Impact of BIM ISO standards in Spain

by Sergio Muñoz, buildingSMART Spain

At the end of 2018, ISO standards 19650 Parts 1 and 2, “Organization and digitization of information about buildings and civil engineering works, including building information modelling (BIM) — Information management using building information modelling”, were published. These standards were adopted and published in Europe by CEN in January 2019 and later by different countries. In Spain, these standards were published in July 2019, awakening a great interest on the sector.

Who creates BIM standards?

The purpose of standardisation is to define a set of technical specifications – STANDARDS – which are used in a voluntary way. Standards are the industry’s common language.

Standards are developed by standardisation bodies, in which a balanced representation of bodies interested in the subject participates, ensuring transparency, openness and consensus in their work. The process of elaborating a standard is open, allowing everybody to participate with their opinions or comments.

There are a several standardisation organisations, ISO and IEC at international level, CEN and CENELEC at a European level, and others at national level, such as UNE in Spain, DIN in Germany, bSI in the United Kingdom, etc. 

In the specific case of BIM, standardisation is strategic in order to optimise resources and be able to have a common base between all the stakeholders involved in a project.

The productivity of the AEC industry, which accounts for around 6% of world GDP, has not advanced at the same ratios as other industrial sectors. The digitisation of construction, which relies heavily on BIM, is probably one of the main tools in the medium term to reduce its costs by between 12% and 20%[1].

In February 2018, the World Economic Forum published a report, An Action Plan to Accelerate Building Information Modelling (BIM) Adoption[2], which clearly indicates that in order to improve its productivity, the AEC industry must accelerate the BIM adoption. This same report highlights that one of the necessary pillars is to realize the benefits of digitized built environments and that governments need to coordinate with the industry to develop BIM standards, improving efficiency and interoperability.

The main standardisation bodies developing standards on BIM are:

On the other hand, on a national level, there is a national BIM standardization body per country, such as UNE/CTN 41/SC 13, Organisation of information models relating to building and civil works in Spain.

Moreover, these standardization bodies work in close collaborations with some organizations, such as buildingSMART or OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium).

Brief history of the BIM standards in Spain

Although the Spanish standardization body, UNE/CT41/SC13, was created in 2011, it is in 2015, when the European CEN/TC442 was created, which arranges the adoption of the first BIM standards in Spain:

  • ISO 12006-3 Building. Organization of information on construction works. Part 3: Object-oriented information framework.
  • ISO 16739 IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) for the exchange of data in the construction and property management sectors.
  • ISO 29481, Parts 1 and 2. Modelling of building information. Information delivery manual. Part 1: Methodology and format and Part 2: Framework for interaction.

However, it must be said that of all these standards, the only one that has had a real impact in Spain is ISO 16739 IFC, because it is being included in public tenders as a requirement. The Observatory of public tenders of esBIM analyses the public tenders with BIM requirements in Spain, publishing very interesting reports periodically. During the last 3 years, half of “BIM tenders” require the IFC model, and one third request the use of other standards (such as PAS 1192 or LOD from BIMFORUM).

It should be noted that buildingSMART Spain has carried out several activities to push this, such as the translation of the IFC elements to Spanish[3] or several workshops on how to create and read IFC models. 

But as I’ve said before, the rest of the ISO BIM standards have not had any real impact. This is mainly due to the fact that these standards were mostly about communication between software (IFC), that affect the developers to meet the IFC requirements and not about the process of collaboration and information requirements for practitioners.

And it is precisely this type of standards that are missed by the sector, as demonstrated by the result of the Macro study of BIM adoption in 2018 in Spain[4] developed by buildingSMART Spain and BIM eInitiative.

Figure 3. Analysis of level of maturity in 2018 in Spain through the model of components

Adoption of ISO 19650 in Spain

The ISO 19650 standards parts 1 and 2 were published by ISO and CEN in December 2018 and January 2019 respectively. To support this in Spain, buildingSMART Spain developed an introduction document[5] to these standards. The aim of this document is, on the one hand, to bring the standards closer to the sector in a simple language, but on the other hand and more importantly, to achieve an agreement on the translation of the terminology used in the standard into Spanish.

