BIM projects - data and information guideline


Final | July 2020 | v1.0.0 | OFFICIAL - Public | QGCDG


This document provides guidance to Queensland Government agencies who create, maintain or manage data and information relating to Building Information Models (BIM) and supports The Digital Enablement for Queensland infrastructure – Principles for BIM Implementation (the Principles). It aims to guide agency activities in a way that increases the consistency of BIM implementations, while supporting appropriate cross-agency secondary use of BIM information (e.g. digital twin or smart cities). The use of common standards, practices and interoperable formats are critical to maximising the use and value of BIM information to government, but also to simplifying BIM related work on government projects for industry. Where mandatory requirements are proposed for adoption, these will be progressed as QGEA policies or standards.

Guidelines published by the Queensland Government Customer and Digital Group (QGCDG) are generally for information only and agencies are not required to comply. They are intended to help agencies understand the appropriate approach to addressing an issue or undertaking a task.

This guideline is not intended to replace specific advice which already exists, but instead brings together the relevant material required to ensure that digital information relating to Queensland Government infrastructure is appropriately and actively managed – from creation through to disposal.


BIM is the digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a building, piece of physical infrastructure or environment. BIM serves as a shared knowledge resource for information about an asset throughout its lifecycle, supporting decision making from strategic appraisal and planning, design and construction to operation, maintenance and renewal.

BIM facilitates collaboration by using digital processes to enable more productive methods of planning, designing, constructing, and facilitating more optimal assets management and informed decision making throughout the asset lifecycle.

The Queensland Government recognised the opportunities and benefits that BIM could provide when it launched the State Infrastructure Plan in March 2016, further strengthened by the release of The Digital Enablement for Queensland infrastructure – Principles for BIM Implementation (“the Principles”) in November 2018. To maximise the benefits from applying BIM to all major infrastructure projects within its annual capital program, these principles will support the effective use of BIM across Queensland Government infrastructure delivery agencies. A focus of these principles includes BIM capability development across government and industry.

You should refer to the principles document for the scope and applicability of the principles.


Figure 1 positions this document within the broader BIM context. As BIM implementations are maturing across the globe, a series of international, and subsequently national standards and guidance are being developed. Further detailed advice is then provided to contextualize these from a State perspective and provide direction for State government (and other parties). Within an agency, this guidance is then supplemented with more detailed requirements and advice for local management and operations.

Context for BIM guidance

Figure 1 - Context for BIM guidance

This guideline provides a foundation for supporting the successful implementation of the Principles through effective data and information management. The Principles set a clear direction that the Queensland Government will use an Open BIM approach. This direction brings more detailed considerations that are articulated below in relation to managing and governing BIM enabled projects to maintain “openness” (i.e. avoiding vendor specific standards that limit the exchange and interoperability of BIM information).

Further, given the development, maturity and recognition of standards in relation to BIM, it is recommended (at least until an agreed policy is formed) that implementations adhere to best practices as articulated in ISO 19650-1:2018 and ISO 19650-2:2018. This guideline provides additional guidance or specification as required where ISO coverage is lacking.

Need to plan information requirements from cradle to grave

A key outcome of any BIM implementation is to maximize effective communication between all parties and provide a common language – across the project, across the department, government and other potential users. As per the planning and construction of a physical asset, the initial stages of a BIM enabled project sets the foundations for information management and use throughout the lifecycle of the asset. This places significant emphasis on the initial stages of the project to ensure that the information required not only to design and construct the asset, but also to maintain, share/connect with other systems, and guide its disposal, is accommodated in the initiation phase.

There may also be long term information management strategies which should be carefully considered where there is a need to keep information assets beyond the disposal life of the physical asset. See the Building information modelling records guideline for more information.

Information management considerations

The following section contains a broad range of factors that should be considered when using BIM on infrastructure projects.

Information management inclusions for the business case

For the scope of projects under the Principles, Building Queensland provides guidance and templates for the development of business cases.  The Detailed Business Case (DBC) scopes the proposal for the project and provides sufficient detail for the reader to understand how the opportunity is to be addressed.

