Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off one whole year of Unlimited learning. Subscribe for just £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only T&Cs apply

Find out more

The BIM maturity wedge

Watch Danny McGough use the Building Information Modelling (BIM) maturity wedge diagram to explore the different levels of BIM adoption.
DANNY: BIM maturity is a lot like this building. It has levels. How we use BIM tools differs according to what job needs doing. If you’re an architect, you’ll use them one way. If you’re a project manager, you’ll use them another. Finding ways to work together involves getting to grips with BIM, but how can we tell where we are in this process? Some people are still working with just 2D drawings. They’re in essence, still on the ground floor. This is what we call BIM maturity level zero. Designs are shared either on paper or electronically but there is no real collaboration. But BIM can offer so much more. Things start to get more interesting when you move up to level one.
At this level, you’re using managed CAD in 2D or 3D format using British Standard 1192. 3D CAD can be used to show models and objects, but models aren’t shared or what we call federated with your colleagues in your project team. This means you can’t work together within the same application. At level one you can see some improvement in collaboration by using a common data environment. You might also use some standard data structures and formats. Many in the industry are still working at level one but it’s at level two that we start to see the real collaboration. At level two, it’s critical that you federate your models. That is share and combine BIM models from different disciplines.
There are three other main factors that support BIM level two. BIM execution plans, BIM information requirements and a project-specific set of standards. In the UK all government funded projects need to be working at BIM level two or higher. But it’s level three that’s seen as the future of BIM. BIM level three sets out a fully open process with data integration. Making BIM level three happen means using industry foundation class IFC standards, managed by a collaborative model server. A major step up from level two is the ability to work on the same model. This ensures that the design is developed as one, with full integration of all the project data in one collaborative space. Level three is currently in development.
There are still some risks that need to be overcome such as rights, liability and security, but industry is developing strategies to overcome these risks. We’ve come a long way from the paper and electronic documents at level zero. BIM offers some key advantages
including: improved collaborative working practices, efficient data exchange and validation, and much improved value for your client. Let’s put it all together into what we call the BIM Maturity Wedge. At level zero, 2D CAD designs are shared on paper or electronically, but there’s no real collaboration. At level one, you’ve adopted British Standard eleven ninety two when using 2D or 3D CAD. There’s some collaboration using common data structures and formats, but there’s no federated data with your project team. At level two, federation is improved if you use open formats that adopt industry foundation class, IFC standards, meaning you can easily share and combine BIM models that have been made using different software platforms.
In the UK, all government funded building projects have to work at this level, or higher. Finally, level three is the future of BIM. By using open IFC standards across the board, your work becomes more collaborative, allowing you to use integrated work spaces and cloud-based platforms. Moving up to the higher level BIM leads to significant improvements in the management of your assets throughout the construction lifecycle.
The BIM Maturity Wedge shows what is expected of your project team depending on what level of BIM you’re working at. By moving through the higher levels of BIM, adopting common standards, you and your team can work together more effectively and efficiently.

Explore different levels of BIM adoption illustrated by the BIM maturity wedge diagram.

In this video, Danny McGough uses the BIM maturity diagram to summarise the changing levels of BIM adoption in the UK.

Danny highlights how various building experts differ in the way they approach solutions to problems, showing how BIM can be utilised to address the construction-related issues.

There are different levels of BIM adoption as represented in the diagram.

BIM level 0: the building practice concentrates on 2D drawings.

BIM level 1: developments in BIM incorporate standards, managed Computer-Aided Design (CAD), collaboration, etc.

BIM level 2: data from various disciplines get compiled though BIM execution plans, BIM data requirements and projects’ specific standards. This is the recommended minimum standard for the UK construction industry since 2016.

BIM level 3: more collaboration is expected. While level 2 is limited to 3D, level 3 incorporates 4D (construction sequencing), 5D (cost) and 6D (project life cycle information). It is the integration of these aspects which makes level 3 more encompassing although it is not yet clear how these aspects will be integrated.

The Designing Buildings Wiki provides further explanation of BIM maturity levels to compliment Danny’s video presentation.

Your task

Do you have any experience with using any of the levels of the BIM maturity wedge for information exchange? What do you think are the challenges faced in producing information within those levels?
This article is from the free online

An Introduction to Building Information Modelling

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now