level of detail

LOD Querying Checklist – A great assistant for BIM projects

Level of Detail (LOD) is not a new term for anyone who has been involving in BIM projects. But it is obvious that there is still a different grasp between the parties in each project. In the previous blog post, LOD and LOI, and everything you need to know about, we help you clarify different types of Level of Detail (LOD) and its benefits

This article provides you with another aspect of this topic. It gives you an overview of distinct differences between the two terms Level of Detail and Level of Development. Besides, you can also know better about different LOD throughout our BIM projects. Finally, there will be an introduction to the Level of Detail (LOD) querying checklist. It is an assistant to determine clients’ requirements before commencement.

1. Level of Detail vs. Level of Development

LOD is sometimes referred to as Level of Detail and Level of Development. In this article, we use LOD to refer to the “Level of Detail”. There are important differences between the two terms. Let’s dig into two terms below:

Level of Detail

The term “Level of Detail” (LOD) demonstrates the degree to which the element model is detailed and specific. It measures the amount of information provided, increases from a symbolic model to an actual model. For example, modeling the steel framing columns:

  • LOD 100: You can model a basic shape like a “box”;
  • LOD 200: Known as a generic model with approximate size, shape, position. You can also add non-graphic information to the model element;
  • LOD 300: As a specific object with accurate size, shape, position, the orientation of main vertical structural elements. You can also add non-graphic information to the model elements like steel materials;
  • LOD 350: As an actual model including base plates, gusset plates, shape, position, and interfaces with other building systems;
  • LOD 400: Including detailing, fabrication, assembly, and installation information. You can also add non-graphic information to the model element;

Level of Development

The term “Level of Development” illustrates the development of the BIM model from the conceptual design stage to the completion of construction. The LOD allows professionals to develop reliable models at different stages of the project lifecycle. Various LOD specifications have been proposed and adopted in the industry. A typical LOD specification includes five levels:

  • LOD 100: Conceptual design. The model can be used to perform whole building types of analysis (volume, building orientation, cost per square foot, etc.);
  • LOD 200: Schematic design or design development. The model helps users analyze the systems by application of generalized performance criteria;
  • LOD 300: Construction documents and shop drawings. The model is suitable for analysis and simulation for detailed elements and systems;
  • LOD 400: Fabrication and assembly. As normal, trade contractor or fabricator uses the model;
  • LOD 500: As-built model. The model is suitable for the maintenance and operations of the facility;

Source: https://www.aia.org/

In short, the two terms are used in the development of BIM models. They show the same model development process but from different perspectives. Level of Detail refers to the geometry of the element while Level of Development refers to both the geometry and the other information. For instance, the application of the model, type of information derived from each level. Architects, engineers, and others can use LOD to clearly communicate with each other without debates.

2. Understanding LOD throughout the BIM projects

Scan to BIM project for Office Building with LOD 300

The project consisted of the Revit modeling for a 9-story office building with LOD 300. We modeled all architectural, structural, and MEP elements i.e. facade, ceiling, framing, duct, pipe, conduit above ½ inches.

Point cloud to BIM services


3D BIM Coordination Project for Hospital Building with LOD 300

The hospital project included Revit modeling, MEP coordination of the kitchen area. We later exported shop drawings of the plumbing system for the client as well. Besides, we involved in 360 simulations of the patient room, operating room, and hall. All models were created with LOD 300.

federated model - 3D BIM coordination


Scan to BIM project for Laboratory with LOD 300 and 350

The scope of the project comprised Revit modeling of interior Architectural and MEP systems. All models required LOD 300. Strikingly, we needed to model the medical dryer with LOD 350. The pipe system had to be properly named and classified with the label on the pipes.

Point cloud to BIM services


Scan to BIM project for Administrative Building with LOD 400

The administrative building project included Revit modeling for Architecture, Structure, and MEP. Besides, our team was responsible for making annotations of plans. Include floor materials, door tags, key plans, drawings, elevation materials. All models required LOD 4 in the UK standard. It’s also the highest quality in the UK.

Scan to BIM for Administrative Building in the UK

Looking for a BIM provider for construction projects?

Our BIM consultant is happy to help you with any questions. Just share with us your requirements, we’ll work with you to analyze the project and give you a budgetary quotation.

3. LOD Querying Checklist – An assistant to clarify clients’ requirements

Knowing the right clients’ requirements is important. Let’s imagine that your client has asked you to develop a BIM model with “Level of Detail (LOD) 350”. You and your client all know about the concept of LOD 350. But it is still can not ensure that both you and your client are getting the same understanding.

Thus, it’s necessary to clarify the LOD requirements with clients before modeling. Besides, a BIM project can have various LOD needs depending on each area or position. By using the LOD querying checklist, the modeler will define the required LOD of each building element. The client can confirm or feedback on what the modeler provides. In this way, you can avoid confusion or debates between the client and the modeler. The following is an example of a LOD Querying Checklist we’ve used in Scan to BIM projects.


level of detail (LOD) querying checklist

When every requirement is clearly defined, the process of modeling gets started. In the process of modeling, the modeler uses the 3D view, the section to review LOD, and use Schedule to analyze LOI requirements.

Final thoughts

Obviously, understanding the required LOD is important in each BIM projects. Using LOD, designers and engineers can work with other stakeholders about the usability and limitations of a model. As an industry standard, the LOD is mostly utilized as an efficient and collaborative communication tool.

ViBIM is a global provider of Building Information Modeling (BIM) services. We’ve had more than 5 years of experience and expertise in Scan to BIM services, 3D BIM coordination, BIM design, and Dynamo BIM services for clients in the UK, US.

Contact us today for further help with implementing your BIM projects