Building Information Model: The Devil Is In The Data

Vincent Young


Vincent Young is a true boutique construction, property + projects, employment + workplace relations firm. We are hands on. We manage every matter as if it were our own. We mix and match our lawyers and consultants to seamlessly produce cost effective, high quality work consistent with the client risk profile.
The Building Information Model (BIM) is a tool used in construction to create 3D models of building projects.
Australia Real Estate and Construction
To print this article, all you need is to be registered or login on

Construction Modelling in Australia

The Building Information Model (BIM) is a tool used in construction to create 3D models of building projects.

The BIM works by having designers and architects insert blueprints, floor plans and other design drawings into a database, which generates a 3D model of the project.

The more blueprints and design drawings that are inserted into the BIM, the more detail the project's 3D model will become.

The level of detail in a BIM model is separated into different Levels of Development (LODs), as the higher the LOD, the more detail the BIM model.

The BIM in NSW

Although, the usage of BIM is not mandatory for construction in Australia, states like New South Wales have been pushing for a more consistent adoption of BIM for both private and public infrastructure projects.

In 2019, NSW introduced the Digital Engineering Standards (DE Standards) to encourage consistent application of LODs used in construction projects.

Reliance on the BIM

A common dispute that arises from BIM usage is the parties' different expectations of the BIM requirements in the project. For example, a contract may adopt DE Standards, which suggests that the project is only required to provide a BIM up to LOD 300. A BIM at LOD 300 is intended to only be used as a project's starting point as it allows the contractor to input additional building parameters and sequencing estimates into the model.

Conflict often arises when the principal may expect the BIM to include details shown on the approved construction drawings (AFC) because the designer's scope of services includes AFC documentation. At the same time, the designer, who is only required to provide a LOD 300 BIM, may believe that some details in the AFC drawings would not appear on the model and would be supplemented by other design documents (for which it has not been contracted to perform or paid).

When using BIM, parties must carefully consider the BIM's LOD and the level of detail of the design documentation to be provided. Parties must ensure that the BIM purpose and requirements are clearly understood by the parties and set out in the contract.

If design information that appears in the construction documentation is not in the provided BIM, then the contract should clarify that the principal cannot rely on the BIM Model for such design details. The parties should also consider whether the LOD is sufficient for the purpose of the contract.

Key takeaway

Caution must be taken when considering the role of the BIM in contracts as the BIM should be considered together with other design documents. The parties should clearly outline the BIM's LOD and specify how much the BIM is to be considered amongst other AFC drawings in the project.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

See More Popular Content From

Mondaq uses cookies on this website. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies as set out in our Privacy Policy.

Learn More