ISO 19650 is the prominent global standard for the implementation of BIM, focusing on the collaborative process integral to the entire life cycle of constructed assets. Developed and published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), this standard serves as a comprehensive framework for managing information from the conception of a project, through construction and operation to its eventual decommissioning. The development and publication of ISO 19650 highlights the commitment of international standards bodies to creating a consistent and efficient approach to BIM implementation on a global scale.  

ISO 19650 is a multi-part standard. Part 1 delineates fundamental concepts and principles, while Part 2 provides practical guidance for information management throughout the project life cycle. The scalability of ISO 19650 allows organizations to tailor its application to the specific needs and intricacies of their projects. As an internationally recognized standard, ISO 19650 reflects the collaborative efforts of standards bodies to enhance global construction industry practices. Throughout this process, transparency, collaboration, and consensus-building are key principles. ISO standards, including ISO 19650, are developed with input from experts and stakeholders worldwide to ensure that they reflect a global consensus on best practices.  

A country might choose to adopt ISO 19650 for several reasons, all of which contribute to the standard’s potential benefits in enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of construction and infrastructure projects. Some of the reasons why a country might decide to adopt ISO 19650:

  • Global standardisation of processes
  • Support interoperability and collaboration
  • Consider a quality assured approach to information management
  • Competitive advantage and potential for cross boarder trade
  • Improved project delivery outcomes

In summary, the adoption of ISO 19650 by a country can bring about international alignment, improved collaboration, risk reduction, and enhanced competitiveness in the construction industry, ultimately contributing to more successful and sustainable infrastructure development. Countries will usually adopt ISO 19650 by publishing a national annex to the standard.

When you have to work to specifications for a government contract in the context of road construction or road redevelopment, you can call on Standard Specification 250 by the Roads and Traffic Agency (Agentschap Wegen en Verkeer, AWV). This standard contains all information about road construction, sewers, signalling and landscaping. Standard Specification 250 includes the requirements for BIM for these aspects of highways.

Specification 250 talks through the Information exchange through BIM on projects as part of a contractual requirement. BIM-oriented working includes:

  • preparing and finalizing the BIM design model before the start of the works
  • updating and completing the BIM model during implementation
  • delivery of the as-built BIM model upon provisional delivery
  • updating the BIM model during the warranty period.

The specification also mentions the requirements for data exchange using the Object Type Library (OTL).

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The BIM Team of the Roads and Traffic Agency (Agentschap Wegen en Verkeer, AWV) is responsible for the elaboration of the necessary BIM engagement documents, such as the BIM protocol and the BIM execution plan. The BIM execution plan for infrastructure projects has been prepared thanks to the insights and information from the AWV’s BIM pilot projects. The Belgian BIM protocol, drawn up by the BIM & ICT Technical Committee of the Belgian Building Research Institute (BBRI), was also a source of inspiration in realising the BIM execution plan.

The BIM execution plan, focused on infrastructure projects, aims to provide practical guidelines for BIM adoption in projects. The general guidelines for a BIM-oriented collaboration are included in the AWV BIM-protocol; the project-specific BIM execution plan takes a closer look at the practicalities of BIM collaboration. The requirements, specifications and practical agreements in the BIM execution plan only apply on the specific project or contract. Typical of a BIM execution plan is also that the practical agreements can be further updated during the project, should this be necessary.

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This BIM protocol for infrastructure projects has been drawn up using the Belgian BIM protocol, prepared by the BIM & ICT Technical Committee of the Belgian Building Research Institute (BBRI) as a starting point. This version of the BIM protocol is a publication of the Roads and Traffic Agency (Agentschap Wegen en Verkeer, AWV) and aims to provide general guidelines for a BIM-orientated cooperation for all parties. In addition to the expectations regarding BIM in infrastructure projects, this BIM protocol also explores the responsibilities of each party and the course of the information exchange throughout the BIM process. The requirements and specifications in this protocol apply to any BIM collaboration with AWV as contracting authority, for both the study phase and the implementation phase of infrastructure projects.

