BIM Levels of Development - Kelar Pacific
Written by Kelar Pacific

Construction Design Phases vs BIM Levels of Development – Part 4 of 4

What is considered the industry standard of LODs?

Today, there is no official LOD Standard, or a requirement for one in the U.S.  Several organizations are providing LOD Specification Workbooks to help with the adoption effort.  These organizations include:

Any given project should follow the standard being used by the client and the designer.

To conclude the 4 part topic of Construction Design Phases vs BIM Levels of Development, confirm the following prior to starting on any project:

  1. Is the project governed by Design Phases or BIM LODs?
  2. If governed by BIM LODs, are the BIM files available for contractor use?
    If BIM files are available, be specific about requesting the file types needed.

    • Consider Autodesk’s Navisworks as an industry standard for reviewing and extracting quantities and other data. Typically Navisworks file formats (*.nwd) are sufficient.
    • The Navisworks Simulate software would likely be the minimum requirement for design simulation and project review.
  3. Is there an LOD Specification Workbook?
    • If so, is it available for contractors use?
    • Is the contractor bound to the LODs for their cost proposals for each defined portion of work?
  4. Is there a contractual agreement between the Owner/Client and the Architect/Designer that is defined around the LODs the prime contractor, and their subcontractors, may also be bound to?
  5. What is the prime contractor’s cost estimating expectations for each of the various subcontractors? And, will there be different LODs for each trade?
  6. Bottom line, be sure you are clear about how a project is defined and measured for progress and completeness by confirming the use of “Construction Design Phases,” OR “BIM Levels of Development.”

Useful Links for BIM Levels of Development and 5D BIM Cost Estimating:


Ed Wenz

Sage Estimating Consultant

5D BIM Estimating/eTakeoff


AGC, ASPE, SD Navisworks GC, CM and Specialty Contractor Users Forum