The Level of and Progression Management systems

The ISO 19650 set of standards introduces a new term: ‘Level of information need’ which is designed to replace the terms used in BS EN 1192 such as Level of model definition/level of detail (LOD) and level of information (LOI).

Michael Boyd in his paper Investigation into Maturity Management for Building Information Modelling researched management of the progression and use of information, at Middlesex University in his presentation ‘Level of’[1] concluded that depending on the originator the term LOD is referred in four different ways, significantly changing the meaning of the abbreviation. The LOD can be referred to as Level of Detail, Level of Design, Level of Development and Level of Definition.

Furthermore, Michel’s research determined a few more terms used in relation with management of the progression and uses of information, namely the Level of Information, Level of Accuracy, Level of Coordination, Level of Granularity, Suitability, Reliability, Authorised Uses, Permitted Purpose, Component Grade, Approval and Accepted[1]

Since VICO MPS[2] introduced the first Building Information Management system, the industry continues to improve information management methods. The most recent publication of ISO 19650 series of standards[3] [4] aimed to improve on the predecessor’s PAS 1192 set of specifications, and it represents a step forward in standardising information management requirements on projects using BIM. Although the ISO 19650 series brought in significant improvements, the standards offer only general guidance in respect of information progression management

Management system   

Progression Management system (PMS) is also referred to as Model Progression Specification (MPS) term coined by VICO

Following the publication of BS EN ISO 19650 part 1 & 2, UK BIM Alliance, BSI and the Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) have announced the launch of the UK BIM Framework.[5] The framework has been established to support individuals and organisations to understand the principles of Building Information Modelling (BIM). The UK BIM Alliance, BSI and CDBB (UK BIM Framework) are developing standards and guidance

Currently, the construction industry has a range of tools available to use as the progression management system of graphical and nongraphical information. The chronology of these tools is shown in Figure 1.

Fig.1 Chronology of Information Management

Level of

VICO [2] Uses the term Level of Detail[6] divided into five progressive stages from LoD 100 to LoD 500.

OGC City Geography Markup Language (CityGML) Encoding Standard  – (OGC) – sets out 5 Levels of Detail (LoD) for 3D geospatial models, which go from LoD0 to LoD4. LoD0 is a simplified 2D building footprint, and the scale goes right up to LoD4 which includes building internal rooms and installations.[7]

Danish Information levels – built upon the principle of evolving detailing with the degree of detailing from level 0 to 6 [8]

BS 1192-2:2007, superseded by BS 1192-2:2007+A2:2016. Introduced Level of model definition, level of detail (LOD) and level of information (LOI) [6]Both superseded by BS EN ISO 19650-2:2018

301 – Building Information Modeling (BIM) Addendum –  include term Level of Development (LOD). It is a US Industry alternative to the AIA digital practise documents. References the BIMForum LOD Specification 2015 as part of its MPS.[9]

E203TM, G201TM & G202TM – establish Model Management Protocols and Processes, Level of Development (LOD), Model Authorised Uses, and provides a Model Element Table matrix.  AIA E202TM 2008 BIM Protocol Exhibit used the Vico’s MPS Level of Detail schema but changed it to Level of Development; LOD 100, LOD 200, LOD 300, LOD 400 & LOD 500. AIA coined the term Level of Development (LOD). It has become the benchmark when it comes to comparing MPS schemas. [10]

Minimum Modelling Matrix (M3) similar to the AIA G202TM 2013 definitions. This Progression Management system uses (Level of Development) LOD 100, LOD 200 & LOD 300, but, also, has a grade classification suffix attribute when specifying design model elements for construction documents. It also has an additional suffix symbol for an As-Built status. The scheme does not engage LOD 400 or LOD 500.

National Guidelines for Digital Modelling – It guides Model development phases (taken from BIPs 2007). These are from Phase 0 to 6. Phase 1 being: Briefing/Pre-design, 2; Conceptual design, 3; Schematic design, 4; Developed design, 5; Contract documents, and 6; Post-construction/Facilities management. It uses terms such as Level of Detail (LOD) [11]

Singapore BIM Guide – Model Progression sub-sets such as Level of Detail LOD [12]

Conclusion

BS EN ISO 19650‑1 introduced new term ‘level of information need’, which replaces the use of the level of model definition, level of model detail and level of model information. The level of information need is a broader concept to be viewed as the combination of the level of detail and level of information and to include broader terminology such as permitted use of the information, protocols and processes and generally all terms related to managing the progression and uses of information

The publication of BS EN ISO 19650 part 1 & 2 provides a general framework for Progression Management System clarifying roles and responsibilities, describing activities which need to be completed following the appointment of each delivery team before of their mobilisation. The standard also guides what and how the information should be managed and where to be included i.e., use o agreed metrics described in Organizational information requirements (OIR), Project information requirements (PIR), Asset information requirements (AIR) and Exchange information requirements (EIR) and that the level of information need must be reviewed and authorised.

For example, BS EN ISO 19650‑2 requires that the level of information need is identified for each information container[4] within the task information delivery plan (TIDP) and even though not explicitly stated, TIDPs should still be able to indicate the handover of responsibility from one team member to another.[13]  

Furthermore, the standards explain the purpose of defining the level of information need to ensure that only relevant and minimum amount of the information needed is requested and provided.

The BS EN ISO 19650‑1 propose to use a range of metrics to determine levels of information need, giving an example of two complementary but independent metrics to define the geometrical and alphanumerical content in terms of quality, quantity and granularity. Although not referring to any of the Progression Management systems available.[3]

So far the use of the acronym LOD, caused significant confusion, even within academic papers and although the level of information need, is the better-suited description the industry needs time to update the currently available systems and standards hence we will continue to see the acronyms LOD & LOI for some time, thus to avoid further misunderstanding the acronyms shall be used with caution and always used the full name and source in the opening context.


[1]        Michael Boyd, “Level of?,” 2019.

[2]        Trimble Navigation Limited, “Project Progression Planning with MPS 3.0,” 2013. Accessed: Jan. 17, 2020. [Online].

[3]        British Standards Institution, BS EN ISO 19650‑1:2018. BSI, 2018.

[4]        British Standards Institution, BS EN ISO 19650‑2:2018. BSI, 2018.

[5]        “UK BIM Framework.” https://ukbimframework.org/ (accessed Jan. 19, 2020).

[6]        BSI, “PAS 1192-2:2013,” no. 1, p. 54, 2013, doi: Published by the British Standard Institute. British Standard Limited. ISSN9780580781360. /BIM TASK GROUP.

[7]        G. Gröger, T. H. Kolbe, C. Nagel, and K.-H. Häfele, “Open Geospatial Consortium,” 2012. [Online]. Available: http://www.opengeospatial.org/legal/.

[8]        O. (ed. ) Rasmussen, K. J. (ed. ) Christensen, and BPS-centret., BPS general principles of drawings. BPS-centret, 2006.

[9]        “BIMFix Blog: Model Progression Specifications – Resources.” http://bimfix.blogspot.com/2016/03/model-progression-specification.html (accessed Jan. 19, 2020).

[10]       “Digital Practice Documents | AIA Contract Documents.” https://www.aiacontracts.org/contract-doc-pages/27086-digital-practice-documents (accessed Jan. 19, 2020).

[11]       T. Fussell et al., “National Guidelines for Digital Modelling,” Cooperative Research Centre for Construction Innovation, 2009.

[12]       BIM Guide Workgroup, “Singapore BIM Guide,” 2012. [Online]. Available: www.bca.gov.sg.

[13]       British Standards Institution, Transition guidance to BS EN ISO 19650. 2019.

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