Rethinking the contractual context for Building Information Modelling (BIM) in the Australian built environment industry

Main Article Content

Ilsa Kuiper
Dominik Holzer


Building Information Modelling (BIM) can be defined as a process of generating and managing information of a building or infrastructure during its life cycle. Whilst the 3D visualisation or dimensional functions of BIM are not necessarily new, it is the usage and integration of this information related to project delivery, management and performance analysis that are challenging current construction industry practices.  Industry has called for the development of more collaborative and integrated contractual arrangements to facilitate the use of BIM. Such recommendations appeal to the ideal use of BIM, but also provide a potential opportunity to seek improvement within the construction industry. This paper proposes a procurement approach to BIM to establish the applicable contractual context to address the potential legal risks and commercial considerations, relative to current practices in Australia. It als ooutlines why BIM, with other enabling technologies, will drive the evolution of contract delivery methodologies.

Article Details

Articles (Peer reviewed)
Author Biographies

Ilsa Kuiper

Procurement management consultant.

Dominik Holzer, University of Melbourne

Next to running the Design Technology consultancy AEC Connect, Dr. Dominik Holzer teaches and researches as a Senior Lecturer in Digital Architecture at the University of Melbourne. Dominik is a member of the Standards Australia Committee BD-104 (Building Information Modeling), and he is the previous chair of the 'BIM and IPD Steering Group' of the AIA and Consult Australia. Dr. Holzer is the founding member of the Computational Design Group Melbourne and a member or the Innovative Structures group at RMIT University.


Works Cited

ACA. (1999). Relationship Contracting Optimising Project Outcomes. Australian Contractors Association. Retrieved 2012, from

AIA/CA BIM/IPD Working Group. (2012). BIM, Legal and Procurement. Australian Institute of Architects; Consult Australia. Retrieved 2012, from (for download access)

Allen Consulting Group. (2010). Productivity in the buildings network: assessing the impacts of Building Information Models. Built Environment Innovation and Industry Council, Sydney. Retrieved September 2013, from

Attorney-General's Department. (2012). Improving Australia's law and justice framework: Discussion paper exploring the scope for reforming Australian contract law. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved October 2013, from

Azhar, S., Khalfan, M., & Maqsood, T. (2012). Building Information Modeling (BIM): Now and Beyond. Australasian Journal of Construction Economics and Building, 12(4), 15.

Bailey, I., & Bell, M. (2011). Construction Law in Australia (3rd ed.). Thomson Reuters.

BIM Industry Working Group. (2011). A Report for the Government Construction Client Group Building Information Modelling (BIM) Working Party Strategy Paper. Cabinet Office. Retrieved from

British Standards Institution. (2013). Specification for information management for the capital/delivery phase of construction projects using building information modelling. PAS 1192-2:2013. BSI Standards Limited.

buildingSMART Australasia. (2012). National Building Information Modelling Initiative. Strategy: A strategy for the focussed adoption of building information modelling and related digital technologies and processes for the Australian built environment sector, Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education, Sydney. Retrieved August 2012, from

Cabinet Office. (2011). Government Construction Strategy. Retrieved from

Chartered Institute of Building. (2013). CIOB Contract for use with complex projects. Berkshire, England: The Chartered Institute of Building.

Cleves, J. A., & DalGallo, L. (2012, April 26-28). Integrated Project Delivery: The Game Changer. Presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting, American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry. Las Vegas.

COBIM. (2012, March 27). Common BIM Requirements 2012 Series 1 General part (Version 1). Parties to the COBIM project. Retrieved from

Computer Integrated Construction Research Program. (2011). BIM Project Execution Planning Guide - Version 2.1. University Park: The Pennsylvania State University.

ConsensusDOCS. (2008a). ConsensusDOCS 300: Tri-Party Agreement for Integrated Project Delivery.

ConsensusDOCS. (2008b). ConsensusDOCS 301: Building Information Modeling (BIM) Addendum.

Construction Industry Council/BIM Pro. (2013, February). Building Information Modelling (BIM) Protocol. London: Construction Industry Council. Retrieved October 2013, from

CRC for Construction Innovation. (2007). Business Drivers for BIM. Brisbane: CRC for Construction Innovation. Retrieved September 2013, from

Dave, B., Koskela, L., Kiviniemi, A., Tzortzopoulos, P., & Owen, R. (2013). Implementing lean in construction: lean construction and BIM. London: CIRIA.

Davis Langdon; AECOM. (2009). The Blue Book. Davis Langdon Australia Pty Ltd.

Defence Support and Reform Group. (2011, May). Volume 1: Introduction to MCC-1 2003. Managing Contractor Contract (MCC-1 2003) Manual. Australian Department of Defence. Retrieved October 2013, from

Department of Infrastructure and Transport. (2012). Traditional Contracting Reform Developing a National Approach: Traditional contracting of infrastructure projects. Canberra: Australian Government. Retrieved 2012, from

Engineers Australia (WA Division). (2012). Recommended Practices for the Application of LEAN Construction Methods to Building New Australian LNG Capacity. Engineers Australia. Retrieved September 2013, from

Engineers Australia. (2005). Getting it Right the First Time: A Plan to Reverse Declining Standards in Project Design Documentation within the Building and Construction Industry.

European Parliament. (2013). Draft European Parliament Legislative Resolution Report on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on public procurement. Den Hague: European Parliament.

Evans & Peck; Melbourne University. (2009). The Pursuit of Additional Value: A Benchmarking Study into Alliancing in the Australian Public Sector. Melbourne: Department of Treasury and Finance, Victoria. Retrieved from

Gallaher, M. P., O'Connor, A. C., Dettbarn, J. L., & Gilday, L. T. (2004). Cost Analysis of Inadequate Interoperability in the US Capital Facilities Industry. Gaithersburg: National Institute of Standards and Technology. Retrieved July 2013, from

GBCA. (2012). Building Information Modelling (BIM) Industry Research. Green Building Council of Australia.

