The acronym BIM may represent (inter alia) Building Information Modelling, Building Information Model, and Building Information Management. While all three are related, they have different meanings. Building Information Management is about methodologies for managing the production, distribution and quality of construction information for efficiency and collaboration. Acronym BIM has rarely been assigned for Building Information Management in contemporary discourse (probably due to possible confusion). Building Information Model is the product of modelling, and they are often referred to as BIM Models. Thus, it is clear that the consensus is that BIM means Building Information Modelling. This video by Graphisoft is a good explanation on BIM (view it in full screen) given in layman's terms.

The term BIM seems to have been coined by Autodesk, a leading software vendor for AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) applications. However, Graphisoft claims that their Virtual Building concept introduced with ArchiCAD in late 80’s was the first ever implementation of BIM concept in an AEC application [read Laiserin 15 & 19].

The development of BIM can be traced back to the initiatives of the International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI). IAI started as Industry Alliance for Interoperability in 1994 as a consortium of group of US companies. They demonstrated interoperability

In simple, BIM allows for virtual construction of a building to its full details. How this has been made possible is through the global BIM initiatives which are currently lead by buildingSMART. The background of the BIM (specifically the openBIM) technology is discussed above. Several proprietary BIM solutions are also developed to scales not yet matched by IFC (of buildingSMART) probably due to the competition and large budget allocation for R&D as a result of that. However, these developments are usually within limited scope in contrast to wider scope of buildingSMART initiatives.

8 pillarsFollowing the issuance of BIM Level 2 by 2016 mandate in 2011, the United Kingdom developed standards, procedures and protocols to address almost all aspects of BIM implementations. Key developments were popularly known as 7 pillars of BIM (or BIM wisdom). With the addition of information security standards, they are now called 8 pillars. These provide comprehensive guide for proper BIM adoption also for us. It is necessary we read all these primarily to understand what role each of us have to play in a BIM implementation. Further, it is necessary to clearly understand what role others play as BIM implementation is a highly collaborative effort.