Solibri Model Checker (SMC) has an extremely powerful QA/QC checking rule template named Model Structure (SOL/176). This rule template is unique, as the parameters consist of simple check boxes for specific checks against the model. This makes it one of the easier templates to setup; however, to get the best use of the template, it is important to understand the purpose of each of the various checks toggled on/off by these check boxes. You could simply mark all checkboxes, but for a complex model, the results view may contain many disparate results or ones that aren’t important for your use case. Alternatively, you may wish to group certain checks together, for instance, checks regarding floors or checks regarding doors. Furthermore, you may wish to use the template marking only a single checkbox to limit the check to that particular condition.
The purpose of this article is to familiarize you with each of the parameters of the rule template through examples so you can tailor a ruleset that uses this template to your liking based on what is important for you. You can experiment with this template using the ruleset in the link below. This example ruleset has individual rule checks corresponding to each of the individual parameter check boxes.
Below are the rule parameters of the Model Structure rule template.
Each section below will explain each of the parameters from top to bottom.
Like many of the rule templates in SMC, you are able to select the disciplines of models you want to check against or select ‘Any’ for all disciplines available in the aggregate model. Only the components in the specified disciplines are checked. The following article explains disciplines in further detail:
Check Containment Hierarchy
When this parameter is checked, the rule template checks that the model reflects the following hierarchy: model has building, building has floors and floors have components. In the image below, you can see the correct hierarchal structure of an IFC file.
Below is the model tree showing the hierarchy of an IFC with an incorrect structure loaded in SMC. Notice that the building does not contain levels (building stories) that contain the components within the model.
After running a check of the containment hierarchy, the results view reports the issue that no floors exist in the model.
Direct Relation to Floor
When this parameter is checked, the rule checks that all components in the model have a “Contains” relation directly to a building floor. For example, furniture related only to a space (which is related to a building floor) will fail the check. In the image below, you can see two sanitary terminals are related to a restroom space, rather than directly related to First floor.
In the image below you can see the issue result displayed in the Results view.
NOTE: Your design software will more than likely relate components to space in which they are contained rather than directly to the floor. You will likely wish to leave this checkbox unmarked, which is its default setting.
Check Empty Floors
When this parameter is checked, the rule checks that all floors contain at least one component. In the image below, the floor named “TOF Footing” is empty in the Model Tree view.
Below is an image of the Results view reporting the issue that TOF Footing doesn’t have components.
Check Floor Elevations
When this parameter is checked, the rule checks for multiple building floors located in the same elevation. In the image below, the floor “Level 1” is selected and 0 is reported as its Global Bottom Elevation.
In the image below, a different floor named “Level 1a” is selected and its Global Bottom Elevation is also 0.
This issue is reported in the results view, which lists the elevation along with the names of the floors that reside at that elevation.
Check Floor Names
When this parameter is checked, the rule checks if the model has multiple building floors with the same name. In the image below, there are two floors with the same name “First Floor” listed in the Model Tree view.
After running the check, the issue is reported in the Results view which lists the name of the floor.
Verify Material Layers Thicknesses
When this parameter is checked, the rule checks all walls, slabs, and roofs in the model to ensure the sum of material layer thicknesses is the same as the thickness of the component itself. Below is a wall that has a thickness of 4 7/8″, as listed in the Quanties tab of the Info view.
The Material tab lists the materials of the wall’s structure. These tree materials add up to a total thickness of 4 1/2.”
Since these two thicknesses differ, an issue result is returned for the wall stating the differences of thicknesses.
Doors/Windows in Same Floor AS Wall
When this parameter is checked, the rule checks to ensure the wall (or a roof/slab) and its doors/windows are included in the same building floor. The model in the image below has a wall that is on the floor “Level 1” that has a height of 20 feet, which extends upward past Level 2, which resides at 10 feet.
There is a window on Level 2 attached to the wall as seen below in its Floor property in the Info view.
Also, there is a window that appears to be on the same floor as the wall selected in the image below. However, this window was originally placed on Level 2, and was later moved below using a negative number in the Sill Height parameter.
In the image below, the Sill Height property lists a negative value of -7′ 6″ in the constraints in the Info view after selecting the window.
Since both of these windows reside on the Level 2 and the wall, which wasn’t split at level 2 is a single wall that resides on Level 1, an issue is reported in the Results view listing these two windows after running the check.
NOTE: You are able to automatically split walls and columns by floor by marking the “Split walls and columns by story” checkbox in the exporter of Revit. For more information on this, please see Exporting an IFC File from Revit to SMC
Check Maximum Polygon Number
When this parameter is checked, the rule checks the geometry of all components in the model to ensure those components do not consist of more polygons than the specified Maximum Polygon Number parameter. Below is an example of a sphere that has a 50′ diameter. This component fails the check, and the Results view lists this component along with the polygon count of 4446.
Viewing the component in wireframe mode within another application, you can see the 4446 polygons that make up the geometry of the sphere.
If you find that your model is sluggish while navigating or other performance issues, this rule can check if there is a specific component with complex geometry causing the issue. To help in performance issues, that component could be hidden in SMC, or edited in the original design software to make it less complex. For information on performance issues can be found in the article Optimizing Performance in Solibri Model Checker
Check Space Boundaries
When this parameter is checked, the rule checks all spaces to ensure they have correct space boundaries. A space (room) in a model is bound by components such as walls, windows, doors, etc. Spaces can also reside next to each other without a wall that separates them using room separators. In the IFC, a space boundary element exists for these boundaries.
In the image below, a result is listed stating that there are missing space boundaries for the Radiographic Room. There is a wall inside the space, which can be seen as it cuts out the geometry of the space. However, no space boundaries exist for this wall. The boundaries that do exist are listed in the result and are colored blue in the 3D view.
In the image below, you can see space boundaries highlighted in red that only bind a single space and no components or other spaces. The Results view lists these three space boundaries.
After selecting one of the space boundary elements in the result view, you can see in the Relations tab of the Info view that the space boundary only binds the corridor space, but no other space or construction component such as a wall.
Check Orphan Doors and Windows
When this parameter is checked the rule checks if the model has doors or windows without relation to a wall. In most design software, when a door is placed on a wall, it generates an opening component that cuts out the geometry of the wall for the door to fit. In the image below, an opening component is selected. The Relations tab of Info view lists the backward filling relation to the door, since it fills the door and the forward void relation to the wall which it cuts out.
The opening to the right doesn’t have a filling relation to the door as an opening was cut out of the wall, and a door was placed in the location without actually attaching it to the wall in the design software.
When the rule is run, this door on the right is returned as a result stating that it isnt related to a wall.
Check Door Opening Direction
When this parameter is checked the rule checks that all doors in the model have the opening direction defined. The opening direction, or door operation, is needed for the Accessible Door rule. More information on this rule can be found in the article Enhanced in v9.6 Accessible Door-Rule SOL 208
You can view the door operation in the Identification tab of the Info view as in the image below. Also, notice you can see the swing in the footprint in the 3D view.
In the image below, the door on the right doesn’t have a door operation. Selecting the door and viewing its Operation property shows it listed as Undefined. Also, the swing is missing in the footprint n the 3D View.
After running the check, the door with the undefined door operation is returned as a result.
Allow Only One Site
When this parameter is checked the rule checks to ensure the model has only one site. In the image below, there are two sites listed in the Model Tree: Site Name and Site Name 2.
After running a check, a result