Classification Schemes

In considering a consistent approach to classification systems plus naming and tagging conventions to support industry requirements, BIM-MEPAUS have established guidelines and workflows to ensure a single point of truth – to create a true Common Data Environment (CDE). The use of consistent system, service and component names and tags are critical for reliable data management and analysis, engineering calculations and workflow automation.

Several product classification tables were examined for use by BIM-MEPAUS, ultimately it was determined a discipline-based structure with a higher level of product sub-classification and greater alignment with industry practice was needed.

There are some clear benefits to a classification number-based system due to its ability to be applied globally without the complexity of language translation. The BIM-MEPAUS Product Table uses the Virtual Building Quality System Codes (VBIS) as well as providing mapping to Uniclass and OmniClass Product classifications, where these are available.

The BIM-MEPAUS website also provides for reference the current Uniclass and OmniClass Product Tables in a modified format that provides insights into their underlying structure and classification methodology

Once the system has been tested it is planned to add a tiered numbering system.

Many project design and construction documentation packages have also been reviewed to assess industry practice and assure that the naming conventions developed can meet industry requirements for scope and clarity.

The following key points are noted:

  • Current industry alignment with respect to naming conventions is reasonably consistent, however there is no single point of truth in terms of naming conventions which is limiting the ability to implement reliable and efficient digital design and construction workflows and digital asset management analytics.
  • Revit MEP presents challenges when attempting to align Revit terminology and practices with established industry terminology and practices. BIM-MEPAUS has taken its priority to develop a unified framework of definitions and naming conventions that are consistent across all disciplines – where conflicts arise between Industry Practice and Revit such as the meaning of “Discipline” these have been defined within this Guideline with the purpose of assuring removal of ambiguity.
  • The use of client specific naming conventions can be quite problematic for project delivery stakeholders and there are significant benefits to be obtained at a project and property portfolio level in adopting a national standard.