Using Advanced Classification in ITO

Using Classification in conjunction with Information Takeoff (ITO) is extremely powerful and efficient, especially if you wish to use ITO at an advanced level.  To build a classification structure takes some time, but once created, it can be reused without limits.  This creates opportunities to semi-automate several functions in the Solibri Model Checker.  For example, a classification can be used to look in multiple locations within in a model for a property that is required for an ITO.  In doing so, SMC searches out the required information, and classifies the components of the model using that information.  It also allows wildcards, so certain values can be defined as needing to be ‘exact,’ while others can contain variations or oddities that can be overlooked.  Most valuably, a change can be made in a classification, and since the Classification and ITO are correlated, the effect of the change in classification will be ‘passed down’ to the ITO; in other words, you only need to make the change to the classification, and SMC will handle the rest.

In the article below, we’ll use the example of how you can use the classification of spaces by their function value to find the square footage of the spaces in the model using ITO. This article will also discuss and explain the use of Multiple Classifications in ITO.

In this example, the 2006 version of the OmniClass – Table 13 – Spaces by Function classification system is used.  OmniClass is a hierarchal classification system that uses numeric codes to classify spaces by their function, such as the code 13-15 11 34 11, which classifies a space as an Office.

The .smc model used as an example in this article is available for you to download here:
Clinic_Space_Category_ITO.smc

  1. Download the Clinic_Space_Category_Ito.smc file above.
  2. In SMC, click File > Open Model…, browse to the Clinic_Space_Category_Ito.smc file, and click Open.
  3. In the top right of SMC, click the Add View ADD_VIEW button and
    select Classification to open the Classification view.
  4. In the Classification view, expand the Space Category Code > 13-15 11 34 11 classification, and select one of the classified spaces.
  5. If the Info view isn’t already open, click the Add View ADD_VIEW button in the top right of SMC, and select Info to open the Info view.
  6. In the Info view, click the Other tab with one of the spaces classified as 13-15 11 34 11 selected.
    Space Category Code for Offices
    Space Category Code for Offices

    The Other tab in the Info view is a property set populated with the properties that come from the Other property group in Revit.  There is a Category Code and Category Description property in this property set that reflects values that come from OmniClass Table 13 – Function of Space.

  7. In the Classification view, select the Space Category Code classification and click the Classification Settings CLASSIFICATION_SETTINGS button in the toolbar.  The Classification Settings dialog will open with the Classification Rules tab open.
    Classification Rules of the Space Category Code Classification
    Classification Rules of the Space Category Code Classification

    Notice the first three column headers before the Classification Name column.  These three columns are different potential locations that a space may store a Category Code value.  The OCCS – Space by Function location is a classification that would most likely be used in ArchiCAD.  The Data.COBie.Space.Category location is the property COBie.Space.Category from the property set Data that would most likely be used in the COBie Extension for Revit.  The Other.Category Code location is the property Category Code from the property set Other, which is a more general location and where the Category Code is stored in this model.

    Notice also the values in the cells are wildcard matching characters ?* or *.

    * Matches 0 or more characters
    ? – 
    Matches exactly 1 character

    Therefore, when the value in the cell is ?*, a value must exist at that location to match the row and map to the Classification Name.  The other cells on the row will have the value *, since it doesn’t matter if the property or classification exists or not.

    In the Classification Name column, there is an equal sign (=) and a number that follows, which refers to the column number of the cell with the value ?*.

    The classification is creating classification names for itself based on the value of the Category Code if it exists at those locations.  As the First Match Classification Method is used, the classification first checks a space to see if the Category Code exists in the OCCS – Space by Function classification.  If so, the space is classified  with that Category Code value.   If there isn’t a Category Code at that location, it moves to the next row to check the location Data.COBie.Space.Category, and so on.

    Since the topmost rows are checked first, you should re-order the rows using the Move Selected Row Up/Down MOVE_ROWS buttons, so a location that has a higher priority is matched first.

