Building Information Modelling – What Level of Detail Should I Commission?

The AEC (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction) industry might have its benchmarks for building modelling, but the geospatial surveying industry isn’t standardised when it comes to a measured survey Building Information Modelling. The ambiguity, further enhanced by the lack of defined standards in professionally recognised organisations like RICS, has led to inconsistent deliverable quality across the sector.


Why Building Information Modelling Detail Matters

Building Information Modelling (BIM) has swiftly become an invaluable tool for top-tier developers, architects, and engineers. Its ability to guide a construction project throughout its life cycle gives it an unparalleled edge. Yet, the heart of BIM’s utility lies in the granularity of its details.

For those venturing into commissioning a measured BIM, it’s crucial to inspect examples of detail levels provided in survey company proposals. This comparison ensures you are clear about what you are expecting, and that the deliverable aligns with your expectations. At Michael Gallie & Partners, we advise our clients on the importance of specifying the correct level of detail when instructing a measured survey Building Information Model to ensure their project’s success.


Identifying the Right Detail Level for Your Endeavor

Determining the precise detail level for your Building Information Modelling isn’t black and white. Instead, it’s a reflection of the model’s end-use. While there’s room for customisation and specific advisories, a general guideline contrasts BIM detail levels with traditional 2D scale deliverables:

  • Level of Detail 1 or 2: Comparable to 1:200 Legacy Scale Detail
  • Level of Detail 3: Aligns with 1:100 Legacy Scale Detail
  • Level of Detail 4: Mirrors 1:50 Legacy Scale Detail
  • Level of Detail 5: Resonates with 1:20 Legacy Scale Detail

Choosing the right level ensures the model is appropriately detailed, setting the project up for success.



Building Information Modelling is a blend of innovation and accuracy. By navigating its intricate detail levels correctly, stakeholders can ensure their construction projects are both efficient and effective. Knowledge is power; understanding BIM’s nuances can make all the difference.

If you need any advice on commissioning a measured survey Building Information Modelling, please contact Sam Lloyd at Michael Gallie & Partners who will be happy to assist you in this matter.

Michael Gallie & Partners are regulated by the RICS and can provide you with the added assurance of having industry-leading £10 million Professional Indemnity insurance cover.



1. Why is detail crucial in Building Information Modelling?

Detail ensures accuracy, making the model a reliable reference throughout the construction process.

2. Is there a standard for UK BIM details in the industry?

The AEC industry has some benchmarks, but there’s no universally accepted standard, leading to varied deliverable quality.

3. How do I determine the appropriate detail level for my project?

It’s essential to consider the model’s end-use and compare proposed detail levels with traditional 2D scale deliverables.

4. Can I seek expert advice on BIM details?

Yes, experts like those at renowned firms can offer tailored advice to ensure your model is fit for purpose.

5. Is there an assurance of quality when commissioning a BIM?

Engaging with entities regulated by recognised bodies ensures quality, backed by strong professional indemnity insurance coverage.