Abstract This study provides a review of important issues for ‘Building Information Modelling’ (BIM) tools and standards and comprehensive recommendations for their advancement and development that may improve BIM technologies and provide a basis for inter-operability, integration, model-based communication, and collaboration in building projects. Based on a critical review of Building Product Modelling, including the development of standards for exchange and the features of over 150 AEC/O (Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Operation) tools and digital models, a methodological framework is proposed for improvements to both BIM tools and schemata. The features relevant to the framework were studied using a conceptual process model and a ‘BIM System-of-Systems’ (BIM-SoS) model. The development, implementation, and use of the BIM Schema are analysed from the standpoint of standardisation. The results embrace the requirements for a BIM research methodology, with an example of methods and procedures, an R&D review with critique, and a multi-standpoint framework for developments with concrete recommendations, supported by BIM metrics, upon which the progress of tools, models, and standards may be measured, evaluated, streamlined, and judged. It is also proposed that any BIM Schema will never be ‘completed’ but should be developed as evolutionary ontology by ‘segmented standpoint models’ to better account for evolving tools and AEC/O practices.