Levels of Development: Enabling coordination and collaboration

Maximize collaboration and clarity with Levels of Development (LOD). Enable seamless data and file exchange, driving project efficiency across disciplines.

A building model shows structural steel and stress analysis.

A building model shows structural steel and stress analysis. Image courtesy of BNIM.

What are LOD (Levels of Development)?

Levels of Development (LOD) refer to a standardized framework for defining the amount of detail and accuracy that should be included in a building information model (BIM) at different stages of a project.

An architect works on a MEP system in a building model.

The details in a building model grow more refined at each level.

The 6 Levels of Development (LOD)

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) have established a commonly used LOD framework that breaks down the building model into specific levels:

LOD 100—conceptual design: At this stage, the model represents the basic shape and size of elements without detailed information. It’s used to convey the overall design intent.

LOD 200—schematic design: The model becomes more refined, incorporating approximate quantities, sizes, shapes, and locations of elements. It helps in analyzing spatial relationships and early design concepts.

LOD 300—detailed design: In this phase, the model includes geometric information, specific sizes, shapes, and detailed object components. It’s used for producing construction documents and coordinating different disciplines.

LOD 350—construction documentation: The model includes detailed assemblies and fabrication or construction-level information. It’s used for generating construction documents and shop drawings.

LOD 400—fabrication and assembly: This level involves the creation of detailed models with specific assemblies and connections, suitable for fabrication and assembly purposes.

LOD 500—as-built or facility management: The model at this stage includes information about the installed and operational elements of the building, reflecting real-world conditions for maintenance and facility management.

Architects review digital building models together at a conference table.

Complex projects and experienced teams are more likely to implement comprehensive LOD workflows.

Use cases for Levels of Development

Levels of Development (LOD) are integral to the construction industry because they allow model authors to clearly define the reliability of their models and help downstream users understand the limitations of the models they receive. By standardizing the degree of reliability and accuracy required at each project stage, LOD minimizes misunderstandings among stakeholders, optimizes resource usage, and aids proactive decision-making.

Do all AEC projects use Levels of Development (LOD)?

While Levels of Development (LOD) comprise a valuable framework widely used in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry, its adoption varies based on project-specific factors. Complex projects with intricate designs, those adhering to specific regulations, and projects with experienced teams are more likely to implement LOD comprehensively. 

How is BIM involved in Levels of Development (LOD)?

Building information modeling (BIM) and Levels of Development (LOD) are closely intertwined in AEC. BIM forms the digital backbone for LOD implementation, enabling creation, management, and sharing of detailed digital representations of building elements. LOD establish a framework that specifies the depth of detail and accuracy to be included in BIM models at various project stages. 

How are Levels of Development tracked in projects?

Levels of Development (LOD) are tracked in projects through an LOD matrix, an essential component of a BIM execution plan (BEP). In the LOD matrix, project teams define and outline LOD requirements for specific building elements and systems at various project stages. Responsibilities for creating and maintaining BIM models at each Level of Development are assigned to relevant stakeholders. The LOD matrix serves as a reference, guiding the creation of BIM models to meet the designated LOD requirements, and it is continuously monitored for compliance.

Benefits of LOD (Levels of Development) in BIM

Levels of Development offer a range of benefits that enhance model accuracy, data exchange, collaboration, and efficiency throughout various BIM-driven project phases. 


LOD provide a standardized framework and language for defining and understanding the granularity and reliability of model elements at different stages of a project.


Effective collaboration

With well-defined LOD, multidisciplinary teams can work collaboratively within a consistent framework. This minimizes clashes and conflicts among disciplines and simplifies coordination. 


Reduced risk

By identifying and resolving potential issues during the design phase, LOD help mitigate risks and reduce the likelihood of costly changes and rework during construction.



LOD help ensure that construction documents properly reflect design intent. This reduces ambiguities and errors in plans, leading to smoother construction processes and fewer change orders.


Optimized resource allocation

Detailed models are used where they matter most, and simpler models suffice for less critical elements, optimizing time and costs. 


