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Australian BIM standards - Layer Naming Conventions

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Hi All,

I have recently completed the BIM Manager program through Graphisoft Learn. I work at a small architecture practice based in Sydney, Australia and I am in the process of creating naming conventions for our Archicad template & BIM manual. However, I am unsure of what the typical layer naming conventions are in Australia? I have looked on NATSPEC and cannot find any guidance for naming conventions (specifically layers).

My understanding (correct me if I am wrong) is that Australia uses the Uniclass 2015 classification system. Should I be creating a layer naming convention that uses this system? For example, I am contemplating creating a layer naming convention based on the UK BIM standard BS 1192 which uses the following naming convention:

Role - Classification/Element - Presentation - Alias

The above seems like it could be challenging when creating layers for multiple scales (1:100, 1:50 etc.)

Or should I just go ahead and create an internal naming system for layers?

Any guidance on this would be very helpful!

Thanks in advance.

You don't really need different layers for different scales. Each scale represents specific type of the drawing. For example if it's General Arrangement plan, it will go on one scale only (1:50). The different scale for the same plan can be for the location plan (1:200). Or detailed interior plan (1:20). For all these cases you can have different layers (I guess for dimensions and annotation only - general, location or site, interior). I personally do not recommend to create your own layer systems but use national standards instead just because into developing national standards been involved more people with better experience and knowledge, then one person can have. Of course you can create your own system, but then it might take years for you to understand it better and modify it and finally come to the more less same results that initially was given in national standards.

You can take a look how I used Uniclass layering system for UK in the template I developed:

Barry Kelly
I guess it all depends on the type of work you are doing, whether you will be working with other companies (sharing files), or if authorities demand copies of the files that have to be in a certain format (do they do that in AUS?).

If you don't need to follow some kind of national standard (I find them so confusing) then don't.
Do what works best for you.
If it is just you (your company) using the plans, then make it a simple as possible for you to use and understand.

It does take time to develop a good template.
I would be very surprised if you can get it right at the first attempt.
Mine has been going for 20 years, and still gets tweaked from time to time.

Depending on the type of work you do, you may even find one template to fit all is not a good idea.
You may need different templates for different types of work.


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Hi Jarrod,

You might want to reach out to the experts below as they have all done a bit of work in this area and have incorporated Uniclass and alike.
Matthew Johnson - has done a lot of work (and shared it at events) on classification systems in Archicad
Quinton Cooper - would have tackled this obstacle well on the QWB project.
The guys at Macinteract - I am sure they would have tested several layer naming systems

Hope that helps.
I think all the guys above on on this forum so hopefully they see this.
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Nader Belal
In case that the contacts offered by @Kristian Bursell do not offer a suitable solution, or that they don't point you put the norms and regulation for Aussi Layer Naming Standards, and in case that (correct me if I'm wrong) Uniclass 2015 classification system is also in Australia, then I believe that using EF Elements/function table and ZZ CAD tables would be more than adequate.

The benefit of this idea, is that you are using Layers as another another dimension extension for describing contained data without over simplification, or over complicating the process of their creation, usage and project administration.

Another version of this idea, is by using Ss System Table with Zz CAD, which after multiple trials from my part have found out to be extremely inefficient and time wasting due to the sheer number of classifications in the Ss System, and not being perfectly aligned to constructional practices (depending on where you're located).
A good friend of mine have once told me that I´m so brute that I´m capable of creating a GDL script capable of creating GDLs.

We use the MacInteract template as our base. It's definitely worth speaking to them, but I'll say already that their layer names don't use Uniclass/etc standards. To be honest, if you're doing a project of any reasonable size or complexity then the normal standards are unlikely to be suitable.

The driver here is view control and making sure that certain notes and elements show on 1 type of drawings and not another. Big culprits in this are Archicad's inability to create true reflected ceiling plans, and note anchor point per view for example.

What we do is have our internal office layer system that is part of the template and speeds our work and automates view control as much as possible, but then use the layer mapping in the export function to allow DWG export to produce record drawings that comply with a clients/consultant naming standards. The mapping function is pretty straightforward.
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