Quest for Hidden Efficiencies

How can we capture a few percentage points of efficiency, time, and money?

Lots of ways! Today, let’s chat naming organizations.

In our ongoing professional growth, we have already begun to model with NO WARNINGS, right? If not, you are failing AEC and yourselves, friends and families… no joke… that said (and back to a place for more potential efficiency and effectiveness) let’s get “organizized” :)

One of the myriad documents to track and manage I suggest creating is a nice list of all families used (and appropriate to use) in a project (See Figures 1 and 2). These documents are shared and read and ACTUALLY LEARNED!

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figures 1 and 2 illustrate the document in question… a list is included at the end of this article as well.

I wish to lead you down a path to being (or becoming) an autodidact of sorts. Notice the naming convention… you might notice the word “Tag” in front of the item’s tag name. Why? A remnant to get all annotations (possible) to organize in groups. The numbering system was a later inclusion to further organize (and standardize to a limited degree).

Create naming conventions for everything you use on any regular basis—any outside components brought in subsequently (families, materials, etc.) will be found out quite quickly, as they will organize at the end of the browser sections. Then they can be validated for use or replacement.

Using such content rigor in the naming (and use of tested and validated content) will serve every project well and will allow further programmatic enhancements from the likes of Dynamo, and others. Below is a list for inspiration for Annotation Categories. Do a bit of industry standards research (NBIMS, etc.), devise a rigorous naming and organization set of processes, and you will find that projects run smoother and allow more actual architecture to be done, rather than fighting lost, duplicate, and incorrect content.


Title Blocks 00 FirmName Titleblock
View Reference 00 View Reference
View Titles 00 View Title
  00 View Title Double Line
Callout Heads 00 Callout Head
Elevation Marks 00 Elevation Mark Body.Circle
  00 Elevation Mark Pointer_Circle
Grid Heads 00 Grid Head
  00 Grid Head Color
Level Heads 00 Level Head
  00 Level Head_Circle
Section Marks 00 Section Head_Filled
  00 Section Head_No Arrow
  00 Section Head_Open

