BIM object standardisation is now achievable with the release of the NATSPEC BIM Properties Generator.

To date the key issues restricting the exchange and interoperability of BIM objects, between disciplines and projects, has been inconsistencies in properties, property naming and object designation. The new NATSPEC BIM Properties Generator resolves these issues. It is an upgraded and extended online version of the NATSPEC BIM Object/Element Matrix that is more powerful and simpler to use. It is an online tool for generating properties associated with BIM objects and is designed to make the process of creating and sharing BIM content that much easier.

The Properties Generator includes objects based on buildingSMART's Industry Foundation Classes (IFC), using IFC4 as the default, with the variations from IFC2x3 also provided. Objects also include classification data for major systems such as NATSPEC, Uniclass, Omniclass, Masterformat and Uniformat.

Users can choose to view properties from various sources such as IFC4, IFC 2x3, BIMForum LOD Specification, COBie and NATSPEC and filter these properties to their needs based on a range of property categories such as cost data, manufacturer data and geometric data they might require.

Selected properties can then be exported to a pdf or excel file, from which various file formats can be generated to enable them to be imported into BIM authoring and BIM ready software applications.

It is anticipated that the NATSPEC BIM Properties Generator will be further developed and enhanced in future releases, including the possibility of adding additional properties as desired by major clients. Refer to the ‘Future releases’ tab at the top of the page for items that could be considered for future releases.

This first release of the Properties Generator includes over 120 objects and their corresponding properties. This initial set of objects is confined to generic architectural and structural objects, primarily aligned to the corresponding elements from the IFC4 schema. It was decided to implement the requirements of the IFC schema within the Properties Generator as IFC is an established global open source schema for properties and data exchange, which is already supported in the major BIM authoring platforms and will enable greater interoperability of objects between different platforms.

IFC4 has been used as the default IFC designation for the IfcElementType and PredefinedType for each object. However, if a difference in designation exists between IFC4 and IFC2x3, this has been noted under each object description. Both IFC4 and IFC2x3 properties can be selected for each object included in the Properties Generator.

Mechanical, Electrical and Hydraulic/Plumbing (MEP) services objects have intentionally not been included in this first release of the Properties Generator, as the BIM-MEPaus initiative already provides standardised MEP content.

Instructions on how to use and navigate the Properties Generator are included in the 'Instructions' tab at the top of the page.

NATSPEC would welcome any feedback or comments you may have on this first release of the Properties Generator, refer to the 'Feedback' tab at the top of the page.