Skip to main content

Ready for LOD & RIBA: The Power of Content-Enabled Modelling

LOD content-rich model in Stabicad

There is incredible value in leveraging content-rich models — it not only adds context to designs but also helps deliver project information throughout the construction workflow.

For example, if a contractor on-site were given access to a mere initial concept model, it would be of little value because it wouldn’t contain enough actionable information to offer any real guidance. The model would lack context and not accurately reflect the real-world working environment. 

Level of Detail (LOD) refers to the reliability of 3D models based on the geometry detail, and data included and how useful it can be across the phases of construction. The ascending LOD scale is an industry-recognised hierarchy that communicates the real-world usefulness of the models.

Think of this scale as a procedural mirror of the RIBA Plan of Work. As the operational UK standard, the RIBA Plan of Work outlines stages for planning, design, and building processes from conception to completion. LOD sets out to do the same but with the goal of defining the reliability of 3D models along the stages. 

As a way of understanding LOD, consider how it follows the same general progression of the RIBA Plan of Work from 0 (Strategic Definition) to 7 (In Use):

LOD 100 - Conceptual design

Outline proposals for structural designs and building service systems, outline specifications and establish preliminary cost information. At this level, elements are not represented geometrically. Instead, elements are represented with symbols or another generic representation.

LOD 300 - Documentation

This level typically includes information about elements' size, shape, location, orientation, and quantity. Prepare coordinated and updated proposals for structural design, building services systems, outline specifications, and more in accordance with the design programme. Measurements can be made directly from the model.

LOD 350 - Model coordination

Prepare technical design to include all architectural, structural, and building services information. Establish subcontractor design specifications according to the design programme. At this level, parts that are needed for coordination with other building systems are included in the model.

LOD 400 - Ready for construction

The model contains enough detail for offsite fabrication and onsite construction. At this level, the model has adequate “as-constructed” information.

LOD 500 - Field verified & beyond

For facilities management purposes, some models must reach LOD 500. The elements' dimensions, location, quantity, and orientation have been verified, and the models are ready for installation, maintenance, and operation. At this level, the model has adequate “as-built” information.

As LOD increases, so does the value of the information contained in the model. Knowing how to leverage the correct construction content is a make-or-break for project-wide communication. 

LOD types of content offered in Stabicad

Each LOD has a time and place, and each level comes with a unique set of advantages and drawbacks. The defining characteristic that sets each apart is the details in geometry and the amount of information contained in each LOD. 

From generic 2D symbols without geometry to create mechanical and electrical diagrams to detailed MEP content for high-LOD models, the different types of content in Stabicad allow you to create accurate and reliable models:

Parametric generic content

Parametric Generic content

Stabicad provides generic content for projects, allowing users to specify the material and create their own parametric generic content. Generic calculation elements are also available to represent a provider (Water meter, Boiler, etc.) or consumer (Heating equipment, sanitary equipment, etc.).

This way, the user can already calculate without creating a detailed design. All this content is free for Stabicad customers in all countries. This content is useful during RIBA Stages 3 and 4, Spatial Coordination and Technical Design Phase, and has a LOD 300 to LOD 350.

Parametric manufacturer content

Parametric manufacturer content

With Stabicad, you can also make use of manufacturer specific content. The base geometry of the elements is the same as the generic content, but where generic content lacks article information, specific content contains parameters like article number, manufacturer name, technical specifications and even a deep link to the documentation of this specific article.

This content is useful during RIBA Stage 4, Technical Design Phase, and has a LOD 350 to LOD 400.

  • Manufacturer specific with manufacturer data
  • Contains technical information
  • Participates in sizing calculations
  • Simple base parametric geometries with correct manufacturer based sizes
  • Good for technical design
  • Symbolic representation included

Highly detailed manufacturer content from MEPcontent

Highly detailed manufacturer content from MEPcontent

MEPcontent is used for the different rage of MEP equipment, from chillers, boilers, pumps, valves, etc., used to design Building Services Systems. This content is often more detailed than the geometries found in Stabicad. Content found on MEPcontent contains, similar to manufacturer specific content in Stabicad, article information, correct dimensions and technical data.

This type of content can also be used in calculations in the same way as manufacturer specific content in Stabicad. This type of content can be placed directly via Stabicad via the embedded MEPcontent browser. This content is great for the technical design phase. 

  • Manufacturer specific with manufacturer data
  • Contains technical information
  • Participating in sizing calculations
  • Advanced parametric geometries close to reality with correct manufacturer based sizes
  • Good for technical design
  • Symbolic representation included

How Stabicad supports LOD and the RIBA work stages

Backed by sophisticated content integration features, Stabicad helps you get the LOD levels right at each project stage. With up-to-date UK localised parametric content, generic or manufacturer specific, and full access to MEPcontent BIM libraries, Stabicad is the design and detailing software specially developed with M&E engineers in mind. 

The process is simple:  

1. Create diagrams directly in Revit. Users can use the Mechanical Diagram module to construct mechanical schematics using CIBSE-approved symbols. In addition, the electrical module will automatically generate schematics, either in Revit or from Revit to ProDesign 2D.

2. Improve your mechanical model constructibility. Adding specific, detailed information to the symbols in the mechanical schematics increases the mechanical model's constructibility.

3. Add generic or manufacturer-specific 3D content to the model. You can then link the generic or manufacturer specific 3D content with the symbols of your mechanical schematics. This lets you easily track whether your 3D design complies with your mechanical schematics. 

4. Size and calculate systems for coordination. Once the specific equipment is in place, you can size and calculate the system, beginning the coordination process or generating the required schedules.

5. Create accurate prefab drawings. With this information, a prefab drawing can be made and used as a blueprint for MEP services construction.

Learn more about taking your design workflow to the next level using Stabicad.