  8. In the Classification Settings dialog, click the Cancel button so no changes are made to the classification.
  9. In the Classification view, select the OmniClass 2006 – Spaces by Function classification and click the Classification Settings CLASSIFICATION_SETTINGS button in the toolbar.
  10. In the Classification Rules tab of the Classification Settings dialog, right-click the Space Category Code column header and select Edit Column.
    Classification Rules of OmniClass 2006 - Spaces by Function Classification
    Classification Rules of OmniClass 2006 – Spaces by Function Classification

    This classification uses the Space Category Code classification that was previously discussed, to map to a classification name that includes the description at the end of the code, as in 13-15 11 34 11: Office.  In the value of the Space Category Code column, the question mark (?) wildcard matching character was used in between the numbers, since OmniClass numbers can be separated by decimal point characters, as in “13.15.11.34.11”.  With the wildcards, it doesn’t matter what the character is, so long as there is one in between the numbers.  We also added the asterisk (*) wildcard matching character to the end of the value, since the code and the description can be combined in a property value, as in “13-15 11 34 11: Office”.  With the wildcard, it no longer matters if the description is also included at the end of the code.

    Recall that the Space Category Code classification is mapped to three different potential locations where a space may store a Category Code value.  Therefore, since the OmniClass 2006 – Spaces by Function maps to the Space Category Code classification, it’ll classify based on those three locations as well.  If you needed to change the location where the Category Code resides in a different model, you can edit the Space Category Code classification with the new location, and the OmniClass 2006 – Spaces by Function will update as well.

  11. In the Classification Settings dialog, click the Cancel button so no changes are made to the classification.
  12. Open the Information Takeoff layout by clicking the Information Takeoff tab at the top of SMC.
  13. In the Information Takeoff view, with the Area of Spaces by Function ITO definition selected, click the Takeoff All button.
  14. Select the 4th row in the table that contains the value 13-15 11 34: Office in the OmniClass 2006 – Spaces by Function column.

    First Floor Office Spaces and their Total Area
    First Floor Office Spaces and their Total Area

    In the 3D view, you’ll see the 30 spaces isolated with their specific coloring that comes from the colors set within the Classification Settings of the OmniClass 2006 – Spaces by Function classification.

    Since the ITO column uses the OmniClass 2006 – Spaces by Function classification to populate the table, if the Category Code values reside in a different location within another model, the Space Category Code classification can be easily remapped to that other location by adding an additional row in the Classification Rules.  This eliminates the need to modify the OmniClass 2006 – Spaces by Function classification or Area of Spaces by Function ITO definition.

  15. In the Information Takeoff view, right-click the Color column header, and select Edit Column. The Edit Column – Color dialog will open as seen below:
    Using the Colors from the Default Classification Name table in ITO
    Using the Colors from the Default Classification Name table in ITO

    The Value by Column dropdown is set to the OmniClass 2006 – Spaces by Function classification.  When you set the Color column in an ITO definition to a column that is a Classification Column Type, it will use whatever colors that are specified in the Default Classification Names table within Classification Settings of that classification.

  16. In the Classification view, select the OmniClass 2006 – Spaces by Function classification and click the Classification Settings CLASSIFICATION_SETTINGS button in the toolbar.
  17. In the Classification Settings dialog, click the Settings tab, select the Allow Multiple Classification Names checkbox.
  18. Click the Classification Rules tab, and you’ll see that a new Classification Method option named All Matching has become available at the bottom of the dialog. Since OmniClass codes are hierarchical, spaces that are classified as 13-15 11 34 11: Office, can also be classified as their higher level classifications: 13-15 11 34: Administrative Spaces, 13-15 11: Creative, Study, and Administrative Spaces, and 13-15 00 00: Work Spaces. The rows in the Classification Rules are ordered so that the lowest (most precise) levels of the hierarchy are matched first.  Only one of those first rows could be matched using the First Match option for the Classification Method.  For example, in the top rows of the Classification Rules, the value 13?15?11?34?11* matches the Category Code 13-15 11 34 11 in the row that maps to the Classification Name 13-15 11 34 11: Office.