Facility management

LOD 500 models serve as valuable tools for facility management, providing actual as-built information that aids in maintenance, renovations, and future modifications.


Software for LOD

Cloud-based design co-authoring, collaboration, and coordination software for architecture, engineering, and construction teams. “Pro” enables anytime, anywhere collaboration in Revit, Civil 3D, and AutoCAD Plant 3D.

Plan, design, construct, and manage buildings with powerful tools for Building Information Modeling.

Powerful BIM and CAD tools for designers, engineers, and contractors, including Revit, AutoCAD, Civil 3D, Autodesk Forma, and more

See Levels of Development (LOD) in action

An overhead image of Optus Stadium in Western Australia.


Achieving a singular vision using BIM

Leading architecture firms exceed project objectives on Optus Stadium design with Revit BIM software and Dynamo Studio.


An image of Bessac headquarters in Saint-Jory, France.


Introducing ingenious digital workflows

This architecture firm rises to design challenges with Revit BIM software and Navisworks Manage.


Image courtesy of Taillandier Architectes Associés

A rendering of expanded Las Vegas Convention Center.


Integrating people, processes, and technology

An architecture and interior design studio transforms its digital design workflow with the Autodesk AEC Collection.


Image courtesy of TVS Design

LOD resources

See how Levels of Development help creators and recipients of 3D models achieve a shared understanding and avoid BIM blunders.


Trace the evolution of building information modeling from its inception to current applications.


See how BIM helped bring sustainability and inclusivity to Notre-Dame de Paris’s new landscape design.


Frequently asked questions (FAQ) on LOD

What are the Levels of Development in BIM?

Levels of Development (LOD) in building information modeling (BIM) establish a standardized framework for specifying the level of detail and accuracy in BIM models throughout different project phases. Starting from LOD 100, which represents basic design intent, the levels progress to LOD 500, capturing as-built conditions. LOD 200 refines spatial relationships; LOD 300 provides detailed design information for construction documents; LOD 350 caters to construction documentation and shop drawings; and LOD 400 focuses on fabrication and assembly details. LOD 500 focuses on the model reflecting actual installed elements for facility management.

What is the difference between LOD 100 and 200?

LOD 100 and LOD 200 represent different levels of detail in building information modeling (BIM) models during the early stages of an Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) project. LOD 100 offers a basic depiction of design intent, emphasizing shape and location to provide an initial visual concept. LOD 200 enhances the model with more quantities, sizes, shapes, and spatial relationships of elements, aiding in preliminary design analysis and decisions.

What is the difference between LOD 200 and 300?

LOD 200 and LOD 300 represent distinct levels of detail in building information modeling (BIM) models within the context of architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) projects. LOD 200 advances beyond basic conceptual representation by introducing approximate quantities, sizes, shapes, and spatial relationships, aiding in preliminary design decisions during the schematic design phase. LOD 300 refines the model further by incorporating geometric information, specific sizes, shapes, and detailed components.

What is the difference between LOD 400 and 500?

LOD 400 and LOD 500 represent the highest levels of detail in building information modeling (BIM) models. LOD 400 advances beyond previous levels by providing detailed information essential for fabrication, assembly, and construction coordination. This data-rich model aids in producing shop drawings, facilitating prefabrication, and enhancing construction planning. LOD 500 stands as the pinnacle of detail and accuracy, aiming to capture as-built conditions and precise information for facility management. It ensures the BIM model reflects the actual installed elements of the building, proving invaluable for operations, maintenance, renovations, and future facility modifications. 

What is the difference between Levels of Development and Level of Detail?

Levels of Development (LOD) and Level of Detail (LoD) are concepts in building information modeling (BIM) that each have a distinct focus. LOD refers to a standardized framework that outlines the depth of information and precision within a BIM model throughout different project stages, ensuring clear communication and collaboration by specifying the precise information required for design, coordination, fabrication, and facility management. On the other hand, Level of Detail refers specifically to the complexity of a 3D model’s geometry, influencing its visual intricacy for rendering, visualization, and simulations. 

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