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 other users have varying BIM skills and use different standards and terminology. Combining models that use different standards and technology can hinder your model validation process.

Of course, every BIM requirement should be defined and specified in the BIM Execution Plan (BEP), but working as a BIM manager should entail more than chasing people to add or modify parameters for you to have an up-to-date model to perform model validation. Luckily, the process of cleaning up the model can become a whole lot easier with the use of BIMcollab Zoom’s Smart Properties. They enable you to classify and restructure BIM data without having to ask the model authors to change their models. Let us take a look at five problems that can be solved with Smart Properties so you are able to continue with your model validation process.

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 sometimes add data in different places because of non-clear rules or a lack of experience. Finding the relevant parameter or definition can become difficult. 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. For example, search the following in the element properties:

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

And create a Smart property named “Material: Steel”. With this new Smart Property, you can easily find and group all elements made of steel!

3. Multi-language properties

As a BIM Manager, you might be working with a multi-cultural, international team. Your team might use different languages and local rules impacting the properties of elements in your model. With Smart Properties, you can now tidy and group these properties and merge them into a single, multicultural property. This allows for better coordination without having to change the local team workflows. Here’s some examples:

Example 1: language
Search material names in different languages: Hout, Holz, Madera, Fusta, Madeira, Bois, Дрво, خشب, and Ligno. Now, you can combine them all in the Smart Property ‘Wood’.

Example 2: different classification systems
Working with international teams, you can find element libraries in the local BIM standards. You can merge these different codes and classifications into a single Smart Property:

  • 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 what if you want to ‘rename’ this property for presentation purposes? Let us give you an example:

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

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

Additionally, 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 can become 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 related Smart views, Clash rules, and Lists will immediately update to the new filtering. This way, you can get back to managing and coordinating tasks and add your value where it 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 to redo any work. The definitions of your Smart Properties are stored in the BIMcollab project, not in the models. After loading new models, the newly calculated Smart Properties are directly available for use!

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