BIM Wiki

Discover the world of Building Information Modeling


Through BIM, digitalization has also made its way into the construction industry. It is an innovative concept that has changed the way in which engineering and construction work has been carried out over the last few years. BIM is a complex field that uses a language that is distinctly its own. We frequently provide explanations of relevant terms and make the method tangible. See for yourself!

BIM News

News ­ of HOCHTIEF ViCon

What is BIM?

Definition of Building Information Modeling


Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a step closer to our natural way of thinking. Our memories are built of images that our mind captures in 3D combining them with the information about the date, colors, taste, smell and people. Our thought is a 3D image with a context. BIM is a method for optimizing the design, execution and operation of building structures. The basis of BIM is formed by a 3D computer model which can be enhanced by adding further information, such as on time, costs, utilization. The ‘I’ which stands for Information in BIM, can be used differently by different project partners. As a result, the project produces a coordinated set of information-rich BIM models which can be used throughout the project lifecycle. Thus, BIM is not a software package, it is a method of working, collaborating, designing, managing, constructing and operating.

Accepted all over the world by different institutions and practitioners, the definition of BIM as defined by US National BIM Standards Committee (NBIMS) is, “Building Information Modeling is digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility creating a shared knowledge resource for information about it forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life cycle, from earliest conception to demolition.”

BIM is an incredible concept which allows building the facility first virtually and then physically. This way, the project partners can perceive the project and evaluate its performance before implementing it. Resolving coordination issues at a very early stage in the project, results in significant savings of time, cost and energy. With enhanced scheduling, estimating and facility management abilities, a whole new world of opportunity for BIM has opened.

The five BIM components

Ensuring the success of the project

BIM Manager

Supporting these is the management component, which enables the other four components to work in unison. The BIM Manager identifies the project’s requirements across these four core components.


Abilities of the people to perform at every step of the implementation process will affect the possibilities of achieving the project’s BIM goal. Thus, providing right amount of training, support and opportunities to people in the BIM team is a key for a long-term success of BIM implementation program.


The need for increased collaboration among project partners demands fundamental changes in the way knowledge is shared, communicated, delivered and managed. Thus, the first essential component to a successful BIM implementation is to define the right business processes for a BIM-supported construction project.


Choosing the right set of tools in a BIM process, can be difficult to get right. Elements such as hardware, software and data exchange and storage processes have to be configured properly, monitored constantly and adjusted as necessary to fit with evolving project parameters and practice standards.


Without a set of clearly defined standards and technical specifications, the information generated using BIM technology cannot be applied effectively. We believe that well-defined policies should form the basis for 3D model development and exchange. BIM-related specifications must be integrated into the project guidelines and contracts from the earliest planning stages onward.

BIM benefits

Increased efficiency and reduced risks

Introducing BIM as your standard tool lets you improve your planning, construction and operating processes in terms of costs, time, quality and planning certainty. This, in turn, increases efficiency and reduces risks.

BIM provides numerous benefits to your project business:

  • Increased planning certainty and more transparent processes
  • BIM makes complex projects and increasing requirements manageable
  • Improved project communication and project marketing
  • Direct and consistent availability of up-to-date and relevant data
  • Consistently high quality by standardized modes of operation
  • Reduced execution times
  • Fewer risks in construction and lower construction costs
  • Increased pre-fabrication level
  • Reuse of information for building operation

