BIMcollab Zoom introduces: Enhancing elements with Smart Properties
Menno Mekes can rightly be called a BIM expert. As a modeller and BIM manager at Arons and Gelauff Architects, he deals with digital models on a daily basis. He has also been a part of the BIM basic ILS expert committee for many years now. So it was for a good reason that we asked Menno, as a beta tester, to assess our latest feature in BIMcollab Zoom: the Smart Properties.
“After starting out as an AutoCAD drafter, I came into contact with BIM in 2010. Since then, I have been involved in numerous projects and introduced to all kinds of software. For model checking, we mostly used Solibri. This is a package with a lot of options, but it’s tough to use and difficult to learn. Since we work on the design side, we don’t usually need the full range of options offered by Solibri. We mainly use filters to check models visually and don’t apply very complex checking rules, which is why we now work a lot with BIMcollab Zoom.”
“Our experience working with BIMcollab Zoom has been very good. It is a light package, runs on any computer, looks good and is very simple to learn. That also makes it easy to explain to new users. One of the features we use the most in Zoom is Smart Views, where we can apply our own sets of settings to quickly search the model for a specific element or component. Now, with Smart Properties, this is getting a great upgrade.”
For model checking, we mostly used Solibri. This is a package with a lot of options, but it’s tough to use and difficult to learn … We mainly use filters to check models visually and don’t apply very complex checking rules, which is why we now work a lot with BIMcollab Zoom.– Menno Mekes, BIM manager at Arons and Gelauff Architects
“Well, one common problem within a BIM workflow, when working with a group of diverse stakeholders, is keeping an uniform approach to naming conventions. You want to create a good federated model, where the naming standard is the same for everyone. If a name has a different symbol like ‘/’ or ‘–’, the computer already considers it a different property input. You can see this in the NL-SfB coding that we use in the Netherlands in particular. The name for that classification should preferably be ‘NL-SfB table 1’, but a lot of different notations are used. What you also see is the classification being entered correctly, but the name is in ‘Uniformat’ standard, for instance. That’s an American classification system that has nothing to do with NL-SfB. To tackle this, you have to rely on classifications to gather all the differences together. Although I think it’s best to solve this problem at the source, we now use Solibri Classifications for this purpose. And from now on, we can also do the same with the Smart Properties in BIMcollab Zoom, which is easier to define and faster to use.”
we now use Solibri Classifications for this purpose. And from now on, we can also do the same with the Smart Properties in BIMcollab Zoom, which is easier to define and faster to use.– Menno Mekes, BIM manager at Arons and Gelauff Architects
Uniformity means zero ambiguity, which in turn improves findability. “Together with BIMcollab, I’ve contributed to a number of aspects including NAA.K.T., the unambiguous material designation, an example of how to use tile 4.7 from BIM basic ILS. It gives users a standard reference point by starting the naming convention with Name, Characteristic and Application, e.g. Metal_aluminium_plate.“
By re-classifying (or also classifying) the elements in your model using SP according to NAA.K.T., you can suddenly filter the elements individually according to Name, Characteristic or Application and whatever other fields you link to them. This offers great advantages in terms of the findability of information for all the processes: design, procurement, implementation, maintenance and so on. It allows you to quickly find out the status of the aluminium window frames, for example, or how much concrete is being used in the project. And it can be sorted according to all concrete or only according to the cast-in-place application or prefab element. That is very quick and convenient.
Being able to decompose a Property-value is one of the most powerful features of Smart Properties. This way it is possible to filter elements based on one of the fields.
The model remains pure
Smart Properties give you additional tabs in BIMcollab Zoom, such as a property set where you can deconstruct properties such as the NL-SfB and NAA.K.T examples. There is also an easier way of doing it, by simply creating a set for collecting data in. This allows you to rename properties that use a different convention than you would like and to simply display the value. “We use this principle when we make changes, for example. In our company, we have renamed two classifications: ‘status’ and ‘status_date’ into ‘Change – description’ and ‘Change – date’. This gives all the users more insights.”
With Smart Properties, anyone can create, use and export Custom Psets to a spreadsheet without storing them in the IFC. This keeps the model pure. Because Smart Properties are easy to use, it’s users will certainly be able to create Smart Properties quickly and easily in BIMcollab Zoom.
Try Smart Properties for 30-days completely free here.