Understanding the four pillars of BIM


With BIM Level 2 now mandatory on all government funded projects, the importance of understanding and implementing BIM has never been more important. In order to better understand the process, BIM can be broken down into four distinct topics that are known as pillars, as Richard Bishop, Project Lead for BIM at Wienerberger, explains.

Pillar 1 – The PAS

The first pillar we’re examining is a combination of the four PAS1192 documents, all of which provide distinct and concise guidance as to how BIM operates and covers the main topics and project lifecycle.


PAS1192:2 explains the key documents, processes, roles, plain language questions and how BIM works during the CAPEX phase and the delivery of the Project Information Model (PIM).


PAS1192:3 explains the move into operational lifecycle, whilst also moving the model into the Asset Information Model (AIM).


PAS1192:4 describes COBie (Construction Operation Building Information Exchange), which is a consistent way of sharing structural data.


PAS1192:5 is currently being written and is set to outline cyber security guidance and notes as BIM existing on a digital platform exposes stakeholders to a new threat: cyber crime.

Many people break each PAS out as a separate BIM pillar, but seeing as they are all relevant and exist together we have combined them to create one overarching pillar.

Pillar 2 – Government Soft Landings (GSL)

GSL is a process that explains the need for a smooth transition from the design and construction phase to the operational phase of a built asset. Combined with the concept of Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) it seeks to compare the required performance outcomes with actual performance outcomes. The purpose of GSL and the three years of POE are to both optimise the operating performance within the operational budget as soon as possible and align the operating performance with the required performance outcomes set at the start of the design and construction period. In doing this, it allows for information to smoothly be passed to clients and facilities managers in an easy and structured way to ensure BIM can remain effective as an operational lifecycle tool.

Pillar 3 – Digital Plan of Works (DPoW)

Put simply, with construction projects, as they transition into being digital, it is essential that the processes are clearly defined and understood. DPoW is the articulation of the project delivery stages and the level of detail/definition that needs to be delivered by each supplier/discipline to the employer at any point in time.

Pillar 4 – Classification

When you consider that a project requires the movement of thousands of individual components and materials into one graphical interface, all extracting out into datasheets and COBie drops, then a common naming convention is required so that all parties fully understand what the item is referring to. For example, let’s take a door – we all know what a door is, but does the model refer to the frame, does it include the handle and the mechanisms or the hinges? This naming convention clarifies exactly what you are seeing as each object has code that it exists by, no matter what profession you work in. In short, this provides clarity and removes confusion.

With more and more projects embracing it as a process for working, it’s crucial that the industry not only embraces BIM, but also fully gains an understanding as to what components are important to the process.

Richard Bishop

Category Marketing Manager

Wienerberger Limited

01427 871200



Twitter @wienerbergeruk

Please note: This is a commercial profile




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