The legislative status of BIM in Italy
BIM Building Information Modeling

The legislative status of BIM in Italy

With the entry into force, on 1 January 2019, of the first bracket of provisions relating to the procedures relating to tenders and concessions envisaged by Ministerial Decree 560/2017, the need was felt to clarify which operational tools are available to the Public Demand for Digitization.

The first stage of Ministerial Decree 560/2017 provides for the obligatory nature of the Bim for tenders for amounts exceeding 100 million euros.

In the process of adopting the implementational decree pursuant to art. 23, paragraph 13 of legislative decree n.50/2016, the Commission has started a phase of gathering information and opinions through the preparation of a specific questionnaire and the hearing of the stakeholders, which led to a proposal aimed at adopting the decree. The draft decree was the subject of public consultations in June/July 2017, to then arrive at the final draft of the Ministerial Decree n.560/2017 which introduced the principle of progressive obligatory BIM in public procurement, also defining the related time roadmap.

This document is made up of nine articles and is supplemented by an accompanying report, and in the general structure it can be considered an initial act of guidance and obligation for the contracting authorities and the granting administrations involved in the progressive digitization of the information contents mainly of the contracts. The decree first of all introduced a series of definitions, aimed at creating a common language which is essential in the light of the innovative nature of the matter.

Particularly significant, in this perspective, is the emphasis placed on the data sharing environment, defined as a digital environment for the organized collection and sharing of data relating to a work to which the contracting authority accesses and in which it shares and stores over time the information contents relating to the real estate or infrastructural assets of its competence, while defining at the same time the responsibilities for processing and protecting intellectual property.

Equally important is the extension of the definition of complex works with respect to the provisions of art. 3, paragraph 1, of Legislative Decree no. 50/2016, in particular referring to the use of BIM all those jobs for which a high level of “knowledge” is required, mainly aimed at mitigating the risk of lengthening the contractual terms and/or exceeding the foreseen costs, as well as protecting the health and safety of the workers involved, primary objectives for a public client, and including among the complex works, also those determined by particularly accentuated needs of coordination and collaboration between heterogeneous disciplines, whose integration in collaborative terms is considered fundamental.

Particularly important are the obligations imposed on contracting authorities and granting administrations in order to be able to request the use of modeling methods and tools in their tender procedures.

The decree, in particular, refers to training obligations, on the basis of which the contracting authority must define a personnel training program, whose assignment to the inherent tasks does not in any case preclude the possibility of resorting to external support services; instrumentation, with the preparation of an acquisition plan relating to modeling and information management tools; organisation, aimed at the concrete implementation of digitized processes within current organizational structures and practices; interoperability, which requires the contracting authority to use interoperable platforms by means of non-proprietary open formats and to connect the data present in the process to object-oriented multidimensional models according to the methods indicated in the information requirements of the specifications.

As regards the timing of the introduction of Building Information Modeling in public procurement, the decree, as known, has adopted in art. 6 a principle of progressiveness, based on the degree of complexity of the work and the reference amount.

Five stages are envisaged: from 1 January 2019 the obligation involves complex works relating to works with a tender amount equal to or greater than 100 million euros; from 1 January 2020 the obligation is extended to complex works relating to works with a tender amount equal to or greater than 50 million euros; from 1 January 2021, to complex works relating to works with a basic tender amount equal to or greater than 15 million euros; from 1 January 2022, to works with a basic tender amount equal to or greater than the threshold pursuant to art. 35 of the Public Contracts Code; from 1 January 2023, to works with a basic tender amount equal to or greater than 1 million euro; from 1 January 2025, finally, to new works with a basic tender amount of less than 1 million euro.

With the publication of ISO 19650 (parts 1 and 2) at the end of 2018, new regulatory scenarios are slowly emerging at an international, community and individual state level, consequently also in our country.

ISO 19650 concludes, with the first international standard of “principle” (on the trend of ISO 9000-quality, 14000-environment, 55000-asset management, 31000-risk, etc.) a first, “historical” phase of the regulatory world (and not) on BIM and digitization of the construction sector.

A first phase much more oriented to IT aspects, in its early days (ISO STEP 10303-11-21), and then increasingly aimed at information management and processes.

At the same time, there is an increasingly constant presence of specific national regulations (PAS 1192 – process, UNI 11337 series – application, DIN 91392 – CDE, AFNOR PRXPP07-150 – products, etc.) and a community role as a hinge in the making or “administrative” (CEN/TC442) – adoption of ISO standards – and now, however, increasingly present also with its own standards (prEN 17412 – Level of Information Need, and prEN 17473 – Smart CE/BIM, for example)

General framework of the international voluntary BIM regulatory system and construction digitization

General framework of the international voluntary BIM regulatory system and construction digitization – Source:

ISO 19650, therefore, even if the latest born, today constitutes the “primary” standard, or reference for all the others, even those that already exist.

The primary standard which has as its favorite daughters ISO 16739-1 (IFC), open scheme, ISO 29481-1 (IDM), delivery manual, and 12006-2 (IFD), classification.

Map of the international voluntary regulatory system with the release of ISO 19650

Map of the international voluntary regulatory system with the release of ISO 19650 – Source:

This main framework applies (or should be applied), as is, throughout the world. And in particular, then, in the CEN countries, accompanied by the precise additional Community regulations and, in Italy and Great Britain, also through the respective national annexes.

In fact, ISO 19650 provides for the principle of national reference annexes for the local market. Principle currently adopted, in fact, only by the UK and Italy.

Per UK attraverso un annex nella parte 2 (sistema di denominazione file), delle linee guida locali – parte 0 – ed il ritiro della BS 1192 e della BSPAS 1192-2 (i cui principi sono ritenuti assorbiti nel corpo delle ISO 19650 1 e 2).

For Italy, on the other hand, instead of an annex in part 2 of ISO 19650, given the substantial detailed regulatory status already present, it was preferred to establish that the whole of UNI 11337, in its various parts, constitutes a national annex to the ISO itself. With the principle of pre-eminence of the superior norm (19650) on possible possible interferences or inconsistencies in the dependent norm (11337).

National introduction to the Italian version of ISO 19650

National introduction to the Italian version of ISO 19650 – Source:

ISO 19650, in its main features (part 1), maintains the approach and concepts that have by now gone on to consolidate “BIM” throughout the world over the years: Information Specifications (CI – EIR, which has become Exchange Information Requirement instead of Employer), plan of Information Management (pGI – Bim Execution Plan, in part 2), etc.

In particular, it also defines:

  • as “Appointing” the proposing party (no longer Employer) and “Appointed” the person in charge;
  • che gli ambienti di condivisione dei dati (ACDat – CDE Common Data Environment) sono almeno 2, di commessa del committente/proponente-appointing (da approntare già in fase di gara) e diffuso, degli incaricati-appointed (smentendo il concetto fantasioso di CDE unico ad accesso libero e indiscriminato da parte del committente, mai previsto nemmeno nelle PAS 1192);
  • the overcoming of the LODs through the Level Of Information Needs, without a predetermined scale (100, 200 …; 1, 2, 3 … ; A, B, C …) and with the introduction of the concept of Document (DOC) alongside the LOG geometries and LOI alphanumeric information;
  • la struttura informativa dell’intero processo delle costruzioni, dallo sviluppo (capex), alla gestione (opex), in un unico schema complessivo ed introducendo i Project Information Requirements (PIR) ai flussi originari delle PAS 1192 2 e 3;

UNI 11337:2017 after ISO 19650

In Italy, UNI EN ISO 19650:2019 parts 1 and 2 (translated into Italian) through 11337 (20015-2017-2018) is applied in its currently published parts: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. A December 2019 the reference practice for the definition of the information management system of organizations was also published (UNI/PdR 74:2019).

  • UNI 11337-1:2017 Construction and civil engineering works – Digital management of construction information processes – Part 1: Models, drawings and information objects for products and processes
  • UNI/TS 11337-3:2015 Construction and civil engineering works – Codification criteria for construction works and products, activities and resources – Part 3: Models for collecting, organizing and archiving technical information for construction products
  • UNI 11337-4:2017 Construction and civil engineering works – Digital management of construction information processes – Part 4: Evolution and information development of models, documents and objects
  • UNI 11337-5:2017 Construction and civil engineering works – Digital management of construction information processes – Part 5: Information flows in digitized processes
  • UNI/TR 11337-6:2017 Construction and civil engineering works – Digital management of construction IT processes – Part 6: Guidelines for drafting the information specifications
  • UNI 11337-7:2018 Construction and civil engineering works – Digital management of construction information processes – Part 7: Knowledge, skill and competence requirements of the figures involved in information management and modelling

In view of 19650, the original working group, UNI/CT 033/GL05, became a sub-commission UNI/TC033/SC05 and 8 new working groups were set up to which the various parts of UNI 11337 were entrusted (while the part 1 – general – remains in the hands of the subcommittee):

The idea is to gradually reorganize the entire national regulatory framework in consideration of ISO 19650 but, more than for this, for the evolutions that have taken place in the meantime, from 2015-2017, in practice and, obviously, in technology (semantics, block chain, etc.).

The framework of the Italian regulations, very applicable, is in fact perfectly compatible with the structure of the 19650, which essentially presents guidelines, even if its adoption comforts in the decision of a gradual overall review. Always with the intention of regulating at national level as a basis for discussion for the community (CEN) and international (ISO) levels.

The most important innovations will concern:

  • the introduction of the Level of Information Need (LoIN) instead of the LOD, pursuant to part 4, which will be reviewed also in consideration of the European standard being defined, under Italian guidance (UNI, Marzia Bolpagni), prEN 17412, considering that , to facilitate its applicability in public tenders (in aid of the RUP), a reference scale will in any case be provided according to the higher indications deriving from the Contract Code and the future Regulation;
  • la definizione degli attributi informativi degli oggetti digitali e soprattutto dei prodotti, ex parte 3, che sarà rivista in considerazione, anche, della norma europea in via di definizione, prEN 17473, a guida francese, ma con struttura dati identica a quella italiana vigente dal
  • a more detailed definition of the ACDat/CDE, ex part 5, according to the scheme confirmed by 19650, and in parallel with the development of digital, organizational and national “platforms”, ex part 1 (a concept that was all Italian until recently, and which today instead also sees Europe active towards a digital community construction platform: DigiPLACE -H2020, Milan Polytechnic, Ferdecostruzioni-ANCE, MIT, UNI, etc.);
  • il completamento del flusso informativo ora definito solo nel Capitolato CI, ex parte 6, con la definizione applicativa di OIR, PIR, PIM, ecc.;
  • the writing of the parts already foreseen but still missing: 2 – classification, 8 – workflows, 9 – operation phase, 10 – automated verification, 11 – data security, block-chain.

UNI 11337 part 10, automated verification of models

UNI 11337 part 10, automated verification of models – Source:

UNI 11337 part 11, block-chain

UNI 11337 part 11, block-chain – Source:

The following parts are awaited:

  • parte 12 riguardante la qualificazione delle organizzazioni, una volta valutato l’impatto sul mercato della neo nata UNI/PdR 74:2019 (3 anni);
  • path (political-administrative) in place to bring the current part 7 (Angelo Ciribini), qualification of the figures, to the European tables for the writing of a CEN standard that makes the matter of roles, competences and responsibilities definitively organic;
  • path (political-administrative) in place for the opening of a European standard on BIM and digital for the restoration and listed buildings.

Edited by: Architect Luciana Bianchini, BIM Manager The SIA.

Sources: Pavan Alberto – Assistant Professor, Politecnico di Milano; Mirarchi Claudio – Engineer, Ph.D Polytechnic of Milan; Cavallo Dalila – Architect, BIM Coordinator; De Gregorio Marco – Technical Officer at UNI; Ingenio – technical and design information.