A Comparative Analysis of the Complexities of Building Information Model(ling) Guides to Support Standardization

A Comparative Analysis of the Complexities of Building Information Model(ling) Guides to Support Standardization

Susan Keenliside (S8 Inc., Gatineau, Canada) and Megan Beange (Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/IJ3DIM.2016070102
OnDemand PDF Download:
No Current Special Offers


The current approach to the development of a building information modelling (BIM) standard or guideline has provisioned for each individual authority in a unique way. There has been no universally standardized format, content or defined concepts employed in document development from one organization or region to the next. Though format and content vary widely according to the specific document scope and context, many published BIM guides around the world define the same, or similar, terms and concepts. The BIM guides project is the first attempt to leverage these existing publications within an open process of peer review and consensus standardization. It is believed that this structured approach to BIM document development will deliver increased efficiency in the creation and implementation of future Guidelines and Standards, contributing to the adoption and standardization of BIM within industry and providing the much needed universal baseline from which the many user-types of BIM can effectively build their knowledge, skills and abilities.
Article Preview


Around the world, many professional and educational groups are currently performing or outsourcing incredible amounts of work in the interest of BIM guide development. In many cases these clients, academics and professionals are expending significant amounts of time and effort reviewing pertinent and existing BIM guidelines, standards and supporting documentation in order to develop their own tailored version of a BIM guide applicable to their specific context and needs (Fischer & Kunz, 2004; Kang & Choi, 2015; Kraatz, Sanchez, & Hampson, 2014; Penttilä, 2009). From a universal or regional perspective, this process of reviewing, analyzing and drafting guide documents is extremely labor-intensive and often results in paralleled or duplicated efforts that add neither value nor forward achievement in the development of standard procedures or best practices. Recognizing this flaw in the current process as an opportunity for greater efficiency, a group of experts working collaboratively under buildingSMART International launched the “BIM Guides Project” to determine if, and how, the development of standardized format and information could aid in improving the process of creating, implementing and using BIM Guide documentation.

At the time of its conception, the project sought to answer the following questions:

  • Can the plethora of global BIM Guides be reverse-engineered down to a few pioneering documents?

  • What are the roots that fed today's plethora of guidance documentation foliage?

  • Can these roots be better exposed to better understand the current variety of documentation and benefit the future of BIM guidance documentation growth?

  • What published documents are used in popularity, and thus have become de-facto industry standards?

  • What are the common elements of BIM guidance documentation across the majority of publications?

  • Where are there gaps in existing BIM guidance documentation?

  • How can new concepts in standardized applications be used to the benefit of BIM guidance development?

    • As such, the goals of the project included:

  • Supporting a common framework for BIM guides based on the results of the project;

  • Promoting BIM guide content that employs open BIM based file exchanges and processes; and

  • Delivering a product application of the database tool for public consumption and use.


For the purposes of this project, “Guides” will refer to any documentation that has been published to support the end-user in applying standardized processes, procedures or technical requirements in Building Information Modeling (bSI BIM Guides Project Team, 2014). The term “heritage” will refer to the genealogical lineage of precedent documents or institutional/organizational development that were used in the creation of the present day BIM Guide document.

Complete Article List

Search this Journal:
Open Access Articles
Volume 7: 4 Issues (2018)
Volume 6: 4 Issues (2017)
Volume 5: 4 Issues (2016)
Volume 4: 4 Issues (2015)
Volume 3: 4 Issues (2014)
Volume 2: 4 Issues (2013)
Volume 1: 4 Issues (2012)
View Complete Journal Contents Listing