Relating elements in model viewer sidebar


There are several types of relationships in the IFC schema which define the connection types among objects. There is a case, when the element is the aggregation of the sub-elements, like a sandwich wall, where the different layers (inner concrete layer, isolation, outer concrete layer) hold the geometrical representation of the wall. In this special sample, a wall is the aggregation of the wall layers and the shape representation of the wall is the sum of the shape representations of its parts. Following the naming convention of the schema the relating object indicates the higher level, while the related object is the lower level object in the IFC structure hierarchy.


Typical examples

  • roof (IfcRoof) is the aggregation of roof elements, like roof slabs (IfcSlab), rafters (IfcMember), and purlins (IfcBeam)
  • sandwich wall (IfcWall) is the aggregation of different wall layers, like inner, outer, and isolation layers (IfcBuildingElementPart)
  • curtain wall (IfcCurtainWall) is the aggregation of windows (IfcWindow)

Displaying properties of relating elements in sidebar

bimspot gives you access not only to the properties and quantities of the related parts but the aggregation/relating objects as well. If an object is defined as an aggregation it will not be displayed in the model viewer, since there is no shape representation defined for the object. However, by clicking on one of the related parts, the properties and quantities of the relating element will be displayed on the properties sidebar as well.

The space which represents a bounded area in the model can be also used as a spatial container. It means building elements can be associated with space objects, like furniture and distribution elements. You can also check the details of relating space elements when this element is selected.

Filtering by relating object type

Since the type of the relating element is also stored as a property of the element, it can be filterable as the property is part of the requirement sheet.

First of all the RelatingObjectType has to be added as a new custom requirement text property to the information requirement excel sheet. Then it will be searchable for the specified entity and the type of the relating object can be set in the filter panel.