Building Information Modelling (BIM)

Building Information Modelling (BIM)


Recently, discussions about the implementation of asset management in the organization have often been held in connection with building information modeling (BIM). In most cases, BIM is defined as a method of networked planning, execution and operation of buildings and other structures. These activities are usually supported by special software, which is usually based on 3D modelling. It is hoped that the use of BIM will improve the coordination of construction activities throughout the entire life cycle (life cycle approach) and improve the exchange of information between the parties involved:

  • considerable time savings,
  • a significant cost reduction or reliable cost planning,
  • better reporting as well as efficient analysis of critical processes and resulting
  • a reduction of risks over the entire life cycle.

The term building information modeling is used in the original meaning coined by the CAD software manufacturer Autodesk: a “three-dimensional, object-oriented, computer-aided design process”. There are now corresponding BIM solutions not only for buildings or bridges, but also for technical infrastructure, including roads.

However, infrastructure asset management looks at BIM from a different or a broader perspective. This perspective, which focuses primarily on infrastructure owners and managers, is most clearly presented by the UK BIM Alliance in various documents, most notably the BIM Guidance for Infrastructure Bodies. The introduction to the guide states:

This guide has been produced to help organizations, in the transport and infrastructure sectors, to get to grips with BIM and we start by defining what the BIM acronym means. The industry has been in discussion for a while about what the acronym BIM stands for, whether it is Building Information Modelling or Building Information Management, or some other variant. However, we believe that it is easiest to understand what it actually means for those who have been charged with ‘doing BIM’ for infrastructure, by adopting the following definition: BIM = Better Information Management“. [1]

This is followed by explanations that clearly position BIM in the asset management environment. In particular, the BIM standards ISO 19650:2018-1 (Concepts and principles) and ISO 19650:2018-2 (Delivery phase of plants) are located in the hierarchy below ISO 9001 (Organizational Management) and ISO 55000 (Asset Management) (Figure below). The UK BIM Alliance clearly considers information as an asset (information asset).

Positioning of the BIM standard in the asset management environment (ISO 196502018-1)
Positioning of the BIM standard in the asset management environment (ISO 196502018-1)
  1. UK Department for Transport, UK Roads Liaison Group BIM, Guidance for infrastructure bodies, 2017