In addition to the inclusions from Building Queensland, the following elements specifically relating to the management of data and information for BIM should be agreed and articulated in the DBC (or other business case for smaller projects):

  • Reference to the policy requirement to use BIM and how it will be implemented for the project and the associated impacts (Strategic / Policy considerations) and data and information strategy and policy requirements
  • Financial, economic, environmental and health and safety benefits – ensure that the information required for this project from a BIM perspective is articulated to ensure the required data and information is scoped, collected/created and managed to support appropriate benefit identification and realisation over the asset lifecycle
  • The contribution that BIM makes to expected benefits and any dependencies (for example the impact of BIM in the operation and maintenance phase)
  • The data and information management skills and capabilities required within the project structure and how BIM information will be governed
  • The inclusion of BIM in the project requirements when undertaking market sounding. This should include the market’s ability to meet the information management and implementation requirements for BIM.

Many of these aspects should be accommodated in the agency implementation plan (governance, project management, procurement strategy, resource requirements, change management (tools, processes etc)).

It is critical that direction is provided regarding the Queensland Government’s clear strategic vision for the management and use of asset information, and to maximise the value derived from its investment in BIM through discovery and access of quality asset information. This vision will be implemented through a coordinated but federated approach that adopts international and national standards and best-practice guidance including enabling the discovery and re-use of digital assets throughout their lifecycle. This will include the potential contribution that BIM enabled projects can provide to the development of digital twins of Queensland.

Intended purpose of BIM information within the Queensland Government

BIM information will be used for activities related to the design, construction and maintenance of the asset for a range of purposes, as outlined in the Principles including:

  • to support improved decision-making
  • to manage risk, including building safety and security
  • improve workplace health and safety outcomes
  • in secondary uses including smart cities and digital twin and other uses consistent with the public interest and purpose test
  • improved discoverability and use of BIM also facilitate the understanding of existing asset information when planning and designing new assets.


The Metadata management principles provide for a consistent and contemporary approach to metadata for the Queensland Government and support effective discovery, use and re-use of Queensland Government information. To maximise discoverability, interoperability and consistency in description of asset information and models, in accordance with the Metadata management principles, standard metadata schemas are recommended.

The metadata schema and asset classification system should be described in the agency information requirements and should be based on the use of, or ability to map to Uniclass 2015. As Uniclass 2015 has been recommended for use in Victoria and in Transport for New South Wales, adoption by the Queensland Government provides consistency to industry on a fundamental aspect of BIM.

Agencies using BIM for buildings should also use the Virtual Buildings Information System (VBIS) schema which builds on Uniclass 2015 and is adopted in Victoria as part of its Victorian Digital Asset Strategy. VBIS is a freely available and system-agnostic standard that provides a means of classifying asset data and resiliently connecting data sets. It integrates data sources across systems at the required level of detail to provide facilities and asset managers with a useful and consistent way to search, display, compare and interrogate key asset and maintenance information. This includes aspects such as linking asset information in BIM and documentation to be displayed using the existing asset management system already in use.

Metadata for asset information should be made available and accessible to users outside the appointing party or client organisation via contemporary methods.

Model naming convention

To assist in discovery and use while moving towards a consistent vocabulary across the sector, an agreed naming convention is proposed as follows and is recommended for adoption where discipline specific guidance does not exist (for example TMR Drafting Design and Presentation Standards).

Resource discovery

For resource discovery, the following attributes are recommended:

Metadata elementDescription
Master site numberThe numeric location of the site
Project numberThe unique numeric identifier for the project relating to the asset

As articulated in ISO19650 -1:2018:

  • (work in progress)
  • (shared)
  • (published)
Stages (SD, DD, etc) 
Physical site addressValidate address of the site location
Geolocation / coordinatesLatitude / longitude
Agency nameLead agency
Building name 
Consultant name (Author)First name, surname, company name

Drawing discovery

For drawing discovery, the following attributes are recommended:

Metadata elementDescription
Drawing numberA unique identifier for the drawing
VersionThe version of the drawing
Site numberThe numeric location of the drawing
Site descriptionA plain English description of the location of the drawing
Project number (If applicable)The unique numeric identifier for the project relating to the asset
Project descriptionA plain English description of the project
DisciplineSee section below
Discipline type(s)See section below
VBIS TagVBIS Tags for the key assets present in the drawing
NotesText descriptions associated with the data
Drawing titleThe title of the drawing
Drawing date (latest revision)The most recent date of the information
RetentionThe state of whether the information is permanent or temporary
Retention dateThe established retention date of the information records
Document typeThis is a category of the type of document e.g. drawing, photo, report, standard
Document ownerThe name of or owner identifier of the information
Documentation phaseThe phase of the project that the information relates to e.g. Pre design, Developed design, As constructed
Building Act complianceBoolean data to show whether the information met building act compliance e.g. Yes or No
Plumbing and Drainage Act complianceBoolean data to show whether the information met plumbing and drainage act compliance e.g. Yes or No
Other compliance 

Discipline codes

Acoustics (AC)Mechanical (ME)
Civil (CV)Communications (CO)
Electrical Lighting (EL)Electrical Power (EP)
Fire Detection (FD)Fire Resistance (FR)
Fire Suppression (FS)Hydraulics (HY)
Irrigation (IR)Security (SE)
Structure (ST) Vertical Transport (VT)
Administration (AD)Audio Visual (AV)
Building Control Systems (BMC)Compressed Air (CA)
Document Movement (DM)Fuel Reticulation (FRE)
Furniture, Fittings & Equipment (FFE)Gas Reticulation (GRE)
Kitchen Equipment (KE)Landscape (LS)
Medical & Laboratory (MLE)Medical Gases (MG)
Parking Systems (PS)Refrigeration (RE)
Safety Equipment (SA)Spas and Pools (SP)
Traffic Engineering (TE)Vehicle (VE)

Level of Development (LOD) / Information Need (LOIN)

As stated in ISO 19650-1, the level of development of each information deliverable should be determined according to its purpose. This will be determined by factors including the related lifecycle stage of the asset, the discipline being modelled, the scale and complexity of the project and agency specific considerations. This information should be clearly described within published agency information requirements and with reference to the departments Asset Management Dataset at each phase of the project, NATSPEC BIM Paper 001: BIM and LOD or the 2018 US BIM forum specification on LOD.

LOD300 is recommended unless otherwise determined and specified.

Not all information will be handled within the BIM model. There will still be information that is passed within other mediums such as digital documentation for aspects such as technical specifications, reports, warranty certificates and maintenance manuals. Using the meta tagging and search syntax, VBIS facilitates the overall asset information architecture to be developed to allow practical handover and ongoing utilisation of all information formats. This is a critical consideration to ensure access to this useful information in ongoing operations.

Software and interoperability for the exchange of information

Contracts relating to the creation, maintenance or management of asset information should require suppliers to provide all deliverables in an agreed format that is interoperable with other BIM authoring, space planning and collaboration tools. At a minimum, information should be provided in both the native file format and the buildingSMART IFC 2X3 format.

Native file format is required as IFC is not considered parametric and to gain maximum advantage from the BIM investment (future redevelopment, extensions etc) parametric data is required for manipulation.

Where contracted providers are engaged “as-a-service”, outputs in IFC compatible format is recommended.

In order to provide a practical pathway to use BIM in FM, the VBIS asset classification system and its associated search syntax component connects the BIM model with day to day applications used by built environment operators. This allows easy access to the respective information in the BIM model. Assets within the BIM model should include the classification tag as instructed in the VBIS standard. Other information mediums such as documentation should also carry the VBIS meta tag to facilitate the interoperability provided through the search syntax to allow exchange of information.

Information security of BIM information and models

BIM information and models should be assessed and classified in accordance with the Queensland Government Information security policy (IS18:2018) and the associated Information security classification framework (QGISCF). The resultant classification should be used in actively managing the information security requirements including in the access, distribution or use of information by all parties and the physical security of all locations where the information is stored. ISO19650-1:2018 section A.3 provides advice regarding how an information container (file) breakdown structure can be arranged to support information security.

Reference information for Queensland Government BIM projects

Shared resources are used to improve both the efficiency of creation and maintenance of reference information. For example, the following templates are available:

Object classification

Classification of objects should be in accordance with ISO 12006-2. Object information should be in accordance with ISO 12006-3 to support object exchange. Agencies are encouraged to provide access (preferably via machine readable services or API’s) to their object libraries to maximise leverage and re-use, and ultimately work towards a common object library for the Queensland Government.

