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Any BIM project must include a modeling strategy, conceived according to previously agreed-upon goals with the client. This does not mean that it is necessary to manage all the spaces of a construction project with minimal detail. In contrast, at the heart of the strategy, you are willing to select only the elements that you want to model. Once it has been decided which aspect of the model will be developed, the level of geometric detail is decided. Therefore, people will use LOD to determine the quality of a model of a project. So what is LOD? The following article will cover the most basic things about  Level of Development (LOD).

1. What is Level of Development (LOD)?

The term “Level of Development” was first used by the American Institute of Architects in 2008. Level of Development (LOD) is a concept with many different definitions and implementations. Level of Development in BIM helps relevant units in the construction industry (AEC Industry) clearly define the level of building information models (BIM models) at different stages in the design and construction process.

2. LOD and Design Phase

The LOD doesn’t seem to be outlined deliberately by design phases. Rather, design phases completion, as well as any other milestone or deliverable, can be described through the Level of Development language. There are several important reasons for this approach:

1) The first reason is that there is no detailed standard available for the design phase. Earlier architects have created standards but exist within an organization. The standards differ from one organization to another, and it can even differ within a single organization according to the requirements of a project.

2) Building systems progress from concept to precise definition at different rates, so at any given time different elements will be at different points along with this progression. For example, after the Schematic Design phase, the model will include many elements at LOD 200, but will also include many at LOD 100, as well as some at LOD 300, and possibly even LOD 400.

3. Some levels of LOD in BIM:

The Level of Development Specification is a reference that enables practitioners in the AEC Industry to define and articulate with a high degree of clarity, the content and reliability of the Building Information Model. So, there are (BIM) at various stages in the design and construction process.

The LOD framework addresses various issues faced by AEC professionals by providing an industry-developed standard for describing the development status of different systems in BIM. Therefore, this standard enables consistency in communication and enforcement by facilitating the detailed definition of BIM milestones and deliverables.

1. LOD 100 – Concept – Here there is no geometric info in the model elements, only symbols with attached approximate info.

2. LOD 200 – Design development – Now the elements are generic placeholders for elements and equipment to be – They may be recognisable objects or space allocations for coordination between the disciplines.

3. LOD 300 – Documentation – This level should be suitable for design intent to support processes like costing and bidding. These models will be used to generate construction documents and shop drawings. You should now be able to take measurements from the models and drawings and locations should be accurate.

4. LOD 350 – This level defines proper cross trade coordination and will include connections and interfaces between disciplines.

5. LOD 400 – Construction – This level supports detailing, fabrication and installation/ assembly. The contractor will be able to split construction requirements and assign to sub contracts.

6. LOD 500 – Facilities management – This level will have suitable geometry and information to support operations and maintenance. Geometry and data should be as-built and field verified.

4. Importance of Level of Development in an AEC Project

In an age where people digitally process everything and use 3D models for large projects, it can be difficult for designers to get other teams to understand the project’s expectations. Therefore, handling a BIM model comes with its own set of challenges – different people perceive different definitions of completion.

Besides, Level of Development creates a standardized definition of what it means to be completed and eliminates the chances of bias associated with project completion. So, using Level of Development, teams working in different fields can communicate with each other in a better way with greater clarity. Moreover, LOD enhances design clarity using innovative techniques and technologies.

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