The traditional fragmented nature of the construction industry along with the ad hoc matter in which investments in ICT have been made has resulted in a key cause of the poor performance and inefficiencies of the industry being attributed to the communication and exchange of information. The concept of Building Information Modelling (BIM) emerged to address the seamless exchange of information throughout the life of a facility following early modelling efforts focused on providing a solution to data exchange problems between several CAD and analysis systems. On the other hand, ICT supported collaborative teamwork has been an important aspect of building lifecycle management over the years in order to address the problems related to the fragmented nature of the industry. In parallel, recent studies in the field have demonstrated that BIMs will play an important role in facilitating collaboration. Most of the studies related to collaborative computing in construction have focused on facilitating the coordination and communication aspects of collaboration. In contrast, this paper proposes a system level and BIM-based approach for facilitating collaboration through the entire lifecycle of the building. In this context, the paper presents two design patterns that can be used as a foundation in formulating the design of information systems for BIM-based synchronous collaboration. The proposed patterns will help the system analysts/designers to focus on a system level picture when tackling recurring problems in the design of collaborative environments. Following a brief summary on the history of information modelling in the construction industry, this paper reviews the storage and exchange mechanisms of BIMs and then proposes two design patterns as a means to facilitating model-based synchronous collaboration.