Owners must understand the Level of Development (LOD) and how it defines the BIM process and project delivery. More important, owners must define a clear expectation of what they need from BIM using the LOD scale. Do that and owners will have models ready to maximize their BIM investment.
BIM has been outlined into five levels. These levels help define consistent expectations throughout the building lifecycle from planning through design and construction and utlimately the building lifecycle. Their are five defined LOD standards per the AIA E202 document. LOD 100 – 300 have a reference to the traditional 2D project delivery method while levels 400 and 500 are specific to the BIM process.
Level of Development – LOD is generally defined as follows:
LOD 100 - The equivalent of conceptual design, the LOD 100 model usually consists of overall building massing designed to perform whole building type analysis including volume, building orientation, square foot costs, etc.
LOD 200 - Similar to schematic design or design development, the model would consist of generalized systems including approximate quantities, size, shape, location and orientation. LOD 200 models are typically used for analysis of defined systems and general performance objectives.
LOD 300 - Model elements equivalent to traditional construction documents and shop drawings. LOD 300 models are well suited for estimating as well as contruction coordination for clash detection, scheduling, and visualization. LOD models should include the attributes and parameters defined by the owner in the BIM deliverable standard.
LOD 400 - This level of development is considered to be suitable for fabrication and assembly. This LOD is most likely to be used by specialty trade contractors and fabricators to build and fabricate project components including MEP systems.
LOD 500 - The final level of development represents the project as it has been constructed including as-built conditions. The model is configured to be the central data storage for integration into building maintenance and operations systems. LOD 500 models will include completed parameters and attributes specified in the owners BIM deliverable specification.