified information for use and re-use by such tools at the right time.

Information management process. PAS 1192-2:2013 and PAS 1192-3:2014.

At the heart of information management are the processes and tools that enable the introduction of digital information management in a consistent way across the world of asset operation and construction.


PAS 1192: Part 2 and Part 3 define what are hoped will be commonly agreed and adopted work stages to reflect the asset lifecycle across all market sectors - see Fig 2. Work Stages

The PAS 1192 series also introduce the requirement of the Common Data Environment in which data, documents and models are retained in a file store and data store supported by a process of managing information by labelling it as work in progress, shared, published and archived.

Asset information model

PAS 1192 Part 3 addresses the importance of identifying the information that an organisation needs to run effectively and how that information is derived from multiple pieces of information about individual assets. Some of that information has to come from any new asset construction projects and hence the required strong link between those who operate assets and those who construct assets in order to define the specific Employers Information Requirements.

Processes supported by tools.

Processes are at the heart of information management and there is a need to support those processes with other tools to support information exchange and enable alignment with existing contractual arrangements.

Information exchange – COBie – BS1192-4:2014

COBie (Construction Operations Building information exchange) provides a common structure for the exchange of information about new and existing Facilities, including both buildings and infrastructure. This standard defines expectations for the exchange of information throughout the lifecycle of a facility. The use of COBie ensures that information can be prepared and used without the need for knowledge of the sending and receiving applications and databases. It ensures that the information exchange can be reviewed and verified for compliance, continuity and completeness.

Legal and Contractual. CIC Documents 2013

To enable introduction of BIM to the construction industry it was important to produce a supplementary legal document that is incorporated into professional services appointments and construction contracts by means of a simple amendment. The Protocol creates additional obligations and rights for the employer and the contracted party.  The Protocol is based on the direct contractual relationship between the employer and the supplier.  It does not create additional rights or liabilities between different suppliers.

The role of Information Management is mandated in the BIM Protocol.  The Employer is required to name a party to deliver Information Management Services.

Professional Indemnity Insurance Guidance has been prepared for the CIC following extensive consultation with the Insurance Industry.

Standards aligned with the objectives of Level 2 BIM.

It is important to recognise the limits of UK Government Level 2 BIM because the principles of information management invade so many activities. It is important however to recognise the relationship of information management with the following documents;

  • BS 11000: Part 1 2010 and Part 2 2011 Collaborative Business Relationships
  • PAS 91:2013 Construction pre-qualification questionnaires
  • BS 8541 series Library objects for architecture, engineering and construction.
  • BS 7000-4:2013 Design Management Systems. Guide to managing design in construction.

Learning outcomes frameworks.

In 2012, the UK BIM Task Group recommended the development of a learning framework that encouraged the industry’s procurement and delivery of training and education courses to grow capacity and capability of BIM Level 2 in the UK market.

A Learning Outcomes Framework with guidance notes for Level 2 BIM is to be published in Spring 2015.

A detailed Learning Outcomes Framework for Government Soft Landings was made available in 2013(BIM Task Group website)

What are the final pieces of the jigsaw?

It could be said that Level 2 BIM is really about enabling employers to better define their requirements and to enable the supply chain to better deliver the employer’s expectations. To achieve that requires the “hard” collaboration that comes from having a common language and knowing in detail what is required, when it is to be delivered and who is to deliver it.

A common language – a digital classification system.

For the implementation of Level 2 BIM in the UK a cross sector, full lifecycle, classification system is essential. The systems currently in place such as Uniclass, NRM and CESSM all cater for specific parts of the industry or are linked to specific proprietary methods of measure. Any new system must support this existing legacy and be compliant with the emerging ISO standard 12006-2:2014 to enable us to share data with international markets.

The value of a unified classification system covering all disciplines, roles and sectors should include;

  • Enabling the digital searching for like “things” in models
  • Enabling the automated combination of models because all “things” are consistently classified
  • Enabling the aggregation of like “things” in models for the purposes of measurement, purchasing, maintenance etc.
  • Enabling a common language for all people constructing and managing assets
  • Enabling the effective “benchmarking” of measured values across similar assets

Who does what, when and to what level of geometric (drawing) detail and information? – Digital Plan of work (dPoW)

A dPoW needs to enable an employer to define the deliverables required at each stage of the design, construction, maintenance and operation of built assets. The dPoW should be made available digitally to enable simple access to all stakeholders to make use of the system to give clear definition as to what geometry, data and documentation they require to be delivered at each of the eight stages of a project.