BIM glossary

Terms related to the BIM method

Tern Description
CAD Computer-Aided Design (CAD) is the process of creating technical drawing with the use of computer software.
2D CAD system 2D CAD systems are vector-oriented drawing programs. They can be used in a similar way to a drawing board. Tools provide help in processing drawing elements such as points, lines, polylines, arcs and splines.
3D CAD system 3D CAD systems are drawing programs which, as a minimum requirement, work with vectors lying in three design axes and are thus capable of creating a volume model. A further development of this are object-oriented 3D CAD systems which work with CAD objects instead of vectors.
3D clash detection Clash detection is a process for effectively identifying, inspecting and reporting interferences in a 3D project model. Instead of conducting clash detection only one-time for coordination of completed design work, it is used as a continuously on-going project audit and quality control process.
3D laser-scanning Three-dimensional imaging method in which surface structures are computed by means of the pulse duration of a laser beam. This creates a digital point cloud with a defined number of points and their respective coordinates. Currently, scanning rates of up to 100,000 points per second with a precision of approx. 1 millimeter are possible.
3D modeling 3D modeling is the method of digitally creating a mathematical representation of any real object in three-dimensions. The product is called 3D model.
3D model A 3D model is the depiction of a particular aspect of reality in the computer by means of abstraction. The most practical way of entering the geometry is by using a suitable CAD program and then assigning the different construction components, such as walls, columns and ceilings to the geometry. Every construction component is an object in the 3D model.
4D model A 4D model intelligently links time or schedule-related information to individual components in a 3D model. In order to do that, elements from the model are assigned a logical construction sequence which gives more control in planning and managing construction schedules. (4D = 3D + Time)
5D model A 5D model intelligently links time and cost-related information to individual components in a 3D model. It integrates model-based quantity take-off material/labor resources and cost estimates. (5D = 3D + Time + Cost)
nD model A nD model integrates additional information in a virtual BIM model. It may contain information such as room name, room number, manufacture of the components, any operations/maintenance relates specifications and as-built information. (nD = 3D + Time + Cost + additional information)
Attribute (Lat. attribuere – to assign, give or bestow) An attribute is a concrete feature of an object. An object is therefore determined unambiguously by the totality of its attributes.
Augmented Reality Augmented Reality is a technology that superimposes the computer generated virtual content over a live view of the world which not only contains the input from the 3D model but may also have sound, video, graphics or GPS data inputs enhancing our perception of real world situations. It has the potential to change how site managers and construction workers can interact and access to virtual information in real-time.
BIM Engineer With a strong background in the BIM technologies, BIM Engineer supports the BIM Manager by streamlining the BIM processes. The BIM Engineer is not the first point of contact for the client in a BIM project, but he/she works closely with the BIM modeling team and will step up when it comes to technical details.
BIM Implementation Plan The BIM Implementation Plan is a document that includes BIM tools, recommendations for roles and responsibilities and best business process guidelines. It defines uses for BIM on the project, describes project BIM goals/objectives along with a detailed process for creating, managing and monitoring information flow during the project.
BIM Implementation BIM implementation is a process that takes place in the beginning of the project. Its purpose is to clearly define project BIM goals, types of BIM applications to be used, responsibilities of participant and required resources.
BIM Management The essential Components of BIM that form a successful BIM implementation are process, people, technology and policy which are brought together by the fifth component of management.
BIM Manager BIM Manager is a specialist who can manage, control and coordinate the flow of information as well as support the teams with BIM Implementation process.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) BIM is a method for optimizing the design, execution and operation of building structures. The basis of BIM is formed by a 3D computer model which can be enhanced by adding further information, such as on time, costs, utilization. It is not a software package but a method of working, collaborating, designing, managing, constructing and operating.
Building Information System (BIS) The ViCon BIS is a data analysis software in which the numerical and geometrical information of the 3D model are logically linked and depicted in easily surveyed form. BIS contains the 3D geometry of the building together with 2D drawings, contracts, information on the rooms, quantities, time schedule and any other information that may be required. ViCon provides the software for a Building Information System and develops and coordinates the interfaces to a 3D model.
Building simulation A method for analyzing building models. For this, physical properties, such as the identifying values of the building materials, construction time or traffic figures are assigned to the CAD model. This then enables such matters as energy consumption, the construction work sequence or flows of individuals to be simulated.
