Information Delivery Manual

BIM, IFC and Process Issues

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is the new approach to describing and displaying the information required for the design, construction and operation of constructed facilities. In Norway, there has been rapid take-up in the use of BIM and in understanding that new ways of working must be adopted to enhance its benefit.
A key to this is the knowledge that the quality of communication between different participants in the construction process needs improvement. This means making information available when it is needed and ensuring that its quality is satisfactory. To make this happen, there must be a common understanding of construction processes and of the information that they use and provide.
The Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) schema is seen as fundamental to the effective use of BIM and exchanging information between different BIM users. It provides a comprehensive reference to information within the lifecycle of a constructed facility. However, it does not handle individual processes within building construction or the information communication between them.


To address this, the State Building Authority (Statsbygg) together with DDS and Selvaag and supported by AEC3 started developing the Information Delivery Manual in February 2005. Itís value was rapidly seen by many organizations within Norway and it is already being used to support particular tasks in projects including the new Akershus hospital and the Tromso College development. It is now being adopted more widely.
The Information Delivery Manual (IDM) identifies discrete processes undertaken within building construction, the information required for their execution and the results of that activity. It targets both BIM users and software solution providers.

  • For BIM users, it provides a simple to understand, plain language description of building construction processes, the requirements for information to be provided for process to be carried out successfully, additional information possibly needed from the user and the expected end results.
  • For BIM solution providers, it identifies and describes the detailed functional breakdown of the process and the IFC capabilities needing to be supported.

The IDM is evolving to provide a comprehensive reference to the processes executed within building construction, to describing the use of BIM to support communication between processes and to providing standard specifications for information structures to be supported by software solutions for this communication.
From this reference list, end users will be able to specify those that are relevant to the needs of their specific project and, in so doing, will specify the information that needs to be communicated between the various participants.
The components of the IDM are:

  • Process maps that describe the evolution of information for key topics throughout the project lifecycle.
  • Each process map identifies the requirements for information exchange and the roles within the project from which the information is received or to which it is provided.
  • Each requirement for information exchange is described individually in the IDM.
  • Each description is in two parts, the first targeted at the BIM user and the second at the BIM solution provider.
  • For the BIM user, information is described in non-technical terms that do not need a knowledge of the IFC schema.
  • For BIM solution providers, descriptions break down the IFC schema into reusable "functional parts" (commonly occurring sets of data that may be used by any number of processes).


IDM offers substantial benefit to BIM users and solution providers including:

  • regulates information flow between processes and between participants
  • improve information quality within processes
  • enables quality checking of information at various stages through the development of validation rules
  • supports decision making through guaranteed information availability and quality
  • provides for more reliable and effective IFC support in software solutions
  • allows more effective BIM use

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