BIM: A TFV Perspective to Manage Design Using the LOD Concept

Hisham Abou-Ibrahim1 & Farook Hamzeh2

1PhD. Student, Civil and Environmental Engineering, American University of Beirut, Lebanon, +961 3 900695,
2Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, American University of Beirut, Lebanon, + 961 1 350000 ext 3616, fax: + 61 1 744462,


The excitement to implement BIM in organizations usually faces a quick slump as implementation challenges come to surface. Developing projects on BIM platforms significantly defers from drafting them on 2D CAD, where different types of modeling responsibilities appear. Being object oriented, practitioners need to decide on graphical and non-graphical information of model elements to suit the needs of downstream users throughout the design process; a new task absent in traditional procedures. To face this issue, the industry created the notion of Level of Development (LOD) to guide the development of model’s content. LOD identifies the specific minimum content requirements for a model element and its authorized uses at five levels of completeness. However, LOD as it currently stands is more of a descriptive index used apart from the model to ensure common understanding of BIM deliverables among stakeholders, and to guide major contractual aspects. Moreover, the current classification of LOD spectrum is influenced by the traditional approach of design management that considers the development of design from less to higher detailing levels, which is basically the transformation view of design. In this context, this paper introduces a new formulation of LOD as a metric related to design context. Nonetheless, it investigates LOD as a tripod to the Transformation, Flow, and Value (TFV) view of design. The research builds on current LOD related literature and introduces three variables to describe LOD based on actual design status. Results highlight the importance of relating LOD to design context, and defining what LOD variables are contributing to the overall LOD value. They also strengthen the role of the new LOD understanding in better navigating design under the TFV approach and enhancing the overall project value.


Building Information Modeling, Level of Development, Transformation, Value, Flow



Abou-Ibrahim, H. & Hamzeh, F. 2016, 'BIM: A TFV Perspective to Manage Design Using the LOD Concept' In:, 24th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Boston, USA, 20-22 Jul 2016.

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