What problems can be solved with Smart Properties?

What problems can be solved with Smart Properties?

Working with different models from different disciplines can be challenging, especially when the other users have different BIM levels and skills and use different standards.

Of course, every BIM requirement should be defined and specified in the BIM Execution Plan (BEP), but working as a BIM manager should be something else rather than chasing people to add or modify parameters for you to have everything to perform model validation.

You will inform your team members about a missing parameter or a misuse of a classification system. Smart Properties, however, will allow you to ‘clean up’ the model your way, to continue with your added value performing model validation.

Would you like to learn more about Smart Properties?

1. Missing properties

You might have experienced trying to check elements, but you need a specific property in the component, so the Smart views show you the elements appropriately grouped. With Smart Properties, you will be able to check several properties, group the elements your way, and then use this grouping for your Smart views, Clash rules or Lists.

For example, you want to list by classification, but the elements lack this specific property, or it is not correctly informed. You can search elements with the following characteristics:

  • IfcElement = Wall
  • Loadbearing = Yes

And group them at the Smart Property “22.13 – Structural Walls”.

2. Non-tidy data

Users can add data at different places because of a lack of experience or having non-clear rules, so finding the relevant parameter or definition isn’t easy. With Smart Properties, you can search the data in other parameters and group the elements your way.

For example, some users add the material name at the element type, some of them use the material name field properly, but others add this data in the description. You can group them all and define a Smart Property to find elements easily. Search in the element properties:

  • Type contains “Steel”
  • The description includes “Steel”
  • “Material name” is “Steel”

And create a Smart property named “Material: Steel”.

3. Multi-language properties

You might be involved in a multi-cultural, international team. Your role as BIM manager is of great value for the team and project. We will help you. Your team might be using different languages or even local rules. With Smart Properties, you can now tidy and group these properties for better coordination without changing the local team workflows and merging them into a single multicultural property.

Example 1: language

Search material names in different languages: Hout, Holz, Madera, Fusta, Madeira, Bois, Дрво, خشب, and Ligno. Now they are all listed under the Smart Property ‘Wood’.

Example 2: different classification systems

You can find element libraries in local BIM standards working in international teams. So, you can merge these different codes and classifications into a single one:

  • In the Netherlands, NL-SfB – 52.10
  • In Spain, GuBIMClas –

Can be related or ‘translated’ to UniClass – EF_55_15.

4. (Re)name properties

When it’s about listing elements and properties, you may be using the name assigned when creating the IFC file… but maybe you’d like to ‘rename’ this property for presentation purposes. Let us give you an example:

The property Is External has two original possible values: True or False. Listing elements and listing by True or False might confuse. You can use Smart Properties to ‘rename’ the value this way:

  • “IsExternal” = “true” -> EXTERNAL
  • “IsExternal” = “false” -> INTERNAL

Or another example:

When using Fire Resistance, the property could be informed by text so that the modeler could use: FR-30, FR-60, FR-90, FR-120, or maybe 30mins, 60mins, 90mins or 120mins. If you create a list with these values, you end up with eight columns. By using Smart Properties to ‘clean up’ the data, you can unify the values your way:

  • Fire Resistance containing “30” – rename to “FR30mins”
  • Fire Resistance containing “60” – rename to “FR60mins”
  • And so on…
  • And even: Fire Resistance “does not contain” 30, 60, 90, 120 – assign value “CHECK VALUE”

5. (Re)use your Grouping

Once you have your federated model tidy and the elements grouped your way, you may want to be even more efficient. You can use Smart Properties for the already known and used Smart views, Clash rules and Lists. You can prepare Smart Properties to find and group elements and use them to check:

  • Materials with Smart views
  • Clash rules by material
  • QTO for the different materials in the project

This way, if you change your Smart Property definition to add another value, material or local classification, all the Smart views, the Clash rules, and the Lists will immediately update to the new filtering, and you will be back to managing and coordinating tasks where your value is needed.

Smart Properties are dynamic

Perhaps the most beautiful aspect of Smart Properties is that they are highly dynamic. They are calculated on the fly and very fast. This means that with new model versions, you don’t have any redoing of work: definitions for Smart Properties are stored in the BIMcollab project and not in the models. After loading one or more new models, newly calculated Smart Properties are directly available for use!

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