With this BIM protocol, all parties commit to using BIM for project collaboration and organisation. This means that the exchange of models under the collaboration will take place according to the agreements from the BIM protocol and the BIM execution plan. This implies a willingness to use the methods and agreements that comply with the BIM protocol and BIM execution plan, according to the listed tasks and responsibilities. The BIM protocol is a generic document that records the general BIM operation during study and implementation. It is valid for projects in which BIM-oriented work is carried out. Because the BIM protocol follows the BIM principles for both study and performance, not all chapters may be applicable to every project.

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The Agency for Roads and Traffic (Agentschap Wegen en Verkeer, AWV) manages about 7,000 km of regional and motorway roads and more than 7,700 km of bicycle paths. Within AWV, the central ‘Planning and Coordination’ department, and more specifically the ‘Team BIM’, is responsible for drawing up and executing the ‘AIM-BIM program’. The BIM Team works closely with experts from the territorial AWV departments and external experts to build up the Object Types Library (OTL) for the various technical disciplines and to develop the BIM guidelines for investment projects and assignments for management and maintenance.

The importance of BIM and digital collaboration in the construction sector is growing, especially for infrastructure projects. As a road manager, AWV wants to guide and support the adoption of BIM, both for collaboration during the study and implementation of projects, and for the use of intelligent information models during further management and maintenance. The AWV knows that this cannot be done in isolation, but that the constructive cooperation with all project partners is crucial for the success of the BIM process. The website disseminates information, FAQ’s and other important documents related to AWV’s BIM implementation plans.

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The ADEB-VBA’s (Association of major Belgian contractors) BIM working group, in collaboration with G30 (Association of Architects), ORI (professional organisation for engineering offices and consultancy), SECO as representative for Third Party Control Offices, and the Belgian chapter of IFMA (the international facility management association), is working on the improvement of collaboration and digital document exchanges between stakeholders of the Belgian construction industry.

To do so, the work group decided to focus on the classical contract (Design-Tender-Build) and define practical guidelines related to digital exchanges within this context. The classical contract supports a segmented industry, while other types of contracts involving all the stakeholders earlier in the process allow an easier BIM implementation. However, today, the classical contract remains the most common contract in Belgium. Therefore, the BIM work group, instead of separating the classical contract and a digital-collaborative process, decided to define rules and guidelines allowing the use of BIM on a classical Design-Tender-Build process. As the classical process is the most segmented one and thus, the one with more stakeholders working with different tools at different times, specific attention must be made during the transitional phases (e.g. new stakeholders, new tools) and how the transposition of these rules could be easily developed to other contracts by shifting agreements between the different stakeholders.

This document and its annexes present a “generic protocol” as well as general rules and fact sheets allowing the stakeholders to define the collaboration rules and thus, optimise the working process. This document is intended to evolve through feedback received from its use in practice. It is focused on three main areas:

  • Information about BIM, its use and the specific roles/actors that must be taken into account and incorporated.
  • General requirements related to BIM collaboration, document sharing and data management will be discussed.
  • A generic BIM protocol by phase, supported by a process map representing the traditional contract. This will help stakeholders to determine their project-specific BIM protocol.

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An archive version of this information article has been created if the original is no longer accessible (Archive information from January 2024)

In order to promote the emergence of BIM in Belgium and to harmonize its implementation in projects, the Belgian Building Research Institute (BBRI) has developed, in collaboration with the BIM Cluster (a collection of industry organisations), the Belgian BIM protocol and execution plan (protocole et plan d’exécution BIM belges). These apply to building projects and are available in French and Dutch. They are the result of the collaboration of experienced construction professionals from various fields, as well as professional federations and organisations such as Confédération Construction, Bouwunie, NAV (Netwerk Architecten Vlaanderen) and ORI (Engineering and Consulting Offices).

The use of BIM in a construction project requires close collaboration between the different partners, which relies on good communication and clear agreements. These are defined and gathered in a BIM protocol and a BIM execution plan. In order to help the project’s partners to draft these documents in a coherent manner, the Belgian Building Research Institute (BBRI) has drawn up, in collaboration with industry, a series of reference documents. The general template and the guide that accompanies it will serve as a common basis for all BIM projects – even if adaptations are made according to the specificities of each project.

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