    Classification Rules with the First Match Option
    Classification Rules with the First Match Option
  19. Mark the All Matching option for the Classification Method. Now, all rows that match in the Classification Rules of the classification are mapped to their Classification Names.  For example, in the bottom rows of the Classification Rules, the value 13?15* also matches the Category Code 13-15 11 34 11 in the row that maps to the Classification Name 13-15 00 00: Work Spaces.
    Classification Rules with the All Matching Option
    Classification Rules with the All Matching Option

    Click the OK button to update the OmniClass 2006 – Space by Function classification.

  20. In the Classification view, you’ll notice additional classification names are listed. Expand the OmniClass 2006 – Spaces by Function > 13-15 00 00: Work Spaces classification:
    OmniClass 2006 - Space Category with Multiple Classification - All Matching
    OmniClass 2006 – Space Category with Multiple Classification – All Matching

    Under this classification, you’ll find the spaces that also have the Category Code 13-15 11 34 11 for the Office classification.

  21. In the Information Takeoff view, with the Area of Spaces by Function ITO definition selected, click the Takeoff All button, and select the 4th row in the table:
    Multiple Classification Values to One Row in ITO
    Multiple Classification Values to One Row in ITO

    Again, in the 3D view, you’ll see the 30 spaces that are classified as 13-15 11 34 11: Office isolated.  However, since the classification has multiple classification enabled, the OmniClass 2006 – Spaces by Function column lists all of the classification names that were matched.  All of the classification names of those spaces have been placed on one row.  Also, the classification coloring is no longer a single classification color to use.

  22. In the Information Takeoff view, right-click the OmniClass 2006 – Spaces by Function column header and select Edit Column.

    Multiple Classification Column Options in ITO
    Multiple Classification Column Options in ITO

    The Values to One Row checkbox has been added to the column options and marked by default.

    Unmark the Values to One Row checkbox and click the OK button.

  23. In the Information Takeoff view, with the Area of Spaces by Function ITO definition selected, click the Takeoff All button, and select the 6th row in the table:
  24. Select the 6th row in the table that contains the value 13-15 00 00: Workspaces in the OmniClass 2006 – Spaces by Function column.
    Multiple Classification Values to Multiple Rows in ITO
    Multiple Classification Values to Multiple Rows in ITO

    In the 3D view, the 34 spaces classified as 13-15 00 00: Work Spaces are isolated.  Now, only a single classification name is listed in the OmniClass 2006 – Spaces by Function column, which allows the colors from the classification to be used in the Colors column.  The classification not only calculates the total Area of the lower level classifications such as 13-15 11 34 11: Office on each floor, but also the total Areas for the higher level classifications such as 13-15 00 00: Work Spaces that is made up of the spaces classified as 13-15 11 24 11: Library, 13-15 11 34 11: Office, and 13-15 21 11 21: Clean Room:

    Lower Level Classifications part of the 13-15 00 00: Work Spaces Classification
    Lower Level Classifications part of the 13-15 00 00: Work Spaces Classification
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Using Advanced Classification in ITO

4 thoughts on “Using Advanced Classification in ITO

  1. […] Allow Multiple Classification Names – When marked, the Allow Multiple Classification Names checkbox, as the name suggests, allows a user to specify more than one classification name in the tables of the Classification Rules, Unclassified Components, and Manual Classification tabs.  Rather than a single dropdown value to select from, the user is provided an Edit Classification Names dialog to add multiple classification names. Marking this checkbox enables the All Matching option in the ‘Classification Rules’ tab. Similarly, this also enables a checkbox: ‘Value to One row’ in the Information Takeoff Definition.  This topic is explained in the article: Using Advanced Classification in ITO […]

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