00 Section Tail_Filled Horizontal

  00 Section Tail_Filled Vertical
Generic Annotations 01 Centerline_Anno
  01 Centerline_Dimension
  01 North Arrow
Spot Elevation Symbols 01 Spot Elevation_Crosshair
  01 Spot Elevation_Target Filled
Beam Elevation (Project)  
Beam Elevation (Relative)  
Crosshair (Project)  
Crosshair (Relative)  
Dot at Leader (Project)  
Dot at Leader (Relative)  
Dot at Leader (Snared)  
Dot Leader (Project)  
No Symbol (Project)  
No Symbol (Relative)  
Target (Project)  
Target (Relative)  
Target at Leader (Project)  
Target at Leader (Relative)  
Target at Leader (Shared)  
Target Leader (Project)  
Target w Dot Leader (Project)  
Property Tags 02 Tag Property
Property Line Segment Tags 02 Tag Property Line
Site Tags 02 Tag Site
Area Tags 02 Tag Area
Area Load Tags 02 Tag Area Load
Assembly Tags 02 Tag Assembly
Casework Tags 02 Tag Casework
Ceiling Tags 02 Tag Ceiling
Curtain Panel Tags 02 Tag Curtain Panel
Curtain System Tags 02 Tag Curtain System
Detail Item Tags 02 Tag Detail Item
Door Tags 02 Tag Door
Floor Tags 02 Tag Floor
Furniture Tags 02 Tag Furniture
Furniture System Tags 02 Tag Furniture System
Generic Model Tags 02 Tag Generic Model
Mass Tags 02 Tag Mass
Mass Floor Tags 02 Tag Mass Floors
Material Tags 02 Tag Material
Multi-Category Tags 02 Tag Multi-Category
Parking Tags 02 Tag Parking
Part Tags 02 Tag Parts
Planting Tags 02 Tag Planting
Railing Tags 02 Tag Railing
Revision Cloud Tags 02 Tag Revision
Roof Tags 02 Tag Roof
Room Tags 02 Tag Room
Specialty Equipment Tags 02 Tag Specialty Equipment
Stair Tags 02 Tag Stair
Stair Landing Tags 02 Tag Stair Landing
Stair Paths N/A
Stair Run Tags 02 Tag Stair Run
Stair Support Tags 02 Tag Stair Support
Wall Tags 02 Tag Wall
Window Tags 02 Tag Window
Keynote Tags 03 Keynote_Documentation
  03 Keynote_Presentation
Stair Tread/Riser Numbers N/A
Brace in Plan View Symbols N/A
Connection Symbols N/A
Displacement Path N/A
Foundation Span Direction Symbol N/A
Rebar Cover References N/A
Span Direction Symbol N/A
Span Direction Symbol 05 Tag Analytical Beam
Structural Annotations N/A
Structural Area Reinforcement N/A
Analytical Beam Tags 05 Tag Analytical Beam
Analytical Brace Tags 05 Tag Analytical Brace
Analytical Column Tags 05 Tag Analytical Column
Analytical Floor Tags 05 Tag Analytical Floor
Analytical Isolated Foundation Tags 05 Tag Analytical Isolated Foundation
Analytical Link Tags 05 Tag Analytical Link
Analytical Node Tags 05 Tag Analytical Node
Analytical Slab Foundation Tags 05 Tag Analytical Slab Foundation
Analytical Wall Tags 05 Tag Analytical Wall
Analytical Wall Foundation Tags 05 Tab Analytical Wall Foundation
Structural Beam System Tags 05 Tag Structural Beam System
Structural Column Tags 05 Tag Structural Column
Structural Connection Tags 05 Tag Structural Connection
Structural Foundation Tags 05 Tag Structural Foundation
Structural Framing Tags 05 Tag Structural Framing
Structural Rebar Tags Multi-Rebar Annotations
Structural Fabric Reinforcement 05 Tag Structural Reinforcement Fabric
Structural Path Reinforcement 05 Tag Structural Reinforcement Path
Structural Stiffener Tags 05 Tag Structural Stiffener
Structural Truss Tags 05 Tag Structural Truss
Air Terminal Tags 06 Tag MEP Air Terminal
Fire Alarm Device Tags 06 Tag MEP Alarm Device
Cable Tray Tags 06 Tag MEP Cable Tray
Cable Tray Fitting Tags 06 Tag MEP Cable Tray Fitting
Communication Device Tags 06 Tag MEP Communication Device
Conduit Tags 06 Tag MEP Conduit
Conduit Fitting Tags 06 Tag MEP Conduit Fitting
Data Device Tags 06 Tag MEP Data Device
Duct Tags 06 Tag MEP Duct
Duct Accessory Tags 06 Tag MEP Duct Accessory
Duct Fitting Tags 06 Tag MEP Duct Fitting
Duct Insulation Tags 06 Tag MEP Duct Insulation
Duct Lining Tags 06 Tag MEP Duct Lining
Electrical Equipment Tags 06 Tag MEP Electrical Equipment
Electrical Fixture Tags 06 Tag MEP Electrical Fixtures
Flex Duct Tags 06 Tag MEP Flex Duct
Flex Pipe Tags 06 Tag MEP Flex Pipe
Internal Area Load Tags 06 Tag MEP Internal Area Load
Internal Line Load Tags 06 Tag MEP Internal Line Load
Internal Point Load Tags 06 Tag MEP Internal Point Load
Lighting Device Tags 06 Tag MEP Lighting Device
Lighting Fixture Tags 06 Tag MEP Lighting Fixture
Line Load Tags 06 Tag MEP Line Load
Mechanical Equipment Tags 06 Tag MEP Mechanical Equipment
Nurse Call Device Tags 06 Tag MEP Nurse Call Device
Pipe Tags 06 Tag MEP Pipe
Pipe Accessory Tags 06 Tag MEP Pipe Accessory 
Pipe Fitting Tags 06 Tag MEP Pipe Fitting
Pipe Insulation Tags 06 Tag MEP Pipe Insulation
Plumbing Fixture Tag 06 Tag MEP Plumbing Fixture
Point Load Tags 06 Tag MEP Point Load
Security Device Tags 06 Tag MEP Security Device
Space Tags 06 Tag MEP Space
Sprinkler Tags 06 TAg MEP Sprinkler
Telephone Device Tags 06 Tag MEP Telephone Device
Wire Tags 06 Tag MEP Wire
Zone Tags 06 Tag MEP Zone

Shakespeare may not mind what a rose is called, but Revit®, Dynamo, The Client, etc. all do and we all should (in BIM at least;)

Jay B. Zallan brings wide-ranging Design, Delivery, Management, Mentoring and Teaching experiences to the readily changing AECO industries, founded on an expansive 35 plus year  career. Jay has focused on VDC planning, production, process development and research & development; to help enable efficiency-generative creative project execution, delivery and success throughout the AECO landscape. This JayZ is an educator, author and industry lecturer throughout the BIM world; Jz strives to inspire current and future generations to achieve and exceed beyond even their own expectations. Being a Fine Artist (large format oil & mixed media canvases), Jay adds unique and collaborative insights and perspectives to every team he is part of.

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