A Simple BIM Naming Convention Based on ISO 19650 Part 2

1.1. Folders

Folders act as the containers for a group of files that contain similar or related information.

1.1.1. Naming convention

The naming convention used for folders is:


02-Project References

DescriptionCode to number the folders and keep track of them. If a folder is accidentally deleted, the disappearance of that number in the structure will reveal the deletionName that hints about the content of the folder
Example00, 01, 02…Project References

1.1.2. Superseding

During a project life cycle, new versions of documents will replace outdated files. During this process, the old version has to be archived and kept for reference. Doing this will ensure that files can be tracked, enabling accountability and safeguarding the system against information losses.

A folder with the sole purpose of holding superseded files will be at the top of any folder and sub-folders that contain files. It will enable the process described previously and will simplify the information management procedures at the office.  I recommend naming this folder as:


The filenames inside this archive folder will remain the same as the original filenames, with the date it was superseded appended at the beginning of the filename. Let’s consider the example of a plan drawing that is superseded with a newly revised plan drawing. The following filename is the original name:


To archive the file, the date the file was superseded is appended at the beginning and moved to the 00-Archive folder:


1.1.3. Example

The following folder structure illustrates one way to organize all the content related to BIM implementation and development:

Hard Drive IconG:\\ Server Drive
 Folder Open Icon01-BIM Content
  Folder Close Icon00-Archive
  Folder Open Icon01-BIM Manual and Standards
   Folder Close Icon00-Archive
   Folder Close Icon01-Standards
  Folder Open Icon02-Content Library
   Folder Close Icon00-Archive
   Folder Open Icon01-Library
    Folder Close IconAnnotations
    Folder Close Icon
    Folder Close IconWindows
   Folder Close Icon02-Family Templates
   Folder Close Icon03-Work in Progress
  Folder Open Icon03-Revit Templates
   Folder Close Icon00-Archive
  Folder Open Icon04-Shared Parameters
   Folder Close Icon00-Archive
  Folder Open Icon05-Materials
   Folder Close Icon00-Archive
   Folder Close Icon01-Textures
  Folder Open Icon06-Software and Plugins
   Folder Close Icon00-Archive
   Folder Open Icon01-Dynamo
    Folder Close Icon01-Packages
    Folder Close Icon02-Scripts
   Folder Close Icon02-Software
  Folder Open Icon06-Tutorials
   Folder Close Icon00-Archive
   Folder Close Icon01-Internal Training
   Folder Close Icon02-External Resources
  Folder Open Icon07-Examples
   Folder Close Icon00-Archive
   Folder Close Icon01-Example Name

1.2. Files

As a general rule, files related to BIM must follow the Naming Structure:


There are rare exceptions to this rule due to practical reasons and they are explained in the following sections:

1.2.1. Revit Central Files and Local Files

A collaborative BIM platform that uses Revit as its authoring tool has to consider the Revit central file as the most important file of a project and the Single Source of Truth, SST, for project documentation.

Naming will follow the general guidelines, resulting in these examples:



The Central file, when hosted in the server, should not be moved or renamed unless for:

  • The project change from one phase to another. For example, when a project advances from SD to DD.
  • Backups,  a good practice is to back up the Central file every week. To do it, prefix the date of the backup to the filename and move the file to the folder 00-Archive.

When archiving a Central file,  follow the same procedure to backups; append the date to the filename and move it to the Archive folder:


Notes IconLocal files created from the central don’t need to be renamed, as they are temporary files that will be deleted.

1.2.2. Families

The main purpose of families is to build the BIM model. Its naming concerns mainly how it is sorted in the system and displayed once loaded in the BIM model. For this reason, families naming will differ a bit from the General Naming System, and it will abide by the following structure:

DescriptionCreator of the elementManufacturerIdentifies the object typeFurther classifies the object like useThe core material that defines the object

Examples of families named after this convention:

BIMicon-littala-Entourage-Aalto Vase-Glass.rfa

BIMicon-Herman Miller-Chair-Aeron-Grey Mesh.rfa

BIMicon-Curtain Wall-Interior Partition-Opaque.rfa

1.3. Parameters

Naming parameters have proven to be a bit more tricky than the rest of the components. It is due to the fact that information or data has to be coordinated and exchanged with other stakeholders, and as such, they need to be uniquely and unmistakeably defined.

The best approach so far is to name them with the following convention:

DescriptionCreator of the elementIdentifies the type, category, of objectIdentifier, descriptive name to uniquely identify the parameter and its content
ExampleBIMiconDoorRoom Location



BIMicon-Window-Thermal Insulation

Among the many benefits this system provides, we can highlight that:

  • Parameters related to the same type are sorted one after another
  • Parameters created by the company are easily spotted
Warning IconDo not use the special characters stated in Naming Convention, General Rules, as this may break workflows that involve exchanging data. Also, Revit does not accept several of them as part of parameter names.

1.4. Materials

Materials are a clear exception to the naming convention used in previous sections. There is already a gigantic corpus of work that has established the base to name and classify materials. Taking advantage of this is a much better option to standardize naming conventions and facilitate inter exchanges with stakeholders. For this reason, adopting a standard like MasterFormat® may be an adequate solution to name materials.

DescriptionMasterFormat classificationIdentifies the type, category, of objectIdentifier, descriptive name to uniquely identify the parameter and its content Identifier, descriptive name to uniquely identify the parameter and its content
ObligationRequiredRequiredRequired Optional
ExampleBIMiconDoorRoom Location 

To find all the Title and Numbers of the MasterFormat®, please visit:


MasterFormat® divisions related to materials
03 00 00Concrete
04 00 00Masonry
05 00 00Metals
06 00 00Wood, Plastics, and Composites
07 00 00Thermal and Moisture Protection
09 00 00Finishes
31 00 00Earthwork


09 64 00-Wood Strip and Plank-200x1500-Pine

09 30 13-Ceramic Tiling-200x200-Blue

03 40 00-Precast Concrete-Grey