A little later in July 2019, the UNE-EN 19650-1 and 2 standards were published in Spain, awakening an important interest among all the companies in the sector.

The publication of these standards has begun to impact on:

  • Training courses. It is necessary to update the contents of BIM training courses that exist in Spain, using the terminology agreed and integrating the flow of processes for an adequate production of information.
  • Companies. Similarly, companies that have already implemented BIM or are in the middle of doing it currently are taking into account the standard 19650 as a frame of reference to update their processes.

Moreover, to integrate the ISO standards would be supported by certification processes.

About the certification for professionals, buildingSMART has developed an individual qualification system[6] that evaluates the BIM knowledge of professionals. This knowledge is based on ISO 19650, as well as on the other open standards developed by buildingSMART.

On the other hand, companies are interested in being certified once they have implemented the ISO 19650 into their processes, because it creates a recognition that differentiates them within the sector and helps in public tenders. An example is the architectural firm Battle i Roig, the first company to be ISO 19650 certified in Spain[7]. This will be easy for some contractors, such as Ferrovial or Dragados, which were certified in the British Standards PAS 1192 (predecessor of the ISO 19650) compliance.

And finally, the application of standards means reviewing some fundamental documents such as tenders, information requirements, BIM Execution plans or contracts.

Next Steps

Due to the short time that has passed since the publication of the ISO 19650 standards in Spain, only a few companies have started to analyse and adopt them appropriately, adapting their processes and documents such as their BEP or contracts.

A key element that will support the adoption of these standards will be the forthcoming publication by CEN TC/442 including the following documents:

  • Guidance on how to implement EN ISO 19650-1 and -2 in Europe
  • Guideline for the implementation of BEP and EIR on European level based on EN ISO 19650 parts 1 and 2.

If we take a photo of the current situation, we can see we have the structure of the standardized framework, but other standards are still needed to complete this, such as ISO 19650 parts 3, 4 and 5, or the standards about Level of Information Need or Common Data Environment, which are being developed at this moment.

[1] The transformation Power of Building Information Modelling, Boston Consulting Group, 2016.







Sign up for the latest news
Stay social. follow #DBEI

Registration Conditions 

BILT ANZ 2022 (“Conference”) 24 – 26 November 2022 will be held at the RACV Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast Australia. 
The Organiser (“Organisers”) of the Conference is the Digital Built Environment Institute (Australia) Ltd (DBEI).  
All enquiries relating to these matters should be directed to DBEI’s Marketing Team at

Be Well Agreement 

Any public space where other people are present holds a possible risk of exposure to COVID-19 and other communicable diseases. By attending this event, I agree to voluntarily assume all risk related to exposure and agree to not hold DBEI or any of their affiliates including partners and sponsors, directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors, volunteers, or sponsored venues liable for illness. I will take necessary precautions while at the event including, but not limited to, engaging in appropriate social distancing, wearing a mask in public areas when not consuming food or beverage, minimize face touching, frequently washing hands and avoiding risky environments such as overcrowded bars or restaurants. I agree to not attend any DBEI event if I feel ill or had recent exposure to a COVID-19 case. 

DBEI together with the venue and their suppliers, commit to taking all reasonable actions to provide a COVID safe environment for its attendees, sponsors, speakers, staff and visitors by complying with NSW Government regulations. 


Once registration is received, a confirmation email and tax invoice will be issued. Any accounts must be paid in full 30 days from the invoice date or 10 business days before the Conference start date, whichever comes first. The Organisers reserve the right, without notification, to cancel outstanding accounts anytime after 45 days from date of the tax invoice being sent. If payment is not received prior to the conference, access will be granted only after full payment is made via credit card. Non-payment does not constitute cancellation. 

All payments should be made to Digital Built Environment Institute (Australia) Ltd (DBEI) by Stripe (credit card). 


DBEI understands that circumstances can change. At any point prior to the Conference you are welcome to contact us in writing to nominate a substitute delegate at no extra charge (ideally at least 72 hours prior to the Conference). 

