Model Progression Specifications – Resources

As part of my study of Model Progression Specifications (MPS), I have compiled a list of schemas I’ve come across. Model Progression Specifications are sometimes called model development specifications (MDS), or Level of Development (LOD) specifications. In order to improve an approach, we need to know what is already available. Please inform the Author (Brian Renehan) if any of the below information is inaccurate, or if there are other schemas available not listed. See the “contact” tab for details.

Last updated - 30/08/2016

Standards and Guides:

Vico (Trimble) - US
MPS (Model Progression Specification) - Vico (acquired by Trimble) – 2005 – Uses the term Level of Detail – Now in version MPS 3.0. It divides Level of Detail (LoD) into five progressive stages from LoD 100 to LoD 500.

This was one of the first formally established model progression specifications and was driven by “Vico’s 5D Virtual ConstructionTM Software” and BIM services. It integrates coordination, quantities, cost planning, project scheduling, and production control. In 2010, MPS 2.0 added Aspect Classes, which add Model Design (M), Cost (C) and Time / Schedule (S) to the matrix. Vico was the first to use the term “Model Progression Specification” and “may” have originally coined the terms 4D BIM and 5D BIM.

AIA E202TM 2008 BIM Protocol Exhibit (October 2008) used the Vico’s MPS Level of Detail schema as a template to create Level of Development. Because both use the acronym LOD, this causes huge confusion, even within academic papers. Thus, the acronym; “LOD” needs to be used with caution and always use the full name and source in the opening context. 

 Above: Extract from MPS 3.0 showing Aspects and Classes.

Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) - International
OGC City Geography Markup Language (CityGML) Encoding Standard  - (OGC) - First Published 2006 – superseded by Version: 2.0.0 (April 2012). CityGML is an open data model and XML-based format for the storage and exchange of virtual 3D city models. It sets out 5 Levels of Detail (LoD) for 3D geospatial models, which go from LoD0 to LoD4. LoD0 is a simplified 2D building footprint, and the scale goes right up to LoD4 which includes building internal rooms and installations. CityGML is intended to be used for modeling existing conditions and thus is not linked to project design/construction stages or model element incremental developments.

The aim of the development of CityGML is to reach a common definition of the basic entities, attributes, and relations of a 3D city model. This is especially important with respect to the cost-effective sustainable maintenance of 3D city models, allowing the reuse of the same data in different application fields. Additional information is on the open geospatial website.

Above: Extract from OGC City Geography Markup Language (CityGML) Encoding Standard. The image does not show LoD0 (footprint only).

There is considerable ongoing work occurring with CityGML to remove ambiguity and provide better clarification in the goal to release version 3.0 in the near future.

Danish Enterprise and Construction Authority - Netherlands

Danish Information levels - June 2006 the Danish BIPS published the document “3D Working Method 2006” (Bips 2007). The Danish method is built upon the principle of evolving detailing. Each party will add information to the discipline model at a higher and higher level successively through the process and thus work with rising information levels within its discipline. The modeled construction objects are defined geometrically and functionally and a number of object attributes are added and specified further during the process. – The above, description is a text extract from Creating the Dutch National BIM Levels of Development – L.A.H.M. van Berlo, F. Bomhof and G. Korpershoek.

Above:  Extract from “3D Working Method 2006” (Bips 2007) showing the progressive stages.

British Standard institute - UK

BS 1192:2007, superseded by BS 1192:2007+A2:2016. It establishes collaboration protocols between construction project members. It includes the Common Data Environment (CDE), which is a managed repository and file sharing protocol. Model sharing framework, model status and suitability, model approval and authorization, and naming conventions are also covered in the document. BS 1192 is one of the required standards to comply with the UK BIM Level 1 and BIM Level 2 deliverables. The principles in BS 1192:2007 can be used in CAD (Computer Aided Design) and/or Building Information Modeling projects.

BS 1192 will likely have a big influence on the development of ISO 19650:2. Specification for information management for the capital/delivery phase of construction projects using Building information modeling (Information here) which will be released sometime in the future.

Supporting documents: Building Information Management - A Standard Framework and Guide to BS 1192 – 2010 - Mervyn Richards.

