27. Conceptual Hierarchy

image from www.bimframework.infoConceptual Hierarchy Current Version, full-size image (older version v1.0)

The BIM framework is composed of several interrelated conceptual constructs: models, taxonomies, classifications and dictionaries. A common conceptual ontology connects all conceptual constructs and makes explicit the relationship between them. Below is a generic description of the depicted conceptual parts:

Frameworks show “the gestalt, the structure, the anatomy or the morphology of a field of knowledge or the links between seemingly disparate fields or sub-disciplines” (Reisman, 1994, p. 92).

Models (conceptual models) are simplified representations and abstractions of the “enormous richness of this world” (Ritter, 2010, p. 360) (Lave & March, 1993).

Taxonomies are an efficient and effective way to organize and consolidate knowledge (Reisman, 2005) (Hedden, 2010). A well-structured taxonomy allows “the meaningful clustering of experience” (Kwasnik, 1999, p. 24).

Classifications are the “meaningful clustering of experience” (Kwasnik, 1999, p. 24) and “lies at the heart of every scientific field” (Lohse, Biolsi, Walker, & Rueter, 1994, p. 36). Classification is also a heuristic tool useful during the formative stages of discovery, analysis and theorizing (Davies, 1989).

Dictionaries constitute a web of meaning (Cristea, 2004) connecting terms to each other and to other knowledge bases.

22. Collaborative Education Framework

Collaborative BIM Education Strategy - Part A v1.1

The collaborative education framework (CEF) has been developed as a joint effort between academia and industry in Australia. CEF was first published as part of the AIA/CA BIM in Practice, BIM Education position papers (AIA/CA, 2012) and is built around the principles, models, taxonomies, and classifications of the BIM Framework. CEF includes six main complementary components:

Component A. Identifying BIM Competencies

BIM competencies will be identified through peer-reviewed research, industry surveys, and the specialized knowledge and experience of industry associations.

Component B. Classifying BIM Competencies

BIM competencies will be clearly and consistently defined through a BIM dictionary clarifying BIM terms and acronyms across all topics; a syntax governing how BIM competencies are structured; a top-level taxonomy organizing BIM competency items into tiers, sets and topics; and a number of classifications (e.g. role groups, disciplines, difficulty levels, delivery modes, etc.) to filter BIM competencies to match learner requirements.

Component C. Collating Competencies and Developing BIM Learning Modules

A dedicated online BIM learning hub (refer to will be developed to collate competencies, and organize the development and delivery of BIM learning modules.

Component D. An Industry Framework for Professional Development

cooperation framework between industry associations will be formulated to encourage BIM-focused, collaborative Continuing Professional Development (CPD) across disciplines, specialities and industry trades.

Component E. An Academic Framework for BIM Education

An academic framework for tertiary and vocational BIM education will be adopted/adapted to encourage academic institutions to contribute-to and benefit-from the BIM learning hub.

Component F. The BIM Institute

A BIM institute will be initiated to facilitate the development and delivery of BIM learning across industry sectors; develop and maintain classification systems for organizing BIM learning; develop and maintain the BIM learning hub; develop a coordination framework between professional associations for the purpose of multidisciplinary BIM training and continuing professional development; initiate BIM collaboration labs for sharing knowledge and testing/demonstrating new workflows; conduct BIM-usage surveys; publish relevant papers and reports; and act as a central social space for all BIM learners and BIM learning providers.


16. Competency Flow

image from www.bimframework.infoCompetency Flow Framework (Full-size), replaces Competency Flow Model v1.0 (2013)

Modified Spe 24, 2016: The Competency Flow Framework describes how individual competencies can be identified, classified, aggregated and then used/re-used. The framework includes a number of components:

  • Competency Identification through analysing job advertisement; dissecting BIM-specific roles as defined within BIM guides, BIM management plans and similar documents; reviewing academic literature and industry publications; adopting and adapting formal skill inventories, competency pools, and accreditation criteria; and harvesting competency requirements from industry associations, organizations and subject matter experts.
  • Competency Classification under tiers, sets and topics - refer to BIM Competency Hierarchy and Competency Tiers
  • Competeny Aggregation into a structured inventory to allow their custom collation and retrieval (please refer to to learn how classified BIM competencies have been aggregated through a database-driven web solution)
  • Competency Use and Reuse to perform three complementary actions: competency acquisition, competency application and competency assessment - please refer to Competency Engine

1. The Tri-Axial Framework




This Tri-axial framework explains the multi-dimensional relationship between three main axes of the BIM domain: the BIM Fields of activity (x-axis) identifying domain players, their requirements and deliverables; the BIM Stages (y-axis) delineating minimum capability benchmarks; and countless BIM Lenses (z-axis) providing the depth and breadth of enquiry necessary to identify, assess and qualify BIM fields and BIM stages.

Below is a short video briefly explaining the above on the dedicated BIM Framework YouTube channel: