I work for a medium-sized civil engineering firm (about 200 employees) that is trying to improve its BIM capabilities. Specifically, it would like to improve data sharing data become compliant with ISO 19650. We have started managing data in a common data environment (CDE) like Autodesk BIM360 and enforcing an ISO 19650 naming convention. This leads to documents with names like:


Even if you understand the naming convention, it is very difficult to know what the document contains. For this reason the company is proposing that each project has a document register (typically an Excel spreadsheet). The register is manually updated whenever a document is created, either by the author or the BIM manager. To find a documents, you use the register like an index: find the file name using your description then search for the document on the CDE.

To me, this process negates all the advantages of BIM: time savings, fewer mistakes, and automation of basic tasks. Mistakes are made in the creation of files and time is wasted looking for the correct document. We use a range of proprietary formats and the added admin puts off those of my colleagues who most need it.

How can we improve this? My gut feeling is this should be reasonably easy to automate.

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    $\begingroup$ Reading section 1.1 made perfect sense. section 1.2 is missing something that was in every example in 1.1. Section 2 did not leave any place for drawing name/description. The 5th bold statement in section 1.1 is key! "Filename must be fully descriptive without having to open it and independent of its location:" $\endgroup$
    – Forward Ed
    Dec 14, 2021 at 18:57
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    $\begingroup$ From my experience in dealing with different firms and their naming conventions, you want to get the coding from section 2 at the front of the file name and the last part before the file extension to be the name of the drawing or brief description of the drawing contents. The codes in front you want to have consistent in length and set up so that when sorted alphabetically by name they will group in a matter that makes sense. ie I would not start with the date or revision of the file. I would keep that field to one of the last ones. Field order makes reading a directory & finding info easier. $\endgroup$
    – Forward Ed
    Dec 14, 2021 at 19:04
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe the link I chose wasn’t such a good guide. Is there one you recommend instead? Are you suggesting the file name should be the long code in section 2 followed by a description? Seems like there is a risk of duplicating information $\endgroup$ Dec 14, 2021 at 22:48
  • $\begingroup$ I am suggesting the the long code from section 2 is a good starting point, while it may allow for duplication to a degree, the missing description field COULD prevent duplication. IE. LONG CODE - Window Schedule I.dwg LONG CODE - Window Schedule II.dwg. $\endgroup$
    – Forward Ed
    Dec 15, 2021 at 13:25
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    $\begingroup$ pretty sure Vault (and other file system replacements) had ways to put metadata with each file to remove the need for separate spreadsheets, and was searchable on the metadata. $\endgroup$
    – Abel
    Dec 15, 2021 at 13:31


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