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template attribute naming


what are everyones preferred attribute naming conventions? I currently organize all my attributes by CSI division and/or drawing function (based on primary contribution to drawing set - as in layer/layer combo).

I would love to get my attributes more dynamically involved, but don't want to deal with the hassle of searching for jumbled surfaces, building materials, etc... 

I know expressions can be used to drop the first x digits of an attribute name, but that's a step that we just can't bake into the template and expect the average designer to stay on top of.

Maybe a thread of peoples surface/bMat/profile/composite naming conventions?

BIM solutions and trouble shooting (self proclaimed) expert


I have just been setting up our template and have used an approach based on 3 principles;

  1. All data should be in the model
  2. As little manual / dumb data should be entered as possible
  3. The model should be able to check and automate as much as possible for correctness.

So when it comes to attribute naming, I have used an approach where all necesary information should be included in the element name, separated by a ":" so for composites for example the name is CODE:Fire rating:Acoustic Rating and for surface materials it is CODE:Description:Supplier:Colour and then I use expressions (SPLIT) pull out the relevant pieces for labelling, creating checks, etc.  I haven't gone too deep into Building material or profile namings as yet, but for profiles am tending down the line of Talo 2000 (Finnish standard) code followed by a description to make it easier to manage otherwise the list gets cumbersome real quick.

Tony Fitzpatrick
Head of BIM

Co-Founder / CEO


For layers i use uniformat.


For surfaces I use the Harvard GSD material library organization system, but its not quite as good once your dealing with composites.


For building materials Masterformat sort of works, but also not in every case.

Tomasz Mlynarski
New York based Architect

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