model content plan

What is a Model Content Plan (MCP) in BIM?

A model content plan (MCP) is a communication tool that specifies the minimum object content that will reside in a BIM model for cost planning and estimation purposes.

It can be presented as a chart or a table listing the building elements for the project and the required model content of each component. This is based on an agreed standard method of measurement.  

This model content plan can exist independently in a project or within a BIM Execution Plan (BEP). This BIM Execution Plan outlines the details of how the project team members agree to be collaborating, communicating and exchange information; when it will happen and what will be developed and shared.

Model Content Plan – Defining Quality of BIM Models

The quality of BIM model content is measured according to an agreed classification system or standard measurement method. This is specified in the model content plan and the BIM execution plan which are contractual documents.

A BIM model will contain both graphical and non-graphical data that describes aspects of the project being modelled. This data is helpful to all project team members for visualization purposes, project documentation, clash detection and quantity extraction.

Further, to facilitate usage by other team members, the designer needs to create, place and export their models in such as way that supports other members’ functions. Especially where this model data will be used for quantification purposes by the project quantity surveyors, it needs to have the right information to support these functions.

Consequently, the model content plan needs to capture what needs to be modelled at what stage of the project, the measurement unit types, and at what stage of the model development that information should appear.

It forms a good practice to first discuss the needs of each project team member before starting any BIM project. This helps in making sure that all members participate fully in the process.  Also, it makes them aware of the information needs of the other members and creates their data in a way that will support these information needs.

Typical Contents of a BIM Model Content Plan

The following is some of the information that may be specified in a BIM Model Content Plan:

  1. Naming protocols for space, room, equipment, system, materials and assets,
  2. Building element classification system,
  3. Object information parameters,
  4. Units of measurement and dimensional accuracy,
  5. Location, origin and orientation of models,
  6. Applying equipment naming conventions,
  7. View naming protocols, and
  8. Quantity transfer procedure and schedules.

This guide establishes an agreed level of information to be input into the model and the conventions that should be followed to establish uniformity (especially where a big project team is involved).


We have seen that a model content plan in BIM refers to the document that shows what has been agreed by project team members to be the minimum content to be modelled in the BIM models.

It is a way of setting the model user requirements in place early on during the project inception. This helps the model creators to understand what information they should include in the model to help the model consumers use it for decision-making.

Editor’s Note: Most of the insights in this article have been adopted from the “Australia and New Zealand BIM Best Practice Guidelines”, published jointly by the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors and New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NZIQS).

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1 comment

    […] information requirements of others and produce and share the right information, at the right time, in the right file formats, and with the right details to help them make decisions faster and execute the project […]

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