03 March 2016

 Update: Since this article was first written, all the content from the NBS National BIM Library has moved across to NBS Source.

Our Periodic Table of BIM is your at-a-glance guide to the steps you need to take to ensure a successful BIM implementation.

Taking its inspiration from the periodic table of elements, our table presents all the main elements of BIM in an easy-to-follow, visual reference – ideal for printing or sharing (as a .pdf) or displaying on a big screen (via our interactive).

Download and share the Periodic Table of BIM

The table groupings

The terms in our table are collated across nine groupings.

You can start your journey by finding out more about the table groupings by following the links below.


Define your BIM STRATEGY and understand what your company is trying to achieve with BIM.

Consider how and when you will implement the strategy - and the supporting foundations, processes, technology, tools and people that you require.

Read more about the BIM STRATEGY grouping.


Build FOUNDATIONS of efficient systems for communication, information exchange, and data transfer, to underpin advanced BIM processes.

Create an approach for managing the production, distribution, and quality of construction information and consider the right procurement route that will set the appropriate environment for collaboration.

Establish your current BIM capability and capacity to determine your BIM readiness status and think about the practical changes you may require in the future.

Read more about the FOUNDATIONS grouping.


Develop better and more efficient ways of working and focus on COLLABORATION.

In order to benefit from coordinated information, consider the digital tools that will allow you to collaborate effectively as well as people’s attitudes which may require cultural and behavioural changes.

Read more about the COLLABORATION grouping.


Consider how and where you can make improvements in your current PROCESSES.

Understand what a best-practice workflow looks like and ensure that information is universally structured regardless of author.

Understand information requirements during the whole project life cycle so that best value is achieved through the whole project time line.

Read more about the PROCESS grouping.


PEOPLE are an element of a BIM strategy which is often overlooked.

Provide clear communication to your colleagues as to why and how you intend to implement BIM and gain support by engaging BIM champions, as well as getting support from senior management.

BIM implementation requires changes in process so make sure that you share success among the team and provide individuals with the support and training that they may require.

Read more about the PEOPLE grouping


Ensure that you have the right TECHNOLOGY, software and hardware, to support your BIM aims and objectives.

As you move into a digital environment, consider how and where data is stored and the best way to share and publish information in a security minded way.

Read more about the TECHNOLOGY grouping.


Get to know the STANDARDS, procedures and supplementary documents available to you that will assist with your strategy and help achieve collaborative BIM.

More countries around the world are embracing BIM either as a top-down approach such as mandating BIM at a government level, or a bottom-up approach such as a demand from the supply chain.

Read more about the STANDARDS grouping.

Enabling Tools

Consider the ENABLING TOOLS that will help design, develop, deliver, and maintain the built asset.

You may require a number of different enabling tools for specific tasks and functions.

Before you make an investment, consider what tools are available to you for free.

Read more about the ENABLING TOOLS grouping.


Make use of access to information by considering what RESOURCES are available to you.

The internet and social media have created a valuable online community of support.

Read more about the RESOURCES grouping.

Digital Plan of Work Stages

Read more about the DIGITAL PLAN OF WORK STAGES grouping.


Start your Periodic Table of BIM journey...

Next: STRATEGY grouping