The value of the digital Plan of Work covering all disciplines, roles and sectors includes:

  • A framework for informed, consistent decision making by all parties including the client, enabling each member of the team, at the each work stage, to deliver agreed and consistent levels of geometry, data and documentation to construction clients. This information is essential to enable accurate timely decisions to be made by the client.
  • An enabler for collaboration, providing transparent definition of agreed deliverables from each contributing party at every single project work stage. This approach enables each party to understand their shared obligations to the project and also provides clear understand as to the materials they can expect to receive at the start of each work-stage, thus enabling them to deliver appropriate documentation, non-graphical data and graphical data.
  • Enables the clear allocation of responsibility for deliverables in appointments and contracts, ensuring clarity regarding “who should deliver what to whom” to be established at the start of a project and be appropriately monitored during the project.
  • The BIM Strategy defines ten tests to gauge the success of the programme. One of these was that BIM delivered geometry, data and documentation should be verifiable. The dPoW enables the generation of a data deliverables template for each project against which to test the validity of each delivery.
  • Provision of clear guidance to system and product providers as to the types and detail of information that should be delivered.

The digital Plan of Work and the Unified Classification System have the potential to enable the collaboration that has been sought for so long.

Further opinion

mark bew portrait

Mark Bew

Chairman of the UK BIM Task Group

"The level-2 BIM package of documentation and tools will assist the UK construction and operation industry to operate more efficiently in terms of cost and time, it will enable more informed decisions to be made in terms of environmental, economic and social sustainability and it will put the UK in an excellent position in terms of exporting construction and operation services in the world economy.

It is important now that the Level 2 BIM approach is adopted across all sectors of the UK industry and by all contributors regardless of scale. It is hoped that the Level 2 BIM documentation and tools will enable that transition.

Implementation of Level 2 BIM needs to be the major focus of those on the digital information management journey.

An industry that is skilled in the digital management of information at BIM Level 2 will ultimately move readily into Level 3 BIM which will enable the interconnected digital design of different elements in a built environment and will extend BIM into the operation of assets over their lifetimes – where the lion’s share of cost arises. It will support the accelerated delivery of smart cities, services and grids. Owners and operators will be able to better manage assets and services as they track their real-time efficiency, maximising utilisation and minimising energy use."

Rick holland portrait

Rick Holland

Lead Technologist at Innovate UK - the UK’s innovation agency, which funded the research and development of the BIM toolkit

"Architectural, engineering and other construction services provide a huge boost to the UK economy – to the tune of over seven billion pounds of exports each year. By accelerating the take-up of BIM, which is now happening at pace, we’re strengthening our base for exporting even more of these high-value services.

This framework enables UK practices and global practices to collaborate to a far greater degree. That will open doors for UK practices overseas, and it’s already doing so. Looking ahead, the framework also provides a common platform for developing even more advanced innovations - to create a higher value built environment, efficiencies and job growth opportunities."

Terry stocks portrait

Terry Stocks

Ministry of Justice and Chair of the BIM Stewardship Group

"The BIM Stewardship Group has representatives from the government departments that are actively involved in the procurement of operation and construction services from their supply chains. The objective of the Stewardship Group is to implement the Level 2 BIM approach across each department, to share and learn from emerging experience and to measure the impact of the programme.

In adopting the processes and tools of Level 2 BIM, the key focus has been to decide the organisations (operational) information requirements, to determine the asset information requirements that will provide answers and to incorporate those as appropriate into the Employers Information Requirements issued with any new construction procurement invitation.

Two major challenges for the Stewardship Group have been the need for a common language across different infrastructure types and the need to identify the documentation, the graphical data and the non-graphical data to be provided at each work stage by the supply chain.

The emergence of one commonly accepted digital classification system and of digital plan of work tools that will assist us to define required documentation and the level of (geometric) detail (LOD) and level of information (LOI) associated with deliverables has the potential to really put Level 2 BIM on the road to practical implementation."

further reading