Building Information Modelling (BIM)

Building Information Modelling, or BIM, is a technology-enabled process that utilises interoperable software and methodologies. It is a way of creating digital information about a building that defines spaces, systems, products and materials (together with their properties), addresses how those components inter-relate physically and technically and looks ahead to future maintenance needs.

The Government’s BIM Task Group website defines BIM as:

“… value creating collaboration through the entire life-cycle of an asset, underpinned by the creation, collation and exchange of shared 3D models and intelligent, structured data attached to them.”

The National Building Specification (NBS) defines BIM as:

“BIM brings together all of the information about every component of a building, in one place. It makes it possible for anyone to access that information for any purpose, e.g. to integrate different aspects of the design more effectively. In this way, the risk of mistakes or discrepancies is reduced, and abortive costs minimized.”

The use of BIM is steadily gaining momentum within design, manufacturing, construction and facilities management organisations. At its heart, BIM is a way of working that demands collaboration and integrated team working by all contributors to the design, manufacture, construction and operation of a building. The UK Government has given a mandate for the use of BIM on all centrally funded public sector projects regardless of scale by 2016. However, the take-up of BIM is not limited to the public sector in the UK but is also driven by the private sector and is occurring internationally where the benefits of BIM are being felt.


JCT’s BIM practice note, “Building Information Modelling (BIM), Collaborative and Integrated Team Working”, is intended as a guide to assist practitioners in gaining a greater understanding of BIM and provides information on the integration of BIM and collaborative working within the contract process.

The practice note includes an overview of BIM – highlighting standard definitions, an explanation of the different BIM levels, and a summary of mechanisms and industry standards (in particular the concepts and acronyms associated with BIM in the PAS 1192-2 document).

The note also includes an overview of BIM protocols and how a BIM protocol can support the main contract document in respect of achieving BIM level 2. A bibliography and references to various sources provides a comprehensive reference tool for those adopting BIM on their projects.

The JCT BIM Practice Note can be downloaded from our Useful Documents page.