Hinchey, J. W. (1999). Visions for the Next Millennium. In R. F. Cushman, & J. J. Myers (Eds.), Construction Law Handbook (Vol. 1). Aspen Law & Business.

Hinchey, J. W. (2012). Rethinking Conflict in construction Project Delivery and Dispute Resolution. The International Construction Law Review, 29-50.

Holzer, D. (2011). BIM's Seven Deadly Sins. International Journal of Architectural Computing, 9(4), 463.

Holzer, D. (2013, February). Impact of BIM on the Effort Level in Architecture and Engineering Practice. Retrieved from AEC Connect :

Hurtado, K. A., & O'Connor, P. J. (2008). Contract Issues in the Use of Construction Building Information Modelling. The International Construction Law Review, 28(5), 262-272.

IFMA; IFMA Foundation. (2013). BIM for Facility Managers. (P. Teicholz, Ed.) Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Infrastructure Australia. (2012). Efficiencies in Major Project Procurement Volume 1. Canberra: Infrastructure Australia. Retrieved from

International Organization for Standardization. (2013). Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) for data sharing in the construction and facility management industries. ISO 16739:2013. International Organization for Standardization.

Joint Contracts Tribunal. (2011). Public Sector Supplement: Fair Payment, Transparency and Building Information Modelling. London: Sweet & Maxwell.

Jordani, D. A. (2010). BIM and FM: The Portal to Lifecycle Facility Management. Journal of Building Information Modeling, 13-16.

Larson, D. A., & Golden, K. A. (2008). Entering the Brave New World: An Introduction to Contracting for BIM. William Mitchell Law Review, 34.

MacDonald, C., Walker, D., & Moussa, N. (2013). Towards a project alliance value for money framework. Facilities, 31(5/6), 279-309.

Manyika, J., Chui, M., Bughin, J., Dobbs, R., Bisson, P., & Marrs, A. (2013). Disruptive technologies: Advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy.

McKinsey Global Institute. Retrieved 2013, from

McBrodie, A. (2010). Building information modelling: the UK legal context. International Journal of Law in the Built Environment, 2(3), 246-259.

McGraw Hill Construction. (2012). Smart Market Report The Business Value of BIM for Infrastructure.

NATSPEC. (2011). NATSPEC National BIM Guide. Construction Information Systems Limited. Retrieved September 2013, from

NIBS buildingSMART alliance. (2012). National BIM Standard-US V2.

O’Connor, P. J., & Bomba, M. B. (2009). Integrated Project Delivery Part I: Collaboration Through New Contract Forms. The American College of Construction Lawyers Journal, 3(2), 69-128.

Ploennigs, J., Dibowski, H., Röder, A., Kabitzsch, K., & Hensel, B. (2011). Ontology specification for model-based ICT system integration. Brussels: ICT Platform for Holistic Energy Simulation and Lifecycle Management of Public Use Facilities (HESMOS): Deliverable D4.1. Retrieved June 2013, from

Rahman, M., & Kumaraswamy, M. (2004). Contracting Relationship Trends and Transitions. Journal of Management in Engineering, 20(4), 147-161.

Raisbeck, P., Millie, R., & Maher, A. (2010). Assessing integrated project delivery: a comparative analysis of IPD with alliancing. Proceedings 26th Annual ARCOM Conference (pp. 1019-1028). Leeds: Association of Researchers in Construction Management.

Regner, J. A. (2008). Constructing in the fifth dimension. Construction Law International, 3(4), 5-6.
RIBA. (2012). BIM Overlay to the RIBA Outline Plan of Work. London: RIBA Publishing. Retrieved September 2012

RIBA. (2013). RIBA Plan of Work Overview. London. Retrieved August 2013, from

Rich, S., & Davis, K. H. (2010). Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Facility Management. Houston: IFMA Foundation.

Saxon, R. G. (2013). Growth Through BIM. London: Construction Industry Council. Retrieved June 2013, from

Sebastian, R. (2011). BIM in different methods of project delivery. Proceedings of the CIB W78-W102: International Conference. Sophia Antipolis, France.

Sydney Opera House. (2013, June 14). BIM 4 FM. Retrieved from Sydney Opera House:

Taylor, J., & Levitt, E. L. (2009). Understanding and managing Systemic Innovation in Project-based industries. In D. P. Slevin, D. I. Cleland, & J. K. Pinto (Eds.), Innovations: Project management research 2004 (pp. 83-99). Project Management Institute.

US AIA. (2007). Integrated Project Delivery: A Guide Version 1. American Institute of Architects National and American Institute of Architects California Council. Retrieved from

US AIA. (2008). Document E202 – 2008 Building Information Modeling Protocol Exhibit . American Institute of Architects.

US AIA. (2013, June). TAP BIM 2008 Award Winners for Design/Delivery Process Innovation using BIM. Retrieved from American Institute of Architects:
US AIA. (n.d.). Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) Family. Retrieved from American Institute of Architects, Contract Documents:

US GSA. (2011, December). GSA BIM Guide Series 08 - GSA BIM Guide for Facility Management, Version 1. General Services Administration, Public Building Services. Washington: Office of Design and Construction. Retrieved August 2012, from

US GSA. (2012). GSA BIM Guide Series 05 - GSA BIM Guide for Energy Performance, Version 2. Public Building Services, General Services Administration. Washington: Office of Design and Construction. Retrieved May 2013, from