Last edited 18 Oct 2021



A document is a representation of information in a written, drawn or digital form. Construction and engineering projects are often complex, involving large quantities of information, and as a result, they can be 'document-heavy'.

An understanding of where documents are, who created them, what they are for, what there status is and how to retrieve them is extremely important in order to avoid confusion and mistakes. Projects, or organisations may implement document control systems to ensure that common and consistent approaches are adopted. For more information see: Document control.

Documents may be used to report on progress, convey design intent, obtain prices, formalise agreements and so on. There are a number of articles on Designing Buildings Wiki describing particular types of documents:

NB: The 'approved documents' provide guidance for how the building regulations can be satisfied in common building situations. For more information see: Approved documents.

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a very broad term that describes the process of creating and managing digital information about a built asset such as a building, bridge, highway, tunnel, and so on. It centres around the creation of employer's information requirements (EIR), which define the information that the employer wishes to procure in order to develop and operate a built asset. Setting this out in a contract document ensures that appropriate information is created in a suitable format at the right time. For more information see: Building information modelling.

Designing Buildings Anywhere

Get the Firefox add-on to access 20,000 definitions direct from any website

Find out more Accept cookies and
don't show me this again