Naming convention

Naming Convention for Scan to BIM projects

Consistent and easily recognizable naming for information is extremely vital in any building information modeling (BIM) project. However, the existing naming conversions are quite varied and complex that can make you difficult to follow.

To help BIM users, we will walk you through a series of important naming conventions. No more confusion – these conventions will help you create the well-structured model files. The client will know exactly what something is and who has done it. In this way, it will save BIM users a huge amount of time and effort.

At ViBIM, we apply these naming conventions for both completed and ongoing Scan to BIM projects. They are referred to the UK BIM standard, based on BIM users’ actual needs, and verified by Project Manager and BIM engineers of a real-life project.

1. The naming of a model file

Each Scan to BIM project usually involves lots of stakeholders. More and more information is shared digitally, the use of well-structured, consistent file naming becomes important. The understandable file name enables you to manage it easily and efficiently. The information fields included in the file name will help you know exactly what the file means. Even better, the logic file naming will help you:

  • Minimize error due to confusion of the file version;
  • Use the right file for the right project;
  • Utilize the right software version, avoid opening the wrong one, and saving the incorrect model file that triggers data error of the whole project team.

In real-life situations, the model file is named in accordance with the client’s Naming Protocol including fields “Description”, “Suitability”, and “Revision”.

From our view, the BIM file name should be unique to avoid duplication of information and to aid the export of information and interpretation. The file one should include the necessary information such as “Description”, “Suitability”, and “Revision”.

  • Description: Code for a project, Company name;
  • Suitability: Code for the status of data (WIP, Shared, published, etc);
  • Revision: Code for revision of data.

Let’s take a look at the following example for better understanding:

The name of the sample setup file: 44707-VB-01-ZZ-M3-G-0001_R2019-S0-P01.01

BIM naming convention - file name
The name of the published file that you send the client:
Company name code-44707-VB-01-ZZ-M3-G-0001_R2019-S0-P01.01-C.

With this well-structured naming method, you can easily understand what something is and who has created it.

  • “44707”: is the project code;
  • “VB”: is the code for the originator;
  • “01”: Volume 01;
  • “ZZ”: indicates where the file applies to multiple levels;
  • “M3”: indicates this is a 3D model file;
  • “G”: is the ground floor;
  • “0001”: is the unique number when concatenated with “file type” and “discipline”;
  • “R2019”: indicates that we use Revit version 2019 to create this file;
  • “P01”: Model version 01.

To ensure the information integrity of the whole project, you should base on the setup file and strictly follow the naming convention. Then, you can double-check by comparing the file sent and the setup file provided, make sure that it is sufficient information as prescribed.

BIM naming convention - file name
We apply this naming convention for the published file to the client or the file exported according to the project phase.

BIM naming convention - file name

2. Naming for Views, Schedules, and Level

Besides the file name, all views, schedules, and levels will also have their own naming convention. The name of Views, Schedule, and Levels can be varied on each project. However, they still need to comply with the general naming conventions.

The logical and structured views, schedules, and levels naming will actually be an enormous advantage to your next design stage. So in each BIM project we’ve executed, all views, schedules, and levels will be named in accordance with the client’s file naming protocol.

The following example will help you better understand how views, schedules, and levels should be named:

Schedules are named with the same form:

Schedule name

Like Schedule, the name of 3D Views is consistent with a general form.

BIM naming convention - view name
This will be applied whenever the modeler creates a new Schedule, Level, or duplicate any ones. After having already named for Schedules, Views, and Levels, you can double-check it on the Project Browser tab. Open all plans, sections, 3D views, and schedules to check and compare them with the available name in the template.

BIM naming convention - view name
With the two above parts, you understand the way how we name for the files, views, schedules, and levels in each BIM project. So do you know about standard naming conventions for BIM objects? If not, let’s keep reading on our article that specifies the naming standards for BIM elements in detail below.

3. BIM elements naming conventions

The right BIM object naming will help you classify and distinguish BIM elements by family, type, and instance. Moreover, this is of help to the designing process, schedules of the objects in the model. Each different object in the model has been conventionally named in a different way according to the standard protocol.

Naming conventions should be intuitive to aid information retrieval. The BIM object shall include properties and values that are consistently named.

BIM naming conventions
BIM naming conventions
Let’s see the following example for a better understanding. A note is that this naming convention is referred to as BIM Specification & Reference Guide and BIM checklist.

The name of a wall: VB-WALL-TYPE_THICKNESS.

In general, there will be five popular types of wall:


In which, “VB” – is the two-character code for the client, “EXT” is the external side of the wall, and “INT” stands for the internal side of the one.
wall naming

Naming for a window in the model: VB-WINDOW-TYPE-FORM.

Overall, there will be several popular types of window:


In which, “VB” – is the two-character code for the client, “ARCHED”, “RECTANGULAR” are the shape of the window.

BIM naming convention

The name of MEP elements: VB-DUCT-FORM.

There are several popular types of Ducts in the model:


mep element name

This BIM object naming convention is crucial in some specific cases aim to create high-quality BIM object, for example:

  • Case 1: You create a wall with a new thickness based on the existing wall in the template. In this case, you need to duplicate the object to adjust its thickness and name for the new thickness as prescribed.
  • Case 2: You create a loadable family, then you need to identify the exact Category – Family name – Family type as prescribed.

After naming for BIM objects, you can use the Schedule table to double-check. Click to Family tab in Project Browse tab to check the name of all BIM elements:

BIM naming conventions

BIM naming convention

BIM naming convention

At ViBIM, we apply this naming convention for all BIM projects. With the newly-created BIM objects, they need to be named as prescribed. Except for a few available system families, we will keep the predefined name.

For example: Create a loadable family “windows opening”:

  • Step 1: You identify the category window;
  • Step 2: Create a model;
  • Step 3: Name the family created in accordance with the standard protocol “VB-WINDOW_OPENING-ARCHED”

BIM naming convention

In the process of creating the BIM elements, there will be some important things you need to note to ensure the name of BIM ones is accurate:

  • Distinguish between the external wall and the internal one;
  • Distinguish between the defined wall and the undefined one;
  • Set the number sequentially 1,2,3…Should not be 1-3-4-5-7;
  • In case you don’t know how the object should be named, you can name it according to basic standards;
  • Be careful when renaming the family profile;
  • Check the BIM object name with Schedule.

BIM naming convention

In conclusion

Throughout lots of Scan to BIM projects we’ve implemented for the client, we realize that following the standard naming convention will bring an enormous advantage for the project team now and in the future. We believe if you do start to use these standards it will be fantastic for your BIM projects. You will be able to make these great searches, not just on one asset, but across all assets.

Do you follow these naming conventions for your documents, data, and models within a project? If not, let’s in touch with us to know more about them.