Level of Detail or Development: LOD in BIM

All organisations using BIM tools and workflows in their practice have been constantly faced with the dilemma of information exchange.

This challenge includes successful completion of project in a collaborative environment where team members from different discipline produce their own relative information. It is essential to define at early stage of a project what information is needed from whom is required at what stages to what level of detail. At this point everyone venturing into the world of BIM is likely to come across acronym LOD (level of detail). Although LOD may be explained in different ways depending where in the world, however, the very basic concept remains the same within BIM process.

The lack of communication and common perspective that may lead to delays, errors and friction between parties involved can be clarified and resolved.

In America, LOD refers to 'Level of Development'

American Institute of Architects (AIA) publicised (and trademarked) the term ‘levels of development’ in AIA E202-2008: Building Information Modelling Protocol Exhibit, published in 2008. Since then, LOD – Level of Development is the degree to which the element’s geometry and attached information has been thought through. Later published Level of Development Specification published by BIM Forum in 2013 based on AIA protocols became base point of reference of several BIM Guidelines and documents in countries including Germany, France, Australia, Canada, China, Singapore and Taiwan.

In the UK, LOD is the commonly known acronym for 'Level of Detail'

This was introduced within BIM Protocol released by AEC (UK) in 2009 as Level of Detail/Grade within its Model Development Methodology. Later in 2013 PAS 1192-2 Specification for information management for the capital/delivery phase of construction projects using building information modelling (now replaced by BS EN ISO 19650) introduced ‘Level of Definition’ as a new classification system with seven levels (1-7) to include both aspects of ‘Level of Model Detail’ (LOD) and Level of Model Information’ (LOI).

Combining the terms: Level of Model Definition

Level of  Model Detail refers to the description of graphical models at each stage of the process.
Level of Model Information refers to the description of non-graphicl models at each stage.

LOD (Level of Detail) helps to combine the two, featuring graphical and non-graphical models at each process stage. This is completely different the the term LOD which is widely used in the USA, as this refers to Level of Development… the two should never be confused!

Level of Model Definition in the UK is the combination of graphical ‘Level of Detail’ and ‘Level of Information’ non graphical. The concept is essential when eliminating the majority of the AEC industry confusion to comprehend what is actually needed to produce, issue and receive information on project progress from one stage to another. The lack of communication and common perspective that may lead to delays, errors and friction between parties involved can be clarified and resolved easily by setting what information is going to be produced by who at each progressive stage of the project so the team involved knows what to expect.

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