Working at BIM Level 2 requires minimal changes to copyright law, contracts and insurance, however during the development of the UK BIM Startegy it was acknowledged that some essential investment is required in simple. standard protocols and service schedules to define BIM specific roles, ways of working and desired outputs. 

The Construction Industry Council (CIC) BIM Protocol (now in its 2nd edition) has been drafted to support BIM Level 2 projects, it is essentially a common addendum to appointment documents and construction contracts that puts in place additional rights and obligations for the employer and the contracted party associated with Building Information Models. The Protocol is incorporated into an appointment or contract using a simple amendment.

The BIM Protocol creates the requirement for suppliers to provide specified BIM at defined levels of detail and incorporates provisions which support the production of deliverables for ‘data drops’ at defined project stages.

The Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) Limited BIM Practice note advises that The BIM Protocol document will commonly sit as an appendix to the appointment documentation for professional consultants and to the main contract for the contractor with a requirement for the protocol where applicable to be stepped down to the contractor’s supply chain. To be of most value therefore to the complete life cycle of the asset, BIM requirements (and the relevant protocol requirements) should be defined at the outset and led by the Employer.

The Protocol also affords essential additional protections for the producers of information through the addition of BIM-specific licences. The Protocol also encourages effective collaborative working by mandating the role of Information Manager and by including provisions which will make the use of Information Management standards such as PAS 1192:2 an explicit contractual requirement.

The Protocol is based on the direct contractual relationship between the employer and the supplier.  It does not create additional rights or liabilities between different suppliers. The Protocol has been created for used by the employer and potentially by consultants and contractors who can use a version of the Protocol to manage the work of sub-consultants and sub-contractors.