Above: Extract from BS 1192:2007+A2:2016, showing model suitability status.

ConsensusDOCS - US
301 - Building Information Modeling (BIM) Addendum – June 2008 – superseded November 2015. Is a BIM Contract addendum and includes administration rights, responsibilities, liability, insurance, intellectual property terms, Level of Development (LOD) and creating options regarding reliance upon model data. It is a US Industry alternative to the AIA digital practice documents. The updated format now references the BIMForum LOD Specification 2015 as part of its model progression specification.

American Institute of Architects (AIA) - US
E203TM, G201TM & G202TM - Originally AIA E202TM 2008 BIM Protocol Exhibit (October 2008) - superseded by AIA E203TM 2013, G201TM 2013 & G202TM 2013 combined creates the AIA’s Digital Practice Documents. AIA G202TM 2013 establishes Model Management Protocols and Processes, Level of Development (LOD), Model Authorised Uses, and provides a Model Element Table matrix.  Supported by an accompanying Guide; Instructions and Commentary to the 2013 AIA Digital Practice Documents.

Likely the best known Model Progression Specification (MPS) and is used worldwide. This system was originally developed from Vico Software’s MPS, Level of Detail concept, but changed it to Level of Development; LOD 100, LOD 200, LOD 300, LOD 400 & LOD 500. AIA coined the term Level of Development (LOD). It has become the benchmark when it comes to comparing Model Progression Specifications schemas.

US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) - US
Minimum Modeling Matrix (M3) Version: 1.0 (2008), superseded by 1.3 (Sep-19-2014). M3 Level of Development scheme utilizes its own definitions, however, they are similar to the AIA G202TM 2013 definitions. 

The schema uses (Level of Development) LOD 100, LOD 200 & LOD 300, but, in addition, has a grade classification suffix attribute when specifying design model elements for construction documents. It also has an additional suffix symbol for an As-Built status. The scheme does not engage LOD 400 or LOD 500.

CRC Construction Innovation & Australian institute of Architects - Australia
National Guidelines for Digital Modelling – 2009 - Australia. It provides guidance for Model development phases (taken from BIPs 2007). These are from Phase 0 to 6. Phase 1 being: Briefing/Pre-design, 2; Conceptual design, 3; Schematic design, 4; Developed design, 5; Contract documents, and 6; Post construction/Facilities management. It also identifies Object data levels & Modelling implementation.

The National Guidelines for Digital Modelling was a cutting edge document at the time of publication. Unfortunately, the Australian Construction industry did not give it the attention it deserved and is now rarely referenced.

Building and Construction Authority (BCA) - Singapore
Singapore BIM Guide Version 1.0 - 2012 – This is s a reference guide that outlines the roles and responsibilities of project members when using Building Information Modeling (BIM) at progressive project stages. The document also covers Model Progression sub-sets such as Level of Detail, BIM objective & responsibility matrix, model progression workflows, required component modeling for each project stage, modeling guidelines, and quality assurance.

Above: Extract from Singapore BIM Guide Version 1.0 - 2012

Penn State – Building Smart – US
A Planning Guide for Facility Owners – Version 2.0 June 2013 – The Guide engages the AIA E202TM 2008 Level of Development schema, however, it offers an alternative approach by using additional suffixes similar to the M3 approach providing additional Information: - Suffix:
A - Accurate size & location, including material and object parameters
B - General size & location, including parameter data
C - Schematic size & location

The document also provides information on a case study which modified LOD 500 (As-built) schema, to contain information from the model elements Level of Development former state, thus, clarifying what Level of Detail the As-Built element is. i.e.:
              As-built LOD 100 would become LoD 510
              As-built LOD 200 would become LoD 520
              As-built LOD 300 would become LoD 530
              As-built LOD 400 would become LoD 540

BIMForum - US
LOD Specification 2013, 2014 & 2015. A system built on top of AIA G202TM 2013. The document provides detailed graphic images, clearly defining the Level of Detail at each Level of Development - LOD 100 to 400. The framework has also added an additional progression definition of LOD 350 (sub-contractor coordination and digital layout use). The 2015 version now contains a detailed associated attribute information matrix and a model element table template (in MS Excel). Scope limited to CSI Uniformat 2010.

