by Nadinne Zem, Regional Lead for Brazil

The idea of ​​what would be the concept of Building Information Modeling (BIM) emerged a long time ago, not like the concept of BIM we know today. In 1974, through the minds of Professor Charles Eastman and scholars at the Georgia Institute of Technology, the concept of “Building Description System” or BDS emerged.

“The BDS system was initiated to show that a computer-based description of a building could replicate or improve all of the strengths of drawings as a means of design, construction and operation, as well as eliminate most of their weaknesses.” Eastman et al. 1974

The BDS theory was modified and refined to what we now know as BIM, but the term Building Information Modeling was first used in 1992 by G.A. Van Nederveen and F.P. Tolman. However, attention was only given to this term in 2002, when it was mentioned in an Autodesk article.

From that point on, the idea began to be increasingly disseminated in the most diverse countries. Each country has evolved differently in this regard. In the UK, in 2011, the UK Government Building Strategy was created with the aim of encouraging the implementation of BIM. In Singapore, the process started by the government in 2008 implementing the first Approval System in Public Bodies through BIM models. In the United States, in 2003, there was already a national program called 3D-4D-BIM Program, and in 2006 the use of BIM was mandatory in all projects.

In Brazil, there were some isolated initiatives by agencies and private companies in the early 2000s. As an example, in 2006, the Brasilian Army started the implementation of BIM. In 2010, the BIM library was launched by ABDI (Brasilian Agency for Industrial Development) for government projects. In 2012, Petrobras’ headquarters in Santos started implementing BIM. In 2013 there was a requirement for airport projects with the use of BIM.

After a while, initiatives began to be designed by the State Government. The Government of Santa Catarina, in 2013, created LaBIM-SC. Later, in 2015, the alliance between the states of Santa Catarina and Paraná was founded to create the BIM South Government Network. Also in 2015, the projects of Arena das Dunas and Arena Amazônia in the State of Amazonas were developed in BIM.

At the federal level, we started with the signing of the Memorandum Of Understanding (or MOU), in 2016, by the Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services (Minister Marcos Pereira) and Minister Liam Fox of the United Kingdom. The MOU establishes cooperation between Brazil and the United Kingdom “(…) to support the initiative to develop a strategy for the implementation and dissemination of BIM in Brazil.”. Also in 2016, the Brazilian Chamber of the Construction Industry (CBIC) published the BIM Implementation Collection for Builders and Developers, which contains technical concepts related to BIM and implementation instructions for builders and developers.

Federal Decree No. 9,377 was published in 2017 establishing the National Strategy for the Dissemination of Building Information Modeling – BIM BR Strategy. This decree was later revoked by Federal Decree No. 9,983 which “Provides for the National Strategy for the Dissemination of Building Information Modeling and establishes the Management Committee for the Strategy of Building Information Modeling”.

Briefly, this decree aims to promote investment in BIM and spread this idea nationally. In this decree, objectives were defined for the BIM BR Strategy, the management committee for this strategy was established, as well as the attributions of this committee and its representatives and a Technical Group to assist this committee. This decree also aims to disseminate the development of technical standards, guides and specific protocols for the adoption of BIM. Standards and regulation development is very important when it comes to credibility and technical support in an implementation.

In 2020, Federal Decree No. 10,306 was published, and this decree establishes that engineering works and services of federal public agencies must use BIM with the support of the decree we saw earlier (No. 9,833). Briefly this decree:

1. Establishes that BIM should be implemented gradually;

2. Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Infrastructure were the first linked to BIM dissemination actions;

3. BIM definitions;

4. Three phases of implementation. The first must be fulfilled from 2021 determines the “smart modeling”, and extraction of quantitatives. The second phase should take place from 2024 and should cover, in addition to the goals of the first phase, the use of BIM for planning, budgeting and control of works. The third phase, which should take place from 2028 onwards, should cover the first and second phases, as well as management and maintenance (Facilities Management).

There is a point in the decree that also indicates that the contracts will require the use of BIM for “(…) execution of programs, projects and activities of mutual interest.”.

Still speaking about Brazil, there is one more important legislation: Federal Law No. 14,133, published in 2021. Basically, this law is complemented by the fact that bids will have a preference for choosing companies that use the BIM methodology for the development of services provided.

State governments in general have their own legislation and internal decrees. In Paraná the BIM strategy started with the creation of LaBIM in 2015. LaBIM “(…) was created as a research and development environment with the objective of defining criteria, formats, and standards for contracting projects and public works in BIM within the scope of the Secretariat of Infrastructure and Logistics of Paraná (SEIL/PR).”. In 2016, the BIM PARANÁ Portal was launched, with the objective of publicizing the actions of the Government of the State of Paraná when it comes to BIM.

Soon after, in 2018, “Caderno BIM PR” was launched. The “Caderno BIM PR” is a collection of 11 notebooks and presents guidelines for BIM development in public works and according to the description itself: “(…) the purpose of this document is to guide and define minimum criteria for the elaboration of projects that use BIM tools in their development.”.

State Decree No. 3080, which establishes the BIM PR Strategy, was published in 2019, with the general objective of instituting the use of BIM in public works by 2022. It indicates the objectives of the BIM PR Strategy, establishing the CG-BIM (Management Committee) and the Technical Group, the GTEC-BIM, to support the CG-BIM. In the strategic objectives we have some interesting points, reinforcing, for example, the elaboration of technical standards, expanding the relationship between academia, service providers and technology companies.

In 2020, the BIM Implementation Plan was published, developed by “Paranacidade”, which is a technical member of GTEC-BIM. “Paranacidade” has the objective of “(…) guiding the necessary actions to reach the objectives of the BIM PR Strategy in the institution.”, and the first action taken was the elaboration of the BIM Implementation Plan, indicating pilot projects to be developed with the support of the respective plan.

More recently, we have State Decree No. 10,086 of 2022, and Paraná was the first state to regulate Federal Law No. 14,133. So, it is the regulation of the federal bidding law, only state, and in the definition part we already find several terms related to BIM: BIM Coordinator, Open BIM, BIM Manager, BIM Execution Plan, etc. There is also a definition that in tenders for contracting projects, “(…) the preferential adoption of Building Information Modeling (BIM) or similar or more advanced integrated technologies and processes that will replace it, for delivery of projects to be contracted.”.

Three phases of BIM implementation are also defined, starting in 2022 (1st phase) until 2025 (3rd phase), and they address similar resolutions to the Federal Decree: first a focus on modeling, then execution and supervision of works and for the third phase a post construction/Facilities Management. 

In conclusion, the private initiatives to implemente BIM in Brazil are more recent, starting in 2016, but from the federal initiative, government states began to join and the number of publications and decrees increased. We still have a long way to go, of course, but it is important that steps continue to be taken towards innovation.