Building information modeling (BIM) is a process supported by various tools, technologies and contracts involving the generation and management of digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of places. Building information models (BIMs) are computer files (often but not always in proprietary formats and containing proprietary data) which can be extracted, exchanged or networked to support decision-making regarding a built asset. BIM software is used by individuals, businesses and government agencies who plan, design, construct, operate and maintain buildings and diverse physical infrastructures, such as water, refuse, electricity, gas, communication utilities, roads, railways, bridges, ports and tunnels.
The concept of BIM has been in development since the 1970s, but it only became an agreed term in the early 2000s. Development of standards and adoption of BIM has progressed at different speeds in different countries; standards developed in the United Kingdom from 2007 onwards have formed the basis of international standard ISO 19650, launched in January 2019.