Anyone remember when the guitarist Nigel Tufnel told a customer “these go to eleven”? Nigel was referring to the volume of his amp vs the standard to ten that others used – suggesting that obviously 11 would be louder and therefore better.

It was an Architect that reminded me of Nigel’s movie quote – they shared with us that an owner had asked them for LOD 600 BIM on their project.

The owner obviously had great intentions – it seems that they didn’t just want good BIM (level ten), they demanded great BIM (going to eleven)!

Maybe they’re thinking if 400 equates to fabrication, 500 could be an as-built, then 600 could be Facilities Management – right?

Maybe they are confused about 4D, 5D, and 6D BIM marketing terminology – maybe they’re thinking that 6D = LOD 600?

It can be useful to have BIM requirements roll up into an overall definition but using a single “dial” to describe all aspects at the same time can be a challenge.

Understandably owners are usually most interested in the “i” (information) in BIM. However in this LOD 600 case they might end up with more facilities data than their maintenance systems could use, attached to a model with “fabrication level geometry at an as-built accuracy” that they might not even be able to open.

The end product would have taken longer for the AECs and cost the owner a lot more than what they needed to pay. This misunderstanding caused wasteful BIM.

When we first created the LOD concept (back in 2004) our team was mostly interested in specifying geometry for generating model-based quantities. However there are other important aspects for each BIM customer.

As the LOD approach has been adopted across the world experts have accounted for it’s lack of multi-axis thinking and have adapted the approach. This has been really exciting to see.

We believe that some of the fundamental principles behind an all-encompassing BIM specification include agreeing on:

  1. What geometry is actually required?
  2. How much information is useful to the end user?
  3. How mature/reliable/accurate does the deliverable need to be?

We believe in the right BIM, at the right time, by the right people – for the right reasons.

Together we can stop wasteful BIM and start creating SmartLeanBIM™

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BIM Execution Plan


Visual LOD Matrix

BIM Scope

BIM Management

BIM Track

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