Data dictionary

A data dictionary for BIM related language will provide agreed definitions, relationships, usage and formats for key terms and objects required to provide consistency and interoperability across BIM activities in the Queensland Government. In the absence of a centralised data dictionary, agencies are encouraged to manage and maintain a data dictionary and collaborate with other BIM practitioners.

ISO 19650 introduces a series of new terms and definitions which are clearly defined in the Standards and may also be searched online at the ISO Online Browsing Platform (OBP).

Drafting and design presentation standards

The development, open publication and use of drafting and design standards is encouraged for each discipline participating in BIM projects. For example, the TMR Drafting and Design Presentation Standards provide guidelines for the management of design quality in the planning and design of road infrastructure projects.

Coordinate systems

It is recommended that BIM models are georeferenced into the site model using Geocentric Datum of Australia 2020 (GDA2020) positions. Such positions can be expressed as GDA2020 (Latitudes and Longitudes) or as MGA2020 projection coordinates (Eastings, Northings and Zone).

Heights should be in the Australian Height Datum (AHD).

The selected coordinate systems (for both position and height) are to be documented in the model metadata.

Intellectual property and information licensing of BIM information and models

Management of Intellectual Property for BIM information and models should be performed in accordance with the Queensland Government Intellectual Property Principles.

When contracting suppliers and providers, consideration should be given to ensuring intellectual property and information licensing arrangements align with the broad utility concept outlined in the intended use section.

Requirements under the Queensland Government Information access and use policy (IS33) must be met to proactively provide re-usable government information to the public (free of charge to the maximum extent possible) and share information within and across government to inform better decisions.

It is critical that the responsibilities or legal obligations of the contractor in relation to the BIM model after completion of the construction phase is considered and accommodated in the contract. This should include considerations covering the defects period up to 12 months after the BIM model has been handed over, to ensure the contractor completes any defects work within the BIM model.


BIM information and models should be managed throughout their lifecycle in accordance with the Queensland Government Information asset custodianship policy (IS44). The requirements of IS44 support the management of BIM information and models as assets in their own right (as distinct from the physical asset) and assist in supporting discovery and secondary use (for example in digital twin or smart city activities).

Procurement and suppliers through the asset lifecycle

Standard terms and conditions for BIM contracts (design, construct, maintain) will facilitate consistency in approach, and appropriate access and use of BIM data and information. Contracts for BIM enabled projects should include the considerations outlined in this guideline.

Identity management

This includes consideration of knowing who needs to access the information (identity management), for what reason and when (authorisation and access) throughout the lifecycle of the digital and physical asset. Future guidance is to be developed for this element, including adoption/integration with the single sign on capability (SSO) for improved experience and interoperability, including in tendering stages.

To facilitate improved experience for the client, appointing and appointed parties, task team and consumers, identity management for BIM models will be implemented in accordance with the Federated identity policy.  For further information on preferred standards and protocol considerations to improve interoperability please refer to the Federated identity blueprint – Standards

BIM skills and capability

For BIM implementation to be successful, it is critical that BIM practitioners are supported in the scoping, development and delivery of BIM projects by good information management practices - Information Management specialists in agencies fulfil this role.

General information management and information policy advice can be obtained on the information management pages .

Evaluation and improvement

The BIM Principles commit agencies to continuously improve their BIM capacity and capability. Regular evaluation of an agency’s approach to the management and use of data and information should be included in its BIM implementation plan. This will help maintain a focus on improving the agency’s approach to BIM, including improving data quality, data governance and general data and information management. It will also support broader cross-agency BIM data and information maturity improvements.


BIM information and models must be kept and managed on an ongoing basis in accordance with the Public Records Act 2002, the Records governance policy and disposed of according to the relevant retention and disposal schedule – see the Building Information modelling records guideline and the General retention and disposal schedule.

General legislative and privacy considerations

It is important to remember that any information your agency stores remains subject to a range of legislative requirements including the Public Records Act 2002, the Information Privacy Act 2009 (IP Act) and the Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI Act). There may also be legislation specific to your agency which dictates how or where that information must be stored, accessed and managed. It’s important to remember that if your information is being stored in another jurisdiction (e.g. cloud), or your cloud service provider (if used) is incorporated outside of Australia, your information may be subject to the laws of those jurisdictions as well. Further information is available in the Managing information in the cloud factsheet.

Last Reviewed: 08 July 2020