The term BIMwash is derived from Whitewash, “a cheap white paint or coating of chalked lime used to quickly give a uniform clean appearance to a wide variety of surfaces”. Metaphorically, to whitewash means to “gloss over or cover up vices, crimes or scandals or to exonerate by means of […] biased presentation of data” (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2003).
In essence, BIMwash is the attempt to hide imperfections (BIM Incompetency), while at the same time, promoting an inaccurate view of one’s BIM capability or credentials. Using a more measureable definition, BIMwash is when:
BIM Claim > BIM Competency
That is, BIMwash exists when an individual, organization or project team’s BIM Claim is significantly higher than its actual BIM Competency to deliver on these claims. This formula signifies that, in order to accurately measure BIMwash, BIM Competency must first be understood and measured.
 BIM Claim is what an individual, organization or project team choses to publically identify as their extent of BIM competency.
 BIM Competency is a term that combines BIM capability and maturity. BIM Competency can be applied to individuals, organizations and project teams. This will be further explained later on.
 If BIM Claim < BIM Competency, then there is a missed marketing opportunity!
SOURCE: BIM ThinkSpace, 2011. Episode 16: Understanding BIM Wash [WWW Document]. (accessed 4.17.21).