COBie standard COBie stands for Construction Operations Building information exchange. It is an internationally recognized data specification, developed to collect high-quality integrated information during design and construction and hand it over to the building operator. It can be used in IFC, SPFF, ifcXML and spreadsheetML.
Design Coordination System (DCS) Software for the administration, filtering and evaluation of clash points from the 3D MEP Clash Detection. It supports the coordination process and permits analysis of the consolidated 3D model via the Internet.
Digital Fabrication It is a process that uses computer tools to convert digital design into real-life physical objects. BIM models are now widely used to facilitate customized digital fabrication of building components and assemblies bringing quality, economy and speed to the projects.
Digital room book Digital compilation of data providing room-specific information. A room book contains an ID number, information on localization and utilization of the room and on dimensions, materials, technical installations and employees.
Digital Terrain Model (DTM) Digital, numeric model of terrain heights and forms. Depending on the field of application, precision ranges from just a few centimeters up to 100 metres. This data can further be used for GIS analysis and visualization.
Drawing Exchange Format (DXF) File format for exchanging vector data. DXF is supported by most CAD programs. Object definitions, such as “walls”, are lost during the data exchange process.
DWG Autodesk (Autocad) file format for saving vector data. The format has become an established standard in the field of CAD drawings.
Geographic Information System (GIS) It is a system of hardware and software used to capture, store, change, analyze, manage, and present all types of geographical data. Spatial features are stored in a coordinate system referring to a particular location on the earth.
Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) Independent standard for describing the building models of various CAD systems. As well as the geometrical data, further properties of the building structures are depicted. The IFC are defined by the Industrial Alliance for Interoperability (IAI). The IFC permit the exchange across different software systems of construction and facility management data.
Interoperability It is the ability of different systems/platforms to exchange information and being able to use that information without losing the required specifications/data values.
iRoom Interactive meeting room for video conferences and project meetings. Its key constituent is an interactive presentation board for depicting and controlling the functions. An iRoom combines the useful area of a flipchart with the overview capacity of an A0 drawing and the communication options of a PC system.
Level of Development (LOD) LOD describes the maturity of individual building elements, which evolve from the lowest level of conceptual approximation to the highest level of representational precision. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) adopted five basic levels from LOD 100 to LOD 500 in its ‘Document G202™-2013 Project Building Information Modeling Protocol Form’ that gives a generic definition of minimum content requirements and authorized uses for each model element at progressive levels of completeness.
Model types Based on the experience of implementing BIM in a variety of projects, HOCHTIEF ViCon has developed a concept of six BIM model types for typical project phases: 3D schematic model, 3D marketing model, 3D design model, 3D quantity model, 3D construction model, 3D asset model.
Open BIM OpenBIM is an approach to create open standards and workflows for collaborative design, execution and operation of buildings. Initiated by, buildingSMART and several leading software vendors, it makes the data exchange interoperable while giving the project stakeholders freedom in their choice of software.
Parameter A measurable or quantifiable characteristic, a constant, a fixed criterion.
Parametric building model Parametric building model is a technology that uses parameters to formulate the behavior of a graphical component. The CAD objects stand in relation to one another and mutually influence one another. A wall, for instance, has a connection to the ground it stands on and to the ceiling it joins up with. If the height of the wall is changed, the ceiling also shifts. This makes the editing of the model easier while preserving the original design intent.
Project lifecycle Regardless of size and its complexity, each project has to go through series of stage from initiation, planning, execution, closure and operations. The term “project lifecycle” is used to describe this logical sequence.
Request for Information (RFI) It is a process to collect written information to make a decision on what step is needed next in the process. In construction industry, it is often used in cases where clarification is needed for interpreting details, specifications or construction drawings.
Topology A model's structure is called topology.
ViCon Abbreviation for Virtual Design and Construction.
Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) VRML is a platform-independent descriptive language for 3D scenes, geometries and animations. It is used in the Internet or in local envir
BIM Management |

Discover our services. Click here for our management services.

BIM Training |

Here you will find information about BIM training and registration.

Learn more
BIM Consulting |

Discover our services. Click here for our consulting services.

Learn more