Essential BIM Terminology


Often just considered 3D design, building information modeling (BIM) also acts as a collaborative work platform. It can improve speed and accuracy, increase efficiency, and set up an overall plan for construction phases.

Viewpoint’s software integrates with BIM to enhance collaboration. This contributes to faster project delivery as changes are minimized in the design phase.

To harness BIM to its fullest potential, it’s important to know what each party is taking about. Starting with the breakdown of BIM levels, we’ve cut through the clutter and identified the essential BIM terminology

BIM Levels

BIM levels are a universal understanding of what criteria are required to be BIM-compliant.

Level 0: Level 0 entails basically no collaboration, and only 2D CAD drafting is used. Communication is done via paper and basic prints.

Level 1: Level 1 BIM is a combination of 3D CAD and 2D for drafting. By cross-referencing techniques, users see efficiency and savings. Data and documents are shared via a common data environment. Each stakeholder or contractor maintains their own data and documents.

Level 2: Working at Level 2 BIM, the goal is better collaboration and higher accuracy of information. Each level of planning, design, and construction is responsible for the development of each BIM.

Level 3: With Level 3 BIM, data is open and available for all involved on one platform in a common format.

BIM Glossary

Acceptance Criteria

Acceptance criteria is the evidence to ensure requirements have been fulfilled.

Asset Information Model (AIM)

The asset information model is a maintained information model used to manage, control, and operate a respective asset. AIM is required to support an organization’s asset management system.

Project Information Model (PIM)
The project information model refers to the design and construction stage.

BIM Execution Plan

A BIM execution plan manages the status, timeline, delivery, and completion of a project.

CIC BIM Protocol

The CIC BIM Protocol is a contract document for use with any standard building contract. It focuses on professional indemnity insurance issues. An identical CIC Protocol must be issued to each party contributing to the BIM.

Clash Rendition

Clash rendition refers to a BIM specifically created to avoid clashes in spatial planning and coordination. When different contributors create BIMs for the same project, it works to detect and avoid clashes.

Common Data Environment (CDE)

The common data environment is one location holding all the information for a specific project. It is used to collect and manage all relevant documents for all stakeholders to access at any time. It assists the employer in defining what is required from each team member, monitors their progress, validates data entry, and records who has done what and when.

Configuration Status Accounting

Recording and reporting of product configuration is called configuration status accounting. It accounts for the status and implementation of proposed changes.

Construction Operations Building Information Exchange (COBie)

Construction Operations Building Information Exchange (COBie) is a way to share non-graphical data about a project. During the project, data and communication can be added to it, such as design, construction, operation, demolition, and other data. The employer should define what is required from the design and construction teams.

Earned Value Analysis

Earned value analysis measures project performance, taking into consideration cost, time, and scope.

Information Delivery Manual (IDM)

The Information Delivery Manual (IDM) identifies when certain information is needed during the construction or operation phase of a project. It is also known as the buildingSMART standard.

Life-Cycle Assessment

With a focus on materials and energy, a life-cycle assessment is an environmental impact assessment for construction. In addition to materials and energy, it looks at the waste, pollution rate, and process over the life cycle of a job. The life-cycle assessment can help determine LEED credits and certification.

PAS 1192

PAS 1192 is a specification for information management for the capital and delivery phases of construction projects using BIM. It sets the requirements for the level of model detail, model information, definition, and information communication. Viewpoint software’s workflow tools ensure the PAS 1192 process is followed and recorded.

RACI Indicator

The RACI indicator is an abbreviation to identify each involved stakeholder on a project.

R = those Responsible

A = people needed to Authorize a task

C = those who can Contribute

I = individuals who should be kept Informed

RAG Report

The RAG Report, or simply referred to as RAG, indicates the status of an action in either red, amber, or green. Red alerts teams that an item has not met a requirement. Amber indicates an item has not met a requirement, but a plan is in place to bring it up to speed. Green is a go when an item has met or exceeded a requirement.


WIP is an acronym for “work in progress,” indicating an item is exactly that: a work in progress. This is a common way to name files and documents that are still under construction, so to speak.

Do you have any additional terms to add to our BIM “must-know” glossary? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook. If you’re ready to see how Viewpoint software integrates with BIM, reach out to us anytime for a demo to find the solution to meet your needs.