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BIM doesn’t redefine the law

But defining the guidelines is important


Gruner AG
Andreas Wirz, CDO
Andreas Wirz

Along with digital development and the introduction of BIM, new or altered legal questions arise. At present, there are no legal regulations that apply to using the BIM method.

A modality of contract execution
The BIM method can be used in any contract as a modality of contract execution and
fulfillment. The contract should specify the objectives, means, processes, division of tasks, data exchange of the chosen BIM method as well as the usage rights. When it comes to defining BIM aspects, the client can define the contractual requirements himself. Alternatively, he can com-mission a BIM manager to draft a standard contract amendment.

Mutual agreement of the parties is required to stipulate BIM regulations as part of the contract and later amend these if necessary.

What changes for the client?

As before, a client can conclude individual planning and service contracts with all planners and contractors involved in the construction. BIM-related aspects are also specified in these. In this scenario, the client must ensure that the BIM regulations in all contracts are formulated the same and without contradictions.

What should be considered in project alliances?
In project alliances, all those involved in the construction join forces to carry out the joint project better and more efficiently. Specifically, these are the building client, planner and contractor. For this purpose, a contract is concluded between all parties. This contract should also specify BIM-related aspects, in particular the objectives, means, processes, division of tasks, data exchange of the selected BIM method as well as the usage rights.

The guidelines at a glance

However, a BIM project should not be started if the partners can’t agree on the guidelines for a model-based collaboration – regardless of the legal situation. The basic guidelines are as follows:

  • All those involved in the project undertake to adhere to the BIM method, to impose it on their subplanners and to ensure that these comply with the method.
  • BIM management plan (BMP) is created for each BIM project. The BMP defines the framework for collaboration and contains at least the following:
  1. Objectives
  2. Organization and roles
  3. Deadlines and processes
  4. Model definition
  5. Model exchange
  6. Coordination process
  7. Test routines
  8. Data exchange platforms
  9. Cost distribution for the ICT environment
  • In a BIM project, the roles and services of the BIM managers (BIM coordinators) must be de-fined. Each project participant undertakes to employ qualified persons.
  • The model design and exchange are carried out according to the logic defined in the BMP and the defined information depth.
  • The collaboration is organized – models are exchanged in clearly defined cycles and every-one agrees to follow these procedures.
  • The model author is responsible for his model. No other party makes changes to the model.
  • The increase in efficiency brought by the BIM process should benefit all participants. All par-ties are committed to this objective.


BIM doesn’t redefine contract or collaboration law, but – as in any other project – legal guidelines must be adhered to.