BIM Dimensions – 2D, 3D, 4D, 5D, 6D, 7D, 8D: Details and Benefits


Ar. Ankit Kansara

CEO | Think Tank

Last Updated:

Oct 12, 2023


Building information modeling (BIM) is a dynamic process of developing information-oriented models depicting the entire project lifecycle. The 3D BIM modeling process crafts a coordinated digital description of every aspect of the built asset. It involves information about the 3D views, structural details, and information on the execution, completion, and handover as well. Internationally, The BIM process and related structural data are defined precisely in the ISO 19650 and ISO 12006 series of standards.

What are BIM dimensions?

The revolutionary leap towards transforming a 2D CAD drawing of a project to an information-rich 3D model has drastically impacted the design process. The evolution benefits the stakeholders by adding different aspects to the modeling process with different dimensions.

Building Information Modeling can be incorporated to deal with pre-defined specific purposes known as use cases. Specific parameters are added to the existing information in the BIM as per the project requirement and its complexities. These pre-entailed used cases are referred to as BIM dimensions.

Dealing with different dimensions provides the user with detailed information about every nuance of the project, facilitating enhanced design and execution. The requirements should be listed clearly in the information list briefed to the project team.

The list should also elaborate on the required fields and format. The BIM technology gained traction from 3D & 4D dimensions towards 5D, 6D, and 7D dimensions, enhancing the future of the AEC industry.

Exploring the Seven Types of BIM Dimensions

2D, 3D, 4D, 5D, 6D, and 7D, each of these BIM dimensions have their unique purpose and benefits. These are useful in finding out the project cost, timeline, and sustainability graph for future purposes. We will discuss below each of the dimensions in detail.

types of bim dimensions

2D BIM: Dimensional View

A digital geometric model that constitutes an X and Y axis related to other information about the project falls under 2D BIM. The CAD systems used earlier were 2D models where plans and sections were created digitally more accurately and quickly than manual processes.

2D geometry is not usually considered anymore for BIM modeling, but it provides parameters, constraints, and concepts associated with the model.

3D BIM: Dimensional Model

A digital geometric model that constitutes an X, Y, and Z axis associated with other information about the project falls under 3D BIM. The AEC industry widely uses the technology of 3D BIM modeling.

3d bim dimensions

The 3D models facilitate the production of 2D views at different levels of detail.


  • The 3D BIM dimension induces accuracy and efficiency in the project and lessens the risk of clashes occurring on the projects.
  • It helps in better internal coordination among the design team and the sharing of design expectations.
  • The transparency of work from the beginning eliminates instances of rework and revisions.

4D BIM: Time Schedule

4D BIM Modeling is planning the project with a dimension of ‘Time’ to the other three geometrical coordinates. It involves scheduling the data that dictates the completion timeline of the project and its evolution over time. It elaborates on the time required for installation or construction and for the project to become operational.

It serves as a beneficial modeling process that bridges the gap between project visualization and the time taken for its conversion to reality.


  • It caters to improved site planning and scheduling optimization.
  • It articulates a seamless communication and collaboration between the architects, contractors, engineers, and other related stakeholders.
  • It prepares the team in advance for every step of construction, also eliminating costly delays.

5D BIM: Budget

5D BIM modeling deals with an added feature of cost estimation. It is beneficial in scenarios where budget and cost analysis is a priority from the project initiation. It enables the project owners and promoters to analyze financial incurrences over time for the project construction.

5d bim dimensions budget

Questions about the cost expectations to be pre-tender estimates or a record of as-built and if the team is supposed to provide operational costs are answered with the cost information dimension of 5D BIM modeling.


  • It induces the process with real-time cost visualization and is notified about the changes in costs throughout construction.
  • It prepares a simplified list of predicted or actual project expenditures over time, recorded using cost or budgetary analysis.
  • This BIM dimension eliminates the possibility of budget offshoot through regular cost reporting and monitoring.

6D BIM: Facilities Management

6D BIM dimension elaborates on the facility management aspects of the project. However, there is less consensus on this in the industry, and this feature isn’t a ‘dimension’ at all. For 6D BIM modeling, all stakeholders should have clarity about project expectations and the required data set.


  • It monitors data about project status, maintenance, warranty information, technical specifications, and other details required in the future.
  • It collates all relevant data to facility management in one place, improving the quality of service delivery for the project lifecycle.

7D BIM: Sustainability

7D BIM Modeling helps in analyzing the energy consumption estimates about a building and caters to the sustainability quotient of a design. It helps in quantifying the energy estimates at initial design stages, taking the AEC sector to an advanced level that is beyond just focusing on the upfront project costs.


  • It caters to reduced energy consumption throughout the project lifecycle.
  • It helps the stakeholders in faster decision-making regarding the component selection.
  • It facilitates the analysis of the economic and operational aspects of a building.

8D BIM: Occupational Safety and Health

8D BIM Modeling supposedly adds health and safety information relevant to the project to the data set. Similarly to 6D BIM, the data type, scope, units, rule of measure, or other details should be carefully specified for accurate results


  • It prevents accidents and incidents by introducing safety elements into the design.
  • It enables the designers to execute a thorough risk assessment of the building they are designing.


Building Information Modeling with BIM dimension can be used to define data requirements and stir conversations with the clientele about project expectations and potential deliverables. Using a guide such as the RIBA Plan of Work, in combination with the ISO 12006 and ISO 19650 series of standards, deems fit for understanding the information typology about a specific project.

The RIBA Plan of Work enlists the major project strategies including sustainability, inclusive design, planning for use, fire safety, and more.

The companies can study the needs of a project and then work on the information required for that project, when it is required and who holds the development responsibility with the extracted information.

Ready to take your BIM Projects to the next level?
Ar. Ankit Kansara

Ar. Ankit Kansara is the visionary Founder and CEO of Virtual Building Studio Inc., revolutionizing the architecture and construction industry with innovative BIM solutions. With a strong foundation in architecture and a global presence, Ankit leads the company in providing cutting-edge AEC services, embracing technology and pushing boundaries

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