10 BIM Terms Everyone Should Know – Part 2



VDC stands for Virtual Design and Construction. VDC is the use of an interdisciplinary performance model for a design project, including products, work processes, and design and operations team organizations to support business goals (Khanzode et al. 2006; Kunz & Fischer 2012). It has been created by Stanford University’s Center for Integrated Facility Engineering (CIFE). 

Learn more about the definition of VDC here.


ICE stands for Integrated Concurrent Engineering meetings. The purpose of these meetings is to develop, display and describe the product as well as the organization, the 4D models, the processes and POP (Kunz). Therefore, it means that ICE meetings are interdisciplinary. They include the latest visualization techniques and enable simultaneous design work. Instead of exchanging email between disciplines, project members can introduce changes and approve them in a much more targeted way.

Learn more about VDC and ICE meetings here



PPM stands for Project Production Management. It strives to optimize cost, time, and scope through process design, capacity, inventory, and variability levers (www.projectproduction.org).  PPM is an operations science applied to projects through the lens of a temporary production system. It’s science. Structuring and monitoring project work is an important element of PPM. Additionally, PPM determines the methodology for creating and using BIM, and the ICE meetings.

Learn more about VDC, ICE meetings and PPM here



Lean Manufacturing is based on the search for the most efficient production system and focuses on identifying and eliminating everything that does not add value to the final product. For this purpose, it establishes five assumptions: 

  1. Set value concepts; 
  2. Define the most efficient process for manufacturing a product; 
  3. Eliminate fluctuations in the production process by establishing a continuous workflow; 
  4. Use of a pull system; 
  5. Continuous improvement.

Read more about Lean Management here


ISO 19650

ISO 19650 certification is an international standard based on the old PAS 1192 (British Standard). PAS 1192 Publicly Available Specifications defines guidelines, practice standards, and norms developed to meet the needs of the construction industry. 

ISO 19650 is a set of BIM (Building Information Modeling) standards, from concepts and principles to safety information about buildings and civil engineering. Certification includes different documents that define the collaboration process and describe the task.

  • ISO 19650 – 1: Concepts
  • ISO 19650 – 2: Delivery phase
  • ISO 19650 – 3: Operational phase
  • ISO 19650 – 4: Information exchange
  • ISO 19650 – 5: Security


Read more about ISO 19650 here.


Clash detection

Clash detection is a technique used in BIM (Building Information Modeling). It is the automatic and computerized identification of conflicts or clashes. The technique speeds up projects by detecting conflicts between different models during the design process. It can be run on many 3D models

Clash detection in BIM allows architects and contractors to avoid the effects of multi-level design revisions that can lead to cost overruns and project delays.

BIM Clash detection helps determine if building elements interfere with each other, where and how. Elements can be walls, systems, or any geometric object. It also helps to:

  • Check the stability of the structure. 
  • Avoid schedule conflicts. 
  • And much more.


There are 3 types of clashes: 

  1. Soft or ‘clearance’: object’s geometric tolerances, and allowable proximity
  2. Hard: two or more components occupy the same space, or geometric location
  3. Workflow or 4D clash: building information is incorrect or contradictory. 


Read more about clash detection here.


BIM protocol

The Building Information Modeling (BIM) protocol contains provisions that support the creation of “data drop” deliverables during the defined project phases by creating requirements for suppliers to provide specified BIM at a defined level of detail.

The BIM protocol documents are typically provided as a professional consultant booking document and as an appendix to the contractor’s main contract, and the logs should be downgraded to the contractor’s supply chain.


AIR (Asset Information Requirements)

AIR stands for Asset Information Requirements. They are part of the BIM process. AIR is defined by the ISO-19650 norm as “’information requirements in relation to the operation of an asset’; an information requirement is defined as ‘specification for what, when, how and for whom information is to be produced'” (source). AIR defines the graphical and non-graphical data, information and documentation needed for the lifetime operation and management of a built asset. 


BuildingSMART Data Dictionary (bSDD)

BuildingsSMART International created bSDD (buildingSMART Data Dictionary)

The bSDD is an online service where users can find “classifications, standards, dictionaries and their properties, legal values, units, and translations”. It also contains specific standards regarding project, country, and company. 

It is mainly used by BIM actors. The BIM modelers use bSDD to enrich their model. The BIM Manager uses bSDD to validate BIM data. Regarding other users, they use bSDD “to check compliance, automatically find manufacturer’s products, extend IFC (Industry Foundation Classes), create Information Delivery Specifications (IDS) and much more.” (www.buildingsmart.org). 


Digital Twin

A digital twin is a virtual model that aims to accurately reflect a physical object or process. The objects are equipped with sensors which are related to important functional areas. The sensors generate data such as temperature, weather conditions, energy consumption etc. The data is fed into the processing system and applied to the digital copy. 

When informed of this data, project members can use the virtual model to run simulations, investigate performance issues, and generate potential improvements. All of these elements are intended to generate valuable information and can be applied to the original physical object.

When a change occurs, it is implemented using engineering change orders (ECO). It will result in a new version of the item’s digital thread, and therefore the digital twin.


Read a full story about Digital Twin here.



Eva Stepak-Heritier, Marketing Director at Catenda.