28. Building Information Modeling


Building Information Modeling (BIM) is an approach to sharing information about a construction project throughout its life cycle, from design to demolition. The core of the approach is a structured, 3D digital model that brings together several types of information about the built asset. This digital model enables those who interact with the building to optimise their actions and maximise the overall value of the asset. This approach, which originated in the building sector, is now being extended to heavy infrastructure (bridges, ports, railways, roads) and to the energy sector (equipment, sites, networks). This is now known by many stakeholders as City Information Model (CIM) (not to be confused with the Common Information Model, CIM, a standard developed by the electric power industry and officially adopted by IEC). BIM is a reality in the world of design and construction/renovation and is gradually being extended to the operational maintenance professions, becoming digital twins, with the acquisition of operational data.


The importance of energy analysis in building design has grown, but it is still mostly done by simple static calculations or estimates. By utilising BIM as a data source for energy analysis, the data input will be more efficient and the existing data more reusable to perform accurate dynamic simulations to verify the thermal performance of buildings throughout their life cycle.

Challenges and opportunities for DSOs

BIM offers great potential for improving construction management (e.g. construction and procurement planning) and operation/maintenance management. Adopting the BIM approach presents opportunities for DSOs in terms of:

  • Ability to exchange with partners in the development/engineering phases of DSOs’ projects or projects that have an impact on DSOs.
  • Better detection and sharing of constraints in the upstream design phases.
  • Acquisition of more reliable (digital continuum) and enhanced (3D) asset data.

EDSO Considerations

  • DSOs must follow technological and regulatory developments related to BIM in order to make the most of these advances to improve their operational performance.
  • DSOs must ensure that the development of BIM does not imply a detrimental loss of autonomy.
  • DSOs have invested heavily in their current knowledge, processes and culture (engineering, construction, operation), which could complicate adapting to the new working methods required by BIM.

Last update: 28 September 2023