The BIM manager is the direct vicarious agent of the client and is therefore located at the project management level. Due to the scope of tasks, the BIM manager should have technical knowledge in all project phases as well as IT on the one hand, and extensive social and communication skills on the other hand. Only in this way can the needs of the project participants be recognized and managed, and the associated project success be ensured. A BIM manager who only manages data and models and does not actively participate in the entire project process, will fail and miss the project goals.


The professional and expert world agree: BIM methodology is changing the construction industry sustainably and positively in all project phases, i.e. over the entire life cycle. Nevertheless, we repeatedly find doubters in our projects who see BIM only as a trend and refuse to accept both the system and the associated digitalization.

Whether this attitude is due to ignorance or adherence to “proven” workflows is difficult to judge. To illustrate the ineffectiveness of conservative project methods, we present here a graphic from the German Federal Statistical Office, to be further discussed:

A (from our point of view very accurate) definition from the step-by-step plan of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is shown in the screenshot.

The most important terms here are:

c o o p e r a t i v e
– intensive cooperation of all participants in terms of the project and on the basis of the data model, but also on a professional level.

– an indispensable component, 100% digitization should be aimed for.

l i f e c y c l e
– Must always be considered and taken into account in the review and the project goals.

I n f o r m a t i o n.   a n d    d a t a
– In the information age, the most important asset – so it should be carefully managed and distributed, for example, by the data and information manager.

– In the construction industry, certainly an exciting task and essential.

One of our biggest concerns: BIM must not be mistaken with 3D-CAD. The authoring software is “only” a tool for implementing the methodology. Only the  model data generated with it is the cornerstone of BIM and the cooperative working methodology is also built on it!

Basically, BIM pursues the same goals as other project management methods:

  • Compliance with or undercutting of the cost framework
  • Fulfillment of deadline targets
  • Compliance with quality specifications

In addition to these hard facts, BIM (and the accompanying digitization) also takes soft facts into account.

It’s a platitude, but with BIM, “the journey is also the destination.”

Various types of BIM can be found in the literature.
The following applies: Various attempts to apply the methodology in a diluted form (e.g. BIM-Light) are strongly discouraged. BIM cannot unfold its effectiveness or the methodology as a whole is discredited and classified as ineffective. The two main types are Open BIM and Closed BIM.

Closed BIM:
The BIM models are generated in a proprietary software system of a provider. This enables not only the exchange of data, but also of functions. E.g. calculations can be performed interdisciplinary.

Open BIM:
BIM models are created using different authoring software & made available to project stakeholders via an exchange format (ifc, bcf).

Although Closed BIM may be considered the first choice due to its functional capabilities, we are advocates of Open BIM:

  • Every public sector client must tender Open BIM.
  • Each project stakeholder can use the authoring software that suits them best (internal processes, licensing costs, more advantageous modules, etc.).
  • Proprietary software pursues the goal of tying licensees to itself. A change to more efficient authoring software is then only possible with a greater effort.

𝗦𝗣𝗼𝗧 (Single Point/Source of Truth)
The SPoT is an established principle of the BIM methodology and describes the need to include any geometric and/or meta data information in the models database. This can be in the form of geometric information, data, and linked or embedded information (e.g., data sheets).
The SPoT ensures that all project stakeholders have access to the same and valid data.

𝗦𝗣𝗼𝗖 (Single Point of Contact)
VDI 2552 also describes BIM management as data and information management – and quite rightly so.
A central office that manages and distributes all data and information related to the BIM model (i.e., also plans or lists derived from it) is essential.
The principle applies: the right information to the right people at the right time. The evaluation and understanding as well as the passing on to the appropriate project participants requires an extensive know-how in communication and project understanding! In this way, bad habits, such as distributing data and plans to all users via Common Data Environment (CDE), can be avoided.

There is extensive literature and publications on the subject of BIM. The descriptions and terminology of the BIM methodology are basically the same, but there are diverging opinions on the fee or the legal valuation.
The following regulations can be regarded as authoritative:

VDI 2552 (sheets 1 to 11) provides a structured approach for the effective implementation of BIM in the processes of design, construction and operation. For this purpose, it describes the rules of technology, experience and developments in the application of BIM that are already internationally proven today.
Green Booklet BIM AHO /HOAI)
The revision will be published approximately in the 3rd quarter of 2021. It will clarify the compatibility of the HOAI and the BIM methodology.

DIN EN ISO 19650
Organization and digitization of information on structures and engineering services, including building information modeling (BIM) – Information management with BIM

ÖNORM A 6241-1 and ÖNORM A 6241-2
ÖNORM A 6241-1 – Digital building documentation – Part 1: CAD data structures and Building Information Modeling (BIM)
ÖNORM A 6241-2 – Digital building documentation – Part 2: Building Information Modeling

Leaflet prSIA 2051
Building Information Modelling (BIM) – Basics for the application of the BIM method.
The leaflet defines the term BIM as well as numerous other terms used in connection with the BIM application. It further describes the organization of a BIM process with its
main component, the BIM project execution plan.

Through the AIA, the client/builder (together with the BIM manager, if necessary) defines which processes are to be taken into account and which data and information are to be delivered by whom to whom and when, and what they are needed for. They also contain the company-specific and project-specific requirements and define the project goals and framework conditions.
The contractor uses the AIA as the basis for his costing and bidding.

VDI 2552 sheet 10 describes the minimum requirements and principles, as well as the structure and contents – here are some keywords:

  • Quality and quantity of data and information
  • Specifications for data delivery processes
  • General conditions
  • Project specifics
  • Overall project goals
  • BIM goals and use cases
  • Organization, roles and eligibility criteria
  • Processes
  • Technologies
  • Data and information

The BAP has been formulated very appropriately by the AHO (see picture). Here, the passage “….and thus takes into account the needs of the project and the project participants” is of particular importance.

It is made clear that the project partners and their concerns and requirements must be taken into account. Thus, the BAP is to be regarded as a set of rules for the collaboration of the project participants in terms of the agreed project goals. The BAP is a collaboratively generated product under the direction of the BIM management.

Updating during the project is necessary because project participants may be added or conditions of the project may change.

It is not the task of the BIM manager to check and evaluate the technical elaborations and results; this is the responsibility of the project manager, if applicable.

However, BIM management should have fundamental expertise in all disciplines and across the entire life cycle of a building. In particular, the processes as well as the interfaces between the project participants and project phases are of special importance. Ultimately, the BIM manager must be able to assess whether preliminary work and subcontracted work have been provided on time, to a sufficient extent, and with the required quality.

The BIM specifications can be divided into 2 phases:

1. project preparation
Here, the AIA (client information requirements) and the pre-contractual BAP (BIM execution plan) are developed. These two documents enable the planners to be commissioned to assess and consider costing effects (positive and negative!).

2. project execution
The requirements from the AIA and the pre-contractual BAP are updated in the BAP. This is developed together with the project participants and expands to include their needs and other project requirements. Although the BAP is part of the contract, it is continuously updated during the planning and implementation phase.

Discover Building Information Modeling for your area.