BIM Object Naming Convention

In Computer terms most things are an object, therefore an object naming convention deals with all sorts of bizarre items not considered by most in the AEC Industry. The aim is to enable the transfer of information both person to person and aplication to application.

This AEC Object Naming convention is specifically aimed at the naming of AEC based objects found in BIM software such as Types in Revit families and / or Styles in AutoCAD Architecture / MEP etc…

For data to move from one system to another a common naming convention needs to be applied to all these objects along with agreed methodologies for BIM content.

BS8541-1:2012 provides the framework for naming objects and this includes objects with or without metadata. It is assumed  that all BIM objects include metadata and that the classification does not need to be included within the object name.

For specific guidance on Revit Families please refer to the Revit family convention document.

General Guidance on Naming Conventions

To ensure compatability between BIM \ CAD software and other data sources such as databases etc the use of special characters MUST NOT be used in any naming conventions.

Naming conventions must be consistent accross all software to be used. Whilst many characters can be used in CAD and other software the consequences of using special characters may not be obvious until data is passed to other software. Therefore the following best parctise should be followed:-

Only the letters (A to Z), hyphen(-), underscore(_) and numbers (0-9) shall be used in the naming CAD / BIM filenames, blocks, cells, objects, layers, styles, property sets, families or parameters.

The following characters MUST NOT be used:-

  • ! “ £ $ % ^ & * ( ) + = < > ? | \  / @ ’ ~ # } ] ¬ ` ‘
  • Spaces within names MUST NOTbe used.

The only two special characters that should be used should be “-” and “_”.

The use of these should comply with the examples set by BS1192:2007.

Fields should be seperated by a “-“.

Components within fields should be seperated by an “_”,

Please refer to BS8541-1:2012 for further details.

The Name should be defined using the following three fields:

SourceTypeSubtype / Product
Author or manufacturerDiscription of type of objectSpecific Type or product information to provide a unique identifier

For a multiple component objects the naming convention should follow the following guidelines set out for the specific object or family types.

Ownership can by assigned as the first field in any object and is used to depict the author of the content in order to define ownership, risk and liability.

Wall Naming Example: