The Dangers of Blurred Model Deliverables


Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a digital integrated collaborative database of multi-dimensional information to manage the design, construction, and/or operations of a building that has reached a far-ahead maturity level in the Architectural Engineering Construction (AEC) field these days. BIM practitioners and professionals are debating on how to deliver a BIM model between different parties and in various stages. There are several thoughts or ideas for that.

One way is to use levels of virtual modelling, referred to as the Level Of Development (LOD) (Harden & Mccool, 2015). The BIMForum (2015) has described the LOD as “a reference that enables practitioners in the AEC industry to specify and articulate with a high degree of clarity the content and reliability of Building Information Models (BIMs) at various stages in the design and construction process.”

McPhee, (2013) explain LOD levels (for a thing) in an easy way as follows:

LOD 100 = there is a thing

LOD 200 = there is a thing about this size

LOD 300 = there is a thing with these functions and options

LOD 400 = it is this particular thing.

LOD 500 = this particular thing was provided by this person on this date.

The following figure (McPhee, 2013) is an example of LOD levels for a chair


Figure 1LOD levels for a chair

The BIMForum (2015) stated that there is no such thing called a “LOD ____ model” because building systems progress from concept to a precise definition at different rates. In other words, at any given time, various elements will be at different points along this progression. For example, at the end of a schematic design phase, the model will include many elements at LOD 200, but will also include many at LOD 100, as well as some at LOD 300, and possibly even LOD 400.

The other way is to use what is called model-based, which can be categorised into five groups depending on their uses:

  1. Model-Based Coordination: is the foundational use of BIM where the process begins.
  2. Model-Based Scheduling: ties the model to a schedule to animate the sequence of work and display where a project should be at a given time.
  3. Model-Based Estimating: is the same as model-based scheduling plus costs (quantity takeoff) associated with the elements to track time and cost with the animation.
  4. Model-Based Facilities Management: focuses on leveraging the model information to reduce the owner’s costs over the life cycle of a structure.
  5. Model-Based Analysis: deals with the qualitative costs to the tenants and the environmental costs to earth.

However, this thought is generic and leaves much room for interpretation.

In your opinion as a BIM practitioner, what is the best method to use for delivering the project models between different parties and in various phases?


BIMForum, 2015. Level Of Development Specification. [Online]
Available at: http://bimforum.org/
[Accessed 6 September 2016].

Harden, B. & Mccool, D., 2015. BIM and Construction Management Proven Tools, Methods, and Workflows. 2nd ed. Indianapolis: John Wiley &Sons, Inc..

McPhee, A., 2013. What is this thing called LOD. [Online]
Available at: http://practicalbim.blogspot.com/2013/03/what-is-this-thing-called-lod.html
[Accessed 7 September 2016].

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