A brief explanation of the different levels of BIM:
Level 0: CAD – drawings
At this level, there is no 3D element and is entirely based on 2D computer-aided design (CAD) drawings. The exchange of information is paper-based or electronic but without common standards and processes in place.
BIM Level 1:
BIM Level 1 implies that there is some form of structure, and the model could now be 2D or 3D. At this level of BIM, it is likely that there is a Common Data Environment (CDE) to allow better collaboration and sharing of data between all members of the project. Some consistencies should appear in terms of naming conventions, and roles and responsibilities should be agreed upon.
BIM Level 2:
BIM Level 2 is where collaborating parties work from individual models which combine to create federated BIM models and work from a CDE – also known as collaborative BIM.
The UK Government has already committed to Level 2 BIM compliance on all large-scale and public-sector contracts by April 2016 using a phased approach and implementing BIM slowly to ensure its successful uptake by the industry.
In the UK the industry has seen huge benefits of Level 2 BIM, playing a huge part in savings of £840M this year for construction spend and international profile.
BIM Level 3:
Level 3 BIM requires all parties to work from the same 3D model, which could be stored locally, or in the cloud and accessible from anywhere with an internet connection (like 3D Repo). These models are also coupled with information relating to time, cost, sustainability, and project lifecycle (see BIM Dimensions), and can be handed over to the owner as an as-built model.
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