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What are BIM dimensions? (4D, 5D, 6D,7D)

Updated: Aug 14, 2022

Building Information Modeling (BIM) helps create and manage information models in a custom data environment that contains both graphical and non-graphical information (Ingibjörg Birna Kjartansdóttir). The information associated with the 3D Model increases as the project progress increases.

The simplest way to explain BIM dimensions is that they are further details or pieces of information added to a model to help the project team better understand the model (Hamil, 2021). They are the specific ways in which different data types are integrated into an information model. You get a better picture of the project by adding more dimensions of details, such as how it will be organized, its cost, and how it should be maintained.

It should be noted that BIM Dimensions are different from the BIM Level of Development. The level of development standards shows the extent to which a 3D model’s geometry, specs, and associated information can be relied on by the team members. On the other hand, BIM Dimensions are details or further information stored within a model, like its cost, time, and other factors.

This article will shed light on what it means to add different dimensions of data to a BIM model, how it works in practice, and what benefits can be anticipated.


4-D BIM is the addition of the time and schedule information with its 3-D Model (Ocean, n.d.). In a 4D BIM Model, we add a new dimension of information to a project information model in the form of scheduling data. This information allows the project team to make detailed and accurate project schedules while keeping the interdependencies of different tasks in view (Cards, n.d.). This data will be used to gain reliable project details as well as visual representations of how the project will progress over time. This also solves the problem of the communication gap between the site team and the planning team.


5D BIM is the integration of a 3D Model with its cost. The core concept of 5D BIM is to extract detailed and accurate cost information of building components. 5D BIM also helps project managers realize how any changes made to materials, designs, or areas could not only change the appearance of the building but also affect the budget and time.

This includes different types of costs like purchasing costs, installation costs, running costs, and maintenance costs. These cost calculations can be made from different data sources. Integrating these costs with a 3D Model helps construction companies predict the quantities of different components in a project, associating them with their respective costs and thereby calculating the entire structure's cost (Cards, n.d.).


6D BIM adds lifecycle information of a project to its BIM model, e.g., manufacturing, installation, operation, maintenance, and repair information. All this information is built into the BIM model and handed to the owner for optimal performance and maintenance. Apart from being used at the end of the project, 6D BIM also facilitates users in the design phase. It aids in decision-making processes to move the focus from capital expenditures to operational expenditures of the built assets (Riley, 2013).

6D BIM is also called Integrated BIM and focuses on sustainability. It acts as an as-built model for the client containing a sort of Manual for the Operations and Maintenance of the building.


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