Building Content Summit North America- Whats in a Name?

When Shakespeare wrote “a rose by any other name, would smell as sweet…”  do you think he was considering naming BIM Content for various software platforms?  I like to think that if he was, he may have wrote “a rose by any other name, smells like garbage, so lissen: Yer gonna name that thing like i told you or i’m gonna break this ruler on your forehead.”  Seriously, who says you cant have a modern interpretation on classic literature? Binomial-Nomenclature

I’ve been building more content than usual this week, as part of a project I’m working on for a client that involves retrofitting a very large library.  Since I’ve been alternating between Revit, Bulk Rename Utility, Powershell ISE, and Winamp, I haven’t been on twitter as much as usual while I’ve been hammering on content.  But i jumped on twitter for a respite this afternoon, and came across a tweet by @bondbryanBIM, pointing out that object naming is totally irrelevant to a good data structure. My own thoughts aside (i completely agree with @bondbryanBIM on this point, but you may not, and i respect your right to favor the incorrect answer…) it was interesting to see that conversation take off, on the heels of having an email conversation with @TheRevitKid about Content Standards and Naming Conventions:

What does a name need to do, for you?

To BondBryanBIM’s point, my naming standards aren’t used for organization within a Building Information Model itself:  The objects are classified through their properties, once they are in the model.  The Components File Name- to me- serves as a “least common denominator” for sorting, providing base level functionality information to the user before they go to use it in BIM software at all, so they have an understanding of what options the component will present the user with. In an excerpt from an e-book that i sent @TheRevitKid, i liken Component Naming to Binomial Nomenclature, for the classification of species.


For what its worth, here is the component name from @BondBryanBIM’s post:

Bar Stool 19

The same component with the same options in my library would be named:


As has been a common theme with the posts about the Building Content Summit, the difference in these names isn’t that BBB uses ArchiCAD and i use Revit.  Certainly, we have both made decisions about what the objects name will be (and those decisions may be made differently), but were both acknowledging that an objects NAME is a lousy classifier, for an intelligent object in a Building Information Model. Ever had a clients BIM requirement that mandated you rename every object in your project to match their standards?  @StewartGH1970 chimed in with that one, but i’m sure it happens to a lot of us.  And it will keep happening, if we aren’t talking about THOSE issues as a group (with the owners, the clients, the software providers, all in the room).

As i said, it isn’t a software specific ecosystem, and it isn’t a software specific problem.  Last week i posted that i wanted to hear from people planning to attend, and i’m enthused to report that so far the responses come from all different trades and backgrounds… Including multiple BIM platform users, which is what we want!  Some experts to work the content “Engine Room” (where we will be tearing apart content to make it better on the fly) would be sweet, also!  Who wants to man the ArchiCAD, AECOSIM, or Sketchup Content ER?  Shoot me an email, or check out the BCS page:

July is around the corner!  Be there!

-Aaron Maller


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