Data and information are vital ingredients in the success of any BIM (Building Information Modeling) projects. According to BS EN ISO 19650:2018, the new terminology "Level of information need" was introduced with the aim of setting standards and requirements for the use and exchange of information. 

What is the level of information need?

BS EN ISO 19650:2018 defines the level of information need as the quality, quantity and granularity of information. Additionally, each project information deliverable needs to be determined based on its purpose(s).

Depending on different projects and design phases, information can be varied from geometric information, alphanumeric information to documentation.

The terminology 'level of information need' is not abbreviated. 

Why is the level of information need important for BIM projects?

In BIM projects, to ensure precision and efficiency, information should be delivered on time, with the proper content and amount, and to the right people. Therefore, it is crucial to have a framework to generally determine the richness of information, which is supposed to minimize the occurrence of either insufficient, wasteful or incorrect project information.

How to apply the level of information need?

Level Of Information Need
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  1. Identify the purpose of the information: It is crucial to specify needed information in correlation with the purpose to carry a task or make a decision at a very first step.
  2. Setting delivery milestones: The project team also has to consider and anticipate the level of information and actual use of it at specific stages over different milestones throughout the life of a project.
  3. Specifying the actors or parties involved: Throughout the project life, there are not only actors but also various parties participating. Therefore, it should be precise who will be in charge of producing information and who will receive and process it.
  4. Determining the kind of information and the method to be delivered: There are several kinds of information to be considered over multiple stages and milestones of construction projects.
  • Geometrical information: detail, dimensionality, location, appearance and parametric behavior
  • Alphanumeric information: identification and information content
  • Documentation: reports, specifications, manuals, photographs, sketches, signed documents, physical information and handovers.

The guidance of BS EN ISO 19650:2018 also emphasises the integration between both people and technology. Following that, the level of information need should be intelligible for people and technology to verify and validate. In the construction industry, with the support of automation and technology intelligence, human errors can be minimized to better and faster reach the standard.

At the moment, the level of information need is viewed at the guidance level but not the executive. Different countries and regions have different approaches to specify the level of information need. However, when defining project information strategy and breakdown structure, it is essential to clarify information requirements and the level of information need. By capturing high quality information and delivering it in an accurate quantity to the right people at a proper stage helps enhance clash detection and save a lot of time and effort processing. And as a result the overall performance and efficiency of the project can be improved considerably.