The Complete Guide to Glossary of BIM Terms

BIM Terms

Building Information Modeling (BIM) has revolutionized the construction industry, streamlined processes, and improved collaboration. To navigate this transformative landscape, understanding key BIM terms is essential. This terminology includes concepts, processes, standards, and tools utilized throughout the entire lifecycle of a construction project, from design and planning to construction, operation, and maintenance.

What are BIM Terms?

BIM terms, or Building Information Modeling terms, encompass a comprehensive set of terminology related to the digital representation and management of building projects. This terminology includes concepts, processes, standards, and tools utilized throughout the entire lifecycle of a construction project, from design and planning to construction, operation, and maintenance. BIM terms facilitate effective communication and collaboration among project stakeholders, ensuring that everyone involved has a clear understanding of the project’s requirements, specifications, and objectives. Here’s the ultimate glossary to help you grasp the fundamentals.

3D Modeling

3D modeling is the process of creating a digital representation of a physical object or structure using three-dimensional software. In BIM, 3D modeling forms the basis for creating comprehensive building models.

Scan To BIM

Scan to BIM Modeling involves converting laser scan data of existing buildings or sites into 3D BIM models. This process enhances accuracy and efficiency in renovation or retrofit projects.

4D Simulation

4D simulation adds the element of time to 3D models, allowing project stakeholders to visualize construction sequences and schedules. It helps in planning and optimizing project timelines.

5D Simulation

5D simulation integrates cost data with 3D BIM models, enabling stakeholders to visualize and manage project costs throughout the construction lifecycle.

Asset Information Model

An asset information model (AIM) contains all the information related to the operation and maintenance of a built asset, providing valuable data for facility management.

Building Information Model

A Building Information Model (BIM) is a digital representation of a building’s physical and functional characteristics.

Building Information Modeling

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a collaborative process that utilizes digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of places to facilitate informed decision-making throughout the building lifecycle.

BIM Coordination (Clash Detection)

BIM coordination involves detecting and resolving clashes or conflicts between different building elements within a BIM model. This process helps in avoiding errors during construction.

BIM Levels

BIM levels refer to the maturity and capability of implementing BIM processes within a project or organization. They range from basic 3D modeling to fully integrated collaborative BIM environments.

BOQ (Bill of Quantities)

A Bill of Quantities (BOQ) is a document used in construction projects to itemize and quantify materials, labor, and other costs required to complete the project as per its specifications.

BOM (Bill of Material)

A Bill of Materials (BOM) is a comprehensive list of materials, components, and assemblies required to build or manufacture a product.

BIM Objects

BIM objects are digital representations of building products or components with associated metadata. They enable accurate placement and specification of products within BIM models.

BIM Execution Plan (BEP)

A BIM Execution Plan (BEP) outlines the processes, protocols, and responsibilities for implementing BIM on a construction project, ensuring effective collaboration and project delivery.

Common Data Environment (CDE)

A Common Data Environment (CDE) is a centralized repository that enables the sharing and management of project information in a controlled manner throughout the project lifecycle.

CIC BIM Protocol

The CIC BIM Protocol provides a framework for defining the contractual obligations, standards, and procedures related to BIM within construction projects.

Construction Operations Building Information Exchange (COBie)

COBie is a standard format for the exchange of facility asset data during the construction and handover process. It facilitates the transfer of information from design and construction to operations and maintenance.

Clash Rendition

Clash rendition involves identifying clashes or conflicts detected within a BIM model and presenting them visually for further analysis and resolution.

Data Exchange Specification

Data exchange specifications define the requirements and standards for exchanging digital information between different software applications within the BIM environment.

Federated Model

A federated model combines individual discipline-specific BIM models into a single, integrated model for project coordination and collaboration.

IFC specification

The Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) specification is an open standard for the exchange of BIM data between different software platforms, ensuring interoperability and data exchange.

Information Delivery Manual

An Information Delivery Manual (IDM) defines the information requirements, formats, and delivery processes for exchanging data within a BIM project.

Life-cycle Assessment (LCA)

Life-cycle Assessment (LCA) is a methodology used to evaluate the environmental impacts of a building or product throughout its entire life cycle, from raw material extraction to disposal.

Level of Detail (LOD)

Level of Detail (LOD) defines the degree of graphical and informational detail included in a BIM model at different stages of the project.

LOD- Level of Development

Level of Development (LOD) specifies the reliability and completeness of the information contained within a BIM model at various project milestones.

Open BIM

Open BIM is an approach to BIM that promotes interoperability and collaboration between different software platforms and project stakeholders.

Quantity Take-off

Quantity take-off involves estimating and quantifying the materials, labor, and other resources required for construction based on the information contained within a BIM model.


Mastering these BIM terms is crucial for navigating the complex landscape of modern construction projects. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting in the industry, understanding these terms will empower you to leverage the full potential of Building Information Modeling. Keep exploring and stay updated as BIM continues to evolve and reshape the future of construction.