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BIM Dictionary and Acronyms Explained

If you’re already finding BIM a little bit confusing, the number of acronyms that crop up in almost every sentence probably isn’t helping.

To help you understand what exactly we’re talking about here on the REBIM® blog, we’ve created a BIM dictionary with the most common terms and acronyms you’ll see again and again.

Why not bookmark this page so it’s easy to refer back to?


BIM – Building Information Modelling

First things first, BIM. BIM stands for “building information modelling” and refers to the process of creating digital information about a building or piece of infrastructure. It describes the way of working, rather than a physical entity.

There are different levels of BIM referred to as ‘BIM maturity’ which describe the to what level a team or organisation are working collaboratively in a digital environment.

For a more detailed explanation of ‘What is BIM’, read this blog post.


Project Phase

The project phase refers to everything that happens before the building or piece of infrastructure is completed and in use.

So that’s from as early on as the original client brief right through to construction and completion.

The teams involved during the project stage  (the architects, structural engineers, contractors, and sub contractors etc.) are often called ‘the project team’ or ‘project teams’.


O&M – Operations & Management

Operations & Management are the team of people who manage the asset once it is in use.


FM – Facility Management

Facility management refers to the management of the asset. This includes the Operations & Management team.


CDE – Common Data Environment

CDE stands for Common Data Environment. The CDE is where information is collected and shared between clients, designers and contractors during the project phase.

REBIM® provides a well structured CDE where project teams can work collaboratively from the outset.


PIM and AIM – Project/Asset Information Model

During the project phase, the project teams create a data rich 3D model in the Common Data Environment called a Project Information Model.

Throughout the project stage, the model is added to by members of the design team until completion.

The end result is a data rich 3D model with clearly structured and correctly linked graphical and non-graphical data.

Once the building is complete, the Project Information Model is handed over to the Operations and Management team and it becomes an Asset Information Model.


AIMS – Asset Information Management System

The Asset Information Management System is used by the Operations and Management team to access the information provided by the Asset Information Model.

Through the AIMS, the Operations & Management team have easy access to all of the data uploaded to the Common Data Environment CDE during the project phase.


EIR – Employer’s Information Requirements

At the very beginning of the project, the clients or the employers set out the information they will require in the Employer’s Information Requirements.

The document will include what they need at key stages of the project and also what they’ll need at handover to allow for successful Facilities Management once the asset is complete.


BIM EP – BIM Execution Plan

The BIM EP is a document created by all parties which outlines how they will work together to deliver on the terms set out in the Employer’s Information Requirements document.

It will usually detail team roles and responsibilities, deliverables and timescales, file formats and conventions, approval procedures and more.


IFC – Industry Foundation Classes

IFC is an open and neutral file format for exchanging data in the Common Data Environment.

It is possible to export files into an IFC format from any software so that they can be shared, opened and used by others.


CAD – Computer Aided Design

Through Computer Aided Design, the design teams create the 2D and 3D models which are essential to BIM.
Hopefully this has helped to consolidate your understanding of the key terms whilst also giving you a brief overview of BIM in general.

To find out more about how you can use REBIM® at either the project stage or for facilities management, book a consultation through our website.