How to implement Classifications in Revit IFC export

AEC Collaboration is a daily challenge, so is producing quality IFC files for projects. Authoring software, such as Revit, is powerful, but it is not always simple to achieve a proper setup for your IFC production. Also, as the industry is fast evolving, we place more and more data in our models, creating a need for object classification, in various kinds of ways. Let’s find out how to export high-quality IFC files from Revit, including proper classification, by getting over some limitations.

Some solutions allow you to collect and share your construction project data, but also help you organising it such as Bimsync. A structured data set is called a Library, and Bimsync allows you to automatically create your own libraries based on the classification of objects.

Classifications are needed to organise the content of your project, across multiple disciplines and IFC files. Common ones are Uniformat, Omniclass, etc. You may need more as you get deeper into your projects.

How to set up your Revit families:

As a starting point, let's have a look at IFC export from Autodesk Revit. As you can see in this picture, objects in models can be organized in more than one way. Here we are using Shape, Color, Size.


Also, clients often require from consultants and contractors the use of specific codes and attributes. To find these values in the IFC files, you have to place those in the correct class, named IfcClassification. You can set as many as needed.

In Bimsync you will be able to gather these classifications and organize them automatically into Libraries.

Currently, out of the box, Revit provides a single parameter for Classification, to be exported as IfcClassification: Assembly Code, and it is a Type parameter.

So, how to solve this?

Parameter setup

As I had myself the question on a project, I had to do some research, as the answer was not easy to find at first glance. Kudos (again), to Simon Moreau, who wrote an excellent couple of posts around the same topic.
You will find them here: IFC from Revit Part 1 / IFC from Revit Part 2

The solution appears to be quite simple: add parameters in Revit with the proper structure, and you will have more than a single classification out of your Revit project.

The parameters must be set as such:

For this blog post, I didn’t make them Shared Parameters, but that would be a good idea when you are setting up your own project.

The name of the parameter is important: ClassificationCode

The next parameters for classifications will be:

ClassificationCode(2)

ClassificationCode(3)

ClassificationCode(4)

Etc…..the latter being (9)

Type is Text, Group is IFC parameter. The parameters can be either Type or Instance. Select the Categories they apply to.

After this setup, you will find them in the properties of the elements:

The values you will put must also follow a precise string formatting:

[ClassificationCode]Reference:Name

[BS_COLOR]Blue:Color

It can be a bit confusing, as the Reference stands for the VALUE of your classification, and Name for DESCRIBING what it is. This just takes a bit of getting used to.

Once you are all set, export your IFC and check in a desktop app such as Solibri that your inputs are correct:

Bimsync libraries

The Revit part is now completed, let’s go on to push this IFC file to your Bimsync project.

At first, after the upload, you will not notice a change when selecting an object. You have some decisions to make.

Go to the Libraries tab on the left, and select your first Classification from the drop down arrow:

Selecting your classification will give you access to what Bimsync found in your file, and will allow you to ACTIVATE this particular classification for your project.

After a brief moment that is necessary for Bimsync to process your elements, a message will inform you:

Repeat this process with any other classification you added in your IFC file.

By design, Bimsync supports all the most commonly shared classifications schemes available at the moment, such as Omniclass, Uniformat, Uniclass, bSDD, etc.

From here, any object will be connected to a library, and therefore will be available for an easy and fast selection in the Bimsync interface. It allows you to collect similar objects according to their classification system across multiple models.

Note: If ever an object as no value, it will not be displayed in the library.

To select the objects in the viewer, click on the number at the end of a row.

You can explore the list of the elements by clicking on the drop down menu.

When you select an element, the information panel to the right will display the Classification/Library attached to it.

Now you are all set to explore the endless possibilities that a well classified construction project in the Bimsync platform gives you.

If you find valuable information for your project in this post, please share!

Click to download the IFC and Revit file as a zip.

By Julien Benoit, Catenda


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