Above: Extract from the BIMForum LOD Specification 2015, showing Level of Development requirements for Sewerage Piping at LOD 200, 300, 350 and 400.

British Standards Institute - UK
PAS 1192-2:2013. One of the primary capital expenditure UK BIM Level 2 documents. In section 3.30 – it covers Level of Definition:  Collective term used for and including “Level of Model Detail” and the “Level of Information Detail”.  Refer figure 20 (Pages 35 to 40) for a breakdown on Level of Definition. It is a project stage progression using CIC Scope of Services – Stages or RIBA Plan of Work 2013 and directly correlates Level of Definition with the project stage milestones. 

It covers buildings and infrastructure projects, Model reliance, output, Parametric information, Critical interfaces and logic, Construction Requirements, Project Costs, Project logistics and off-site activities, Project facilities (welfare, IT infrastructure, security etc.), onsite and offsite and associated project documents. PAS 1192-2:2013 is currently under review and the updated version will likely be released soon.

PAS 1192-2 and BS 1192:2007+A2:2016 are a requirement to achieve the UK BIM Level 2 deliverable for the UK April 4th, 2016 public sector projects. A full list of the relevant documents to achieve Level 2 BIM are on the BRE (Building Research Establishment) website – link

Above: Extract from PAS 1192-2:2013 Levels of Model Definition at each project stage.

BIM Toolkit 2014 to date - NBS owned by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The toolkit contains over 5,700 construction definitions for level of detail (including graphical illustrations) and level of information in a Uniclass 2015 format. This makes it the most comprehensive Level of Detail and Level of Information resource currently available.
It is a UK Government funded project to assist in the Government Level 2 BIM Mandate (April 4th, 2016). 

The BIM Toolkit provides step-by-step help to define; manage and validate responsibility for information development and delivery at each stage of the asset lifecycle.

Helpful resources on the BIM Toolkit website: Levels Of Definitions - Alistair Kell - Stefan Mordue.

Above: Extract from the BIM Toolkit, showing Air Conditioning Stage 4 Level of Detail modeling requirement.

General note: All the above documents and protocols are available for free on-line. Just follow the relevant links.

General project contract note
When engaging a Model Progression Specification to achieve a specific BIM enabled outcome, the contract between parties will likely need altering to accommodate this.

The AIA E203TM 2013, 301 - Building Information Modeling (BIM) Addendum and the CIC BIM Protocol (part of the UK BIM Level 2 framework) are contract addendum's, specifically suited for BIM Deliverable projects and easily accessible. All parties that are responsible for the production of Building Information Models on behalf of the Client/Employer should have the addendum incorporated into their contract/appointment. Please seek professional legal advice on the use of these addendums.
The CIOB Complex Projects Contract (for large projects) incorporates BIM deliverables directly into the main contract.

Legal advice on Model Progression:

Best practice guide for professional indemnity insurance when using building information models – by CIC/BIM INS - first edition 2013 – Section 2.4 gives some advice on using the Model Production Delivery Table (MPDT) within the UK BIM Level 2 framework.

Information only progression specifications:
The below MPS’s are non-graphical (Structure Data) orientated specifications. They only define Level of Information.

COBie - Construction and Operations Building information exchange. – June 2007 – Bill East - United States Army Corps of Engineers – Now managed by BuildingSMART. A specification used to deliver useful facility information by streamlining planning, design, construction, and commissioning activities. COBie’s official name is Facility Management Handover, Model View Definition (MVD). The COBie specification provides a data structure schema and a process of generating and releasing the data in progressive data drops.
COBie is one of the deliverables within a UK Level 2 Government project, to: BS 1192-4:2014. COBie complies with ISO 16739:2013 - Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) for data sharing in the construction and facility management industries.

Project Stages
COBie Worksheet
Schematic Design
Design Development
Construction Documentation

Above: Figure 0.1 – Sample COBie Data Drop Requirements at each Project Stage (source – BIM for Facility Managers – Wiley – Edited by Paul Teicholz)

Veteran Affairs (US)
BIM object element matrix – 2010 - is part of the VA BIM Guide.  The matrix identifies the Level of Development for non-graphical data and identifies it at LOD 100, 200, 300, 400 & 500 (in line with AIA E202TM 2008 BIM Protocol Exhibit). It uses CSI Uniformat to classify the elements and identifies COBie related data.

Above: Extract from the VA BIM object element matrix, showing the IFC and COBie data relationships.

NATSPEC (Australia)
BIM object element matrix – 2011 – is issued by NATSPEC (Australian construction specification writing group) under license of the US Veteran Affairs. It follows the same premise and approach to the VA BIM object element matrix. NATSPEC BIM object element matrix works within the NATSPEC BIM Guide.
The NATSPEC BIM object element matrix has not gained traction in the Australian construction industry.
Accompanying documentation:
BIM and LOD – NBP 001 November 2013

Model Progression academic related papers
Below are some noteworthy published papers on the subject in date order. If readers have published an academic noteworthy paper which focuses on Model Progression, I would be happy to list it below. Model Progression is a subject matter which requires considerable further academic research, and I encourage researchers to look into this area.

SIGABIM: a framework for BIM application -  André Monteiro & João Poças Martins – 2012

Creating the Dutch National BIM Levels of Development - L.A.H.M. van Berlo, F. Bomhof and G. Korpershoek- 2014

Enriching the "I" in BIM: A BIM-Specifications (BIMSpecs) Approach - E. Utiome, R. Drogemuller and M. Docherty – 2014

Establishing an appropriate Level of Detail (LoD) for a Building Information Model (BIM) – West Block, Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Canada - S. Fai, J. Rafeiro – 2014

Building Information Modeling (BIM): Exploring Level of Development (LOD) in Construction Projects - Aryani Ahmad Latiffi, Juliana Brahim, Suzila Mohd and Mohamad Syazli Fathi – 2015

Information management for linear infrastructures projects: complementary levels to Level Of Detail and Level Of Development - Charles-Edouard Tolmer, Christophe Castaing, Denis Morand b & Youssef Diab - 2015

BIM (Building Information Modelling): New LOD definitions. Level of Development for LOD000 to LOD600 and LOD X00 - Javier Alonso & Javier Alonso Madrid – 2015

The Information Modeling and the Progression of Data-Driven Projects - Marzia Bolpagni,
Politecnico di Milano, Angelo Luigi Camillo Ciribini, University of Brescia - 2016

Noteworthy other references and opinions

Bedrick, Jim - AEC bytes Article -
Organizing the Development of a Building Information Model - 2008 (no longer available)
A Level of Development Specification for BIM Processes – 2013 (Archived – available for a fee)

Bolpagni, Marzia - Think BIM Space -

             The Many Faces of ‘LOD’ - June 2016

Jakson, Rob – Bond Bryan Digital -

McPhee, Antony -  Practical BIM -
              What is this thing called LOD – 2013
              LOD, are we there yet – 2013

New Zealand BIM Handbook -   BIM Acceleration Committee with the support of the Productivity Partnership and BRANZ Building Research Levy. 
              Appendix C - Levels of Development definitions - July 2014

Renehan, Brian – BIMFix Blog - #BIMFix –
              Developing LOD (Level of Development) – 2013
              A Review - BIMForum LOD Specification – 2015
              As-Built BIM: LOD 500 under the Microscope – 2015
              LOD – the biggest BIM con to date! – 2016
              UK BIM Level 2 Model Progression Specification – A Review - Part 1 - 2016
              UK - BIM Level 2 - A Detailed Explanation - Part 2 - 2016

Vandezande, James - All Things BIM -
              LOD Reply: PracticalBIM – 2013

Noteworthy forum discussions:

McPhee, Antony -  LinkedIn – Group - BIM Experts


  1. Marzia Bolpagni31 March 2016 at 20:10

    Dear Brian, the topic is interesting. I wrote a scientific paper on this together with Angelo Ciribini. I hope it will be published soon. I will inform you if you are interested.

    Marzia Bolpagni

  2. Thank Marzia
    The more discussion the better. I would love to read your paper. Please ensure you pass me a link to it, when published.

    Brian Renehan


Please partake in the discussion. We welcome all feedback and comments, however spam will be removed from the comments section.