Extending the BIM Dictionary

Updated March 12, 2020

The BIM Dictionary project is continuously expanding and will gradually include new languages (refer to editorial page). The BIM Dictionary will expand beyond offering a research-based, peer-sourced glossary of terms. As the base for a much larger Knowledge Structure, the BIM Dictionary enables the development of semantically-interconnected guides, protocols, tools and workflows.

A | Work Packages List

The BIM Dictionary project (project code is A, refer to 103in) is subdivided into a number of Work Packages that can be completed independently. There are also a number of Micro Projects (each is a Work Package yet managed by an independent team) that will help extend the BIM Dictionary and connect its deliverables to other BIMe Initiative and 3rd party efforts.

Below is the current Work Packages List (updated Oct 20, 2018):

CodeWork PackagePlanned ActivitiesNotes
A1Project AdminManaging project scope, resources and timeline. Development of protocols; instigating and managing relationships with 3rd parties; and continuous alignment with other BIMe Initiative projects

Ongoing effort

A volunteer Project Manager is sought. If you have the experience and are willing to help, please contact us.

A2Canonical Dictionary Items - EnglishDevelopment and updating of Dictionary Items covering all common international terms within Noteworthy BIM Publications plus those identified within national and international standards in English

Ongoing effort

Improvement suggestions are always welcome

A3Extended Descriptions - EnglishIdentification and invitation of subject matter experts to contribute texts, charts and videos (see example). Each Extended Description is a separate Activity within the Work Package


Coordinators needed to identify, contact and follow-up with recognised experts

A4Translations in LOTETranslation and continuous updating of Language Other Than English (LOTE) terms

Ongoing effort

New language teams needed

A5Canonical Dictionary Items - LOTE

Identification and inclusion of terms based on international Noteworthy BIM Publications and national standards in LOTE

Not started yet

Can only start for LOTE that have completed translation of priority terms

A6A6.1 Tool Development - Front EndContinuous improvement of the online UI/UX. Generation of a Terminology Explorer (interactive map); Custom Terms List; built-in Commenting Engine; and printing, exporting and linking features

Ongoing effort

Help needed. Agile project manager. UI/UX designer. Full stack programmers and/or those skilled in Django REST framework, ReactJS, MongoDB, PostgreSQL,  CSS/HTML

 A6.2 Tool Development - BackendDevelopment of an Editorial Dashboard to manage translations/updates and communication amongst Editors.Improvement of versioning and version control (allowing external links to a specific version). Database optimisation. Improvement and documentation of the API.
A7A7. 1 OntologyRe-structuring and formalisation of the Conceptual BIM Ontology through Semantic Descriptive Languages

Help Needed

Expertise needed to help in this process

  A7.2 AlignmentsDevelopment of a micro Framework that connects the BIM Dictionary to selected international efforts (e.g. buildingSMART Data Dictionary)


Expertise needed to help with this Micro Project

  A7.3 TemplatesDevelopment of templates for Knowledge Blocks (e.g. a template Model Uses and Defined Roles)


Volunteers needed to develop and/or test templates for Model Uses

A8PublicationsCuration of a video on the BIM Framework Channel explaining the intent, background and use-cases of the BIM DictionaryInitiated
  Publication of a BIM ThinkSpace blog post introducing the BIM DictionaryInitiated
  Publication of a peer-reviewed paper covering the BIM DictionaryInitiated
 A9 Grant, sponsorship, and fundingSeeking grants, sponsorship, and funding from both private and 
public-sector organisations

Help Needed

Sponsorship offers are welcome – refer to 901in BIMe Initiative Sponsorship. Partnerships offers for joint research bids are welcome. If interested, please contact us.

How the BIM Dictionary project is managed

The open access BIM Dictionary started life in Decemeer 2012 as part of BIM Excellence Corporate Services (BIMexcellence.com). In 2016, the database containing nearly 600 Dictionary Items database (and the underlying codebase) were separated and transferred to the not-for-profit BIMe Initiative.

Delivered under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, the BIM Dictionary is continuously extended through the generous efforts of BIMe Members and Volunteers. These efforts are currently coordinated by the Editorial Team. As of Aug 2018, the project has reached Step C: Product Extension Phase in its development lifecycle (refer to 103in BIMe Initiative Projects) and is now  a BIMe Initiative Product. The project team will now need to be supplemented by a specialist product team to assist in charting the product’s growth path and sustaining its continuous success.

Also, development processes and activities will need to be guided by the general project management principles discussed in ISO 21500:2012. Project/Product Leaders are expected to apply these general principles with the assistance of Project Managers from within and outside the BIMe Initiative Network.

For more information, or to help expand this community effort, please contact us.

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Cite this page as: BIMe Initiative (July 2, 2017), "Dictionary Development", https://bimexcellence.org/projects/bim-dictionary/dictionary-development/. Last accessed March 13, 2020.

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