top of page
Double exposure of abstract digital world map hologram on a modern furnished office interi

Building Information Modeling, BIM is transforming the construction industry and is changing the AEC workflows, methods, processes, and tools. BIM implementation is supported by the international standard ISO 19650 which provides the means to enable digital construction to maximize the efficiency of information processes, facilitate better collaboration and increase productivity. 


There is no universally accepted definition of BIM. In the construction industry, there are various definitions of BIM from different organizations and institutes. The reason there is no accepted definition is that BIM is ever-evolving; however, there have been some useful definitions, some of which are provided here.

BIM is a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility creating a shared knowledge resources for information about it and forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life cycle, from earliest conception to demolition (National BIM Standard, US National BIM Standards Committee, NBMS).


BIM is essentially value creating collaboration through the entire life-cycle of an asset, underpinned by the creation, collation and exchange of shared three-dimensional (3D) models and intelligent, structured data attached to them (UK BIM Task Group).


Building Information Modelling is a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility creating a shared knowledge resource for information about it forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life cycle, from earliest conception to demolition (Royal Institute of British Architects, RIBA).


BIM is the process of designing, constructing or operating a building or infrastructure asset using electronic object – oriented information (PAS 1192-2:2013). Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an intelligent 3D model-based process that gives architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) professionals the insight and tools to more efficiently plan, design, construct, and manage buildings and infrastructure (Autodesk).


The development and use of a multi-faceted computer software data model to not only document a building design, but to simulate the construction and operation of a new capital facility or a recapitalized (modernized) facility (General Services Administration, GSA).


BIM is the use of a shared digital representation of a built asset to facilitate design, construction and operation processes to form a reliable basis for decisions (ISO 19650).


BIM is a set of technologies, processes, and policies enabling multiple stakeholders to collaboratively design, construct and operate a Facility in virtual space. As a term, BIM has grown tremendously over the years and is now the 'current expression of digital innovation' across the construction industry (BIM Dictionary).


The majority of definitions highlight two key aspects of BIM; BIM is a process of developing a digital representation using technology and the value or benefits created through BIM collaboration and data models that help us to make better decisions during the asset lifecycle. The last definition, provided by the BIM dictionary acknowledges that in addition to technology and process, BIM is also about policy. In addition, the EU BIM Task Group BIM guidance also refers to 4 key BIM components.


Leadership, collaboration, owners engagement, skills and responsibilties


Standards, processes, lean design management, information management


BIM modelling, simulation, interoperability,



Standards, project guidelines, legal and contractual, procurement, 

ISO 19650

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 19650 is a series of standards that provides guidelines and requirements for the organization and management of information within the construction industry, specifically for Building Information Modeling (BIM). These standards are designed to ensure consistency and interoperability in BIM processes and data exchange on a global scale. 

The roots of ISO 19650 can be traced back to the need for greater standardization and efficiency within the construction sector. Historically, the industry has been fragmented leading to inefficiencies, disputes, and costly project delays. To address these challenges, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) initiated the development of ISO 19650, building on the earlier British Standard BS 1192 and PAS 1192-2.


The ISO 19650 series of standards are closely related to UK BIM Level 2, the UK national framework for implementing BIM. The 2011 UK BIM Level 2 mandate by the UK government and the British standards institution included the development of standards and guidelines to support the adoption and implementation of BIM in the UK. Meanwhile, the UK BIM Level 2 mandate contribution to the industry was increasingly acknowledged as a best practice at a global scale and played a significant role in shaping the development of the ISO 19650 standards. ISO 19650 and UK BIM Level 2 share the same principles and concepts, emphasizing the effective information management of digital information throughout the asset lifecycle. Today, the UK BIM Framework, created by the UK BIM Alliance, the British Standards Institution and the Center for Digital BIM Britain, sets out the approach to implementing BIM in the UK.

The ISO 19650 documents are based on the principles and the content of a currently redrawn PAS or a British standard, as part of the BIM Level UK suite of documents. (BS 1192: 2007 + A2: 2016, PAS 1192-2: 2013, PAS 1192-3: 2014 PAS 1192-4: 2014 PAS 1192-5: 2015 PAS 1192-6: 2018 BS 1192-4: 2014 BS 8536-1: 2015 BS 8536-2: 2016). The UK BIM standards published by the British Standards Institution, BSI supported the development of the ISO 19650 standards and provided guidance and best practice into BIM implementation. The ISO 19650 series documents include activities and tasks, diagrams, and a step-by-step approach towards digital processes that supports the flow of information within the information management cycle (from the Project information model to the Asset information model).


ISO 19650 series is comprised of published 5 documents, with one being under development. ISO 19650-1 describes the principles and concepts, ISO 19650-2 presents the information management process for the delivery phase, ISO 19650-3 focuses on the asset's operational phase, ISO 19650-4 defines the processes and criteria for information exchanges and ISO 19650-5 addresses the security of information. ISO 19650-6 addresses health and safety issues and will be available for public comments at the end of the year 2023.

ISO 19650-2 has also a provision for a National Annex to adjust to local regional conditions. Only a few countries have developed a national Annex while others are using formally or informally the UK National Annex included in the BS EN ISO 19650-2.

ISO 19650 publications include recommendations, guidelines, activities, tasks, diagrams, and a step-by-step approach towards digital processes that support the flow of information for the whole lifecycle of the asset.

ISO 19650 is implemented in the life cycle of the asset and is linked to ISO 55000 and ISO 21500, the standards for project and asset management and ISO 9001, the standard for organizational management.


The implementation of BIM according to the ISO is equivalent to BIM Maturity Stage 2. The BIM stage 2 requirements are:

  • Common data environment

  • Structured and unstructured information

  • The use of the Information Models (PIM, AIM)

  • The implementation of the standards ISO 19650 - 1, ISO 19650 -2

According to the UK BIM Framework, a successful outcome of the adoption of BIM processes according to the ISO 19650 series will have the following characteristics:

  • The clear definition of the information required by the project client or asset owner for the procedures and deadlines for the production and review of information.

  • The quantity and quality of information are sufficient to meet the information requirements.

  • Efficient transfer of information between parties.

  • Informed and timely decision-making.


BIM implementation has been open to interpretation among the different regions in the world with a great number of BIM guides being issued by various countries, organizations, institutions and universities internationally. As a result,  BIM adoption is increasing all over the world but BIM implementation is not equally defined. An international standard helps the industry agree on a common definition and a single process to increase the efficiency and quality of the implementation process.

ISO 19650 is currently implemented in many markets, such as Australia, China and USA, while in Europe, the interest of adopting the standard is increasing constantly. ISO 19650 supports global collaboration, creating a common ground for implementing BIM in different construction markets. This is especially important today where construction projects and teams are increasingly geographically dispersed, highlighting the need to adopt digital processes and establish a common language for digital collaboration.

ISO 19650 is more than just a set of guidelines; it represents a significant shift in the way the construction industry operates. By prioritizing standardized information management, interoperability, information security, and health and safety, ISO 19650 is introducing in a new era of efficiency, collaboration, and sustainability. As design and construction practices continue to evolve in the digital age, ISO 19650 stands as a testament to the industry's commitment to progress and excellence.

ISO 19650 standards may consist of a few pages and hundreds of words. Still, the real opportunity lies in the fact that our industry’s nature, with the traditional workflows, the cultural gaps and the interoperability issues changes. The new path for the construction sector is not led only by technological innovation but also standardisation.

BIM Design Hub ISO 19650 Playlist


Gain a competitive edge in the industry with our BIM CPD accredited courses, aiming at helping professionals implement the processes defined in ISO 19650 standards. Taught by experienced industry experts, our CPD courses provide practical insights that equip you with the skills and knowledge to enhance BIM implementation.  


BIM Design Hub training has been on the shortlist of the European Excellence Awards 2021!


Thanks for subscribing!

bottom of page