Cancellations of registration, social functions, accommodation and other items received: 

  • 6 weeks prior to the Conference will incur a fee of 50% of the item(s) cancelled. All cancellations received within 6 weeks of the Conference will be liable for 100% of the total fee. No refunds will be offered after 23 July 2021. However, you can expect to receive access to an OnDemand Library of content post event.  

All cancellations must be made in writing to Digital Built Environment Institute (Australia) Ltd (DBE)I via Any cancelled Registrants with an outstanding balance due will be liable for the full registration fee; this liability will be the responsibility of the delegate. 

Please note: A ‘no show’ to the Conference will still be considered as a cancellation and therefore the above terms apply. 

In the unlikely event that DBE is required to cancel or postpone the Conference for any reason (other than Force Majeure as noted below), DBEI will issue you a non-transferable credit note for the amount of the Fee, which may be redeemed against any appropriate future DBEI event for a period of 12 months from the date of issue.The Organisers hold no additional liability for travel costs, hotel costs, or any other cost, damage or expense whatsoever.   


It is strongly recommended that registrants take out insurance at the time of registration to include any eventuality including but not limited to loss of fees through cancellation of registrant's participation in the Conference or through cancellation of the Conference, loss of airfares through cancellation for any reason, loss or damages to personal property, force majeure or any other reason. 



Personal Information acquired by DBEI for BILT ANZ is governed by Digital Built Environment Institute’s Privacy Policy. More information  
Registrants must opt-in to have their details shown on the event app and delegate list for BILT ANZ 2022. If you do not wish for your details to be included in the event app, please select the opt-out option. 
Registrants must indicate if they agree to receive marketing updates, event information and newsletters by email, post, phone and other communications from Digital Built Environment Institute. Diamond, Platinum and Gold sponsors also have access to this list. If you do not wish to be contacted, please select the opt-out option. 
By registering to the Conference, registrants agree to receive emails in relation to this event. 
By completing the survey post Conference(s), registrants’ comments and feedback will be used for marketing and other related purposes by DBEI. 


Conference Code of Conduct 

Our event will present opportunities to learn, share knowledge and network. We believe the event should represent a safe, enjoyable and inclusive environment for all people, irrespective of gender, race, ethnicity, age, sexuality, religion, disability, socio-economic background, experience, size, shape and so on. No one should be subject to any harassment, bullying or abuse. Any such behaviour will not be tolerated, and we will take such action as we deem necessary to ensure it does not reoccur.  This may include immediate removal from the event and a prohibition from attending future events held by DBEI. This Code of Conduct explains exactly what we mean by unacceptable behaviour and it outlines the steps someone subjected to such behaviour at an event can take to report it. 

DBEI is a listening organization focused on its participants and fosters interaction, engagement, collaboration, connectivity and community, in a fun and safe learning environment. 

 We value the participation of each member of the community and endeavour to deliver an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. Conference participants are expected to conduct themselves with integrity, courtesy and respect for others and maintain the highest level of professionalism at all conference programs and events, whether officially sponsored by DBEI or not. All attendees, speakers, organisers, volunteers, partners, vendors and staff at any DBEI event are required to observe the following Code of Conduct. 

 DBEI is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone. All communication should be appropriate for a professional audience including people of diverse backgrounds and cultures. Sexual language and imagery are not appropriate for the conference. 

 Be kind to others. Do not insult or defame participants. Harassment in any form, sexist, racist, or exclusionary jokes are not condoned at DBEI events. 

 Participants violating these rules may be asked to leave the conference at the sole discretion of DBEI. Thank for helping to make this a welcoming event for all. 

The Organisers reserve the right to reject or terminate a registration without giving reasons at any time, with full refund of registration fees received – if terminated prior to the conference. Registrants asked to leave during the running of the conference, with reason, will not be entitled to a refund. 


Student Registration 

To qualify for the student registration category Registrants must be studying full time at their indicated university/institution. Full time study is a minimum of 25 hours of active class participation. Students must provide the Organisers with a copy of their photo student identification card, proof of full-time status as a student from their university/institution and contact details for their administration office. Registration under the student rate is not guaranteed until full-time student status is verified by the Organisers. 


Change to Conference Program  

It may be necessary, for reasons beyond the control of the Organisers, to alter the times, dates, itineraries or speakers of the Conference by notice to you at any time and in doing so DBEI will carry no additional liability for these circumstances beyond that noted below. 


Registrants register for and attend the Conference at their own risk. Registrants agree not to hold the Organisers liable for any losses, damages, expenses, costs, claims or liabilities suffered or incurred by registrants including consequential or indirect losses or loss of profit through registering for the Conference, attending the Conference, cancellation of the Conference, failure of the Conference to achieve your expectations, or for any error or omission by the Organisers. 
Registrants agree not to hold the Organisers liable or responsible for any personal injury (i.e. physical, psychological or emotional stress) or any loss or damage to personal property. here 

By registering to the Conference, registrants agree to receive emails in relation to this event. 
By completing the survey post Conference(s), registrants’ comments and feedback will be used for marketing related purposes by Digital Built Environment Institute. 
Photos taken during the Conference (which includes the Exhibition and social events) will be used for marketing related purposes by Digital Built Environment Institute. 


Force Majeure 

DBEI shall not be liable for any loss caused by the cancellation of the Conference where such cancellation is due to Force Majeure. The organisers will use all reasonable efforts to conduct the conference despite the intervention or occurrence of any such cause.

In this clause, Force Majeure means circumstances which are beyond the reasonable control of DBEI and which are reasonably likely to affect DBEI’s successful delivery of the Event or would make it inadvisable, impracticable, illegal, or impossible for a party to perform its obligations as originally contracted under this Agreement, including: fire, flood, earthquake, extreme adverse weather conditions, failure of electric power, gas, water, or other utility service, collapse of building structures, widespread disease or other public health emergency (including pandemic or epidemic), strike or other industrial action, the outbreak or declaration of war, act of terrorism, revolution or government orders or action (including the declaration of a State of Emergency). 

If, as a result of Force Majeure, DBEI cancels the Event/s, DBEI shall use reasonable commercial endeavours to reschedule the Event. If DBEI is unable to reschedule the Event in accordance, DBEI will issue you a non-transferable credit note for the amount of the Fee, which may be redeemed against any appropriate future DBEI event for a period of 12 months from the date of issue. 

Without prejudice to its obligations DBEI accepts no liability and will not be liable for any compensation where the performance of its obligations under this Agreement is affected by Force Majeure. 


Disclaimer and Waiver 

The Conference Organisers reserve the right to change activities, topics and presenters where necessary. 

The Organisers reserve the right to change these Terms and Conditions at any time without prior notice. These Terms and Conditions will be governed by and constructed in accordance with the laws of the New South Wales and the parties submit to the jurisdiction of the courts of that country. 

As a condition of my participation in this Conference I hereby waive any claim I may have against DBEI and its officers, directors, employees, or agents, or against the presenters or speakers, for reliance on any information presented and release DBEI from and against any and all liability for damage or injury that may arise from my participation or attendance at the Conference. I further understand and agree that all property rights in the material presented, including common law copyright, are expressly reserved to the presenter or speaker or to DBEI. 
I acknowledge that participation in DBEI events and activities brings some risk and I do hereby assume responsibility for my own well-being. If another individual participates in my place per DBEI transfer policy, the new registrant agrees to this disclaimer and waiver by default of transfer. 
DBEI intends to take photographs and video of this event for use in DBEI news and promotional material, in print, electronic and other media, including the DBEI website. By participating in this Conference, I grant DBEI the right to use any image, photograph, voice or likeness, without limitation, in its promotional materials and publicity efforts without compensation. All media become the property of DBEI and media may be displayed, distributed or used by DBEI. 
By registering for this event, I agree to the collection, use, and disclosure of contact and demographic information. This information includes any information that identifies me personally (e.g. name, address, email address, phone number, etc.). DBEI will use this information to: (a) enable your event registration; (b) review, evaluate and administer scholarships or other DBEI initiatives; (c) market DBEI opportunities you may potentially be interested in; and to (d) share limited information (e.g. title, company, address and demographic information) with third parties that perform services on behalf of DBEI. DBEI may also distribute the delegate list of those who have opted into the list, to eligible sponsors and partners, however not without the prior consent of the individual. DBEI may use this information for so long as DBEI remains active in conducting any of the above purposes.