BIM for the Baffled: Part 6 – Kingspan Insulation and Level 2 BIM

11 December 2015 Kingspan Insulation UK
BIM for the Baffled: Part 6 – Kingspan Insulation and Level 2 BIM

In November 2012 we became the first manufacturer to launch manufacturer specific BIM objects via the NBS National BIM Library.

We started with five objects, and now there are currently BIM objects for 27 of our products in the National BIM library. We are continuing to create BIM objects for the rest of our products and add them to the BIM library, as well as making them available on our website so they can be used for modelling purposes.

Our next aim is to provide models for the common construction build ups as systems, for example a flat roof model (which comprises skim coated plasterboard fixed to timber joists, plywood deck, vapour control layer, Kingspan Thermaroof TR27 and fully adhered single ply membrane) could be modelled as a single assembly. This would enable these build ups to be just dropped into a model with all the associated data and saves having to add each layer separately on every single project or to amend generic objects, which is more time consuming and not always accurate.

But our efforts are only a part of the work; the UK Government’s 2011 Construction Strategy states that all publically procured projects should be using BIM at level 2. We can provide data which is suitable to level 2 projects, but our objects on their own are not level 2; it is a project specific requirement that is supported by data rich manufacturer’s objects.

We have briefly touched on Level 2 in an earlier post in the BIM series, but as this is the level that the government has mandated for all publicly procured projects over £5 million, we thought it is worth going into a little more detail about what this actually means and the standards and guidance that can help get you there.

The first key thing to understand is that it is a project that needs to achieve BIM Level 2; objects, like the ones that we have produced will not be at level 2 on their own, however when used in a project which meets the standards listed below, they can form part of a level 2 BIM asset.

Key components of Level 2 BIM

Level 2 BIM requires a managed 3D environment and the use of objects and assemblies which have data embedded and integrated. Key for level 2 BIM is combined data, ensuring that all are looking at the same information, and that this is integrated in such a way that it can be used after the building phase has been completed as an asset information model. Level 2 BIM may use 4D construction sequencing or 5D cost information.

The first (and most important) step in achieving level 2 is the correct integration and implementation of level 1. Many who think they achieving level 2 are not; they are achieving the 3D aspect of level 1. Level 1 can be defined as the use of CAD and 2D/3D design with a collaboration tool providing a common data environment (this includes file based collaboration, and the use of production/analysis software). Commercial/cost data is managed separately. The main difference between level 1 and level 2 is the interoperability, variation in software and discipline/management of it. Programme and cost data are also often integrated into level 2.


There are a number of standards which should be referred to when creating and using BIM objects which give guidance about BIM and BIM objects in general and specifically, what is necessary to achieve level 2. These include:

  • BS 1192:2007: Collaborative production of architectural, engineering and construction information. A code of practice from which the following documentation has been developed:
  • PAS 1192-2, ‘Specification for information management for the capital/delivery phase of construction projects using building information modelling’. This specification covers details of the standards and processes that should be adopted to “enable consistent, structured, efficient and accurate information exchange specific to BIM” (BIM Task Group – This PAS also looks at the whole cycle of the project from initial concept through to handover. It is essential for anyone involved in procurement, design, construction, operation and maintenance.
  • PAS 1192-3,‘Specification for information management for the operational phase of assets using building information modelling’. It works with PAS 1192-2 to support the level 2 target by setting out a framework for data management over the whole building life cycle. It focuses on the operational stage of assets. This incorporates all asset models that have developed from the creation of Project Information Models produced in accordance with PAS 1192-2. This PAS is targeted at anyone involved in the operation and maintenance of the asset, including those obtaining the design, construction and delivery (in new build).
  • BS 1192-4 ‘Collaborative production of information Part 4: Fulfilling employers information exchange requirements using COBie – Code of practice’. This is a standard that specifies how we, in the UK, will be using COBie. It is a full British Standard that is free to download. This document is developed to support the PAS 1192 series and to bring the COBie requirements into a format that the construction industry can interpret. It defines what is expected for the exchange of information from the design and construction through to handover and end use (whole building lifecycle). COBie is a way this information can be prepared and exchanged without knowledge of additional software or applications.
  • Government Soft Landings Policy: aligning the interests of those who design and construct an asset with those who subsequently use it. In terms of BIM the GSL Policy is used through a number of review points throughout the project to confirm that the project is following it’s intended path to the outcome(s) identified at the start. It is intended to give the organisations involved a better understanding of how the building will operate, and will also ensure a smoother handover.
  • Government Construction Strategy 2011 & Construction 2025. The framework for a number of areas that have been highlighted as required to improve/develop their approach to construction in order to reduce the cost of government construction projects by 15-20% by the end of current parliament. 2025 is the long term plan that has developed from 2011. Part of the Industrial Strategy.
  • Government Infrastructure Review: Additional reading that highlights a series of actions required to support a 15% reduction in the cost of infrastructure delivery. It is one of the reviews that began the process towards the Government BIM requirements.
  • BIM Protocol. The BIM Protocol (by the Construction Industry Council). This was developed in response to the Government’s BIM Strategy, it can be used by anyone involved on the project to guide them through the obligations, liabilities and limitations on the use of the models. It can also be used by the clients to give them an understanding of particular ways of working (e.g. naming conventions).
  • Other useful documents that may be worth noting as a reference include: 
    • Industrial Strategy: government and industry in partnership
    • BSI BIM Roadmap
    • NBS IFC COBie report
    • NBS BIM for the Terrified
    • BIS BIM Strategy Report

Level 2 is the key aim for BIM projects currently, however the BIM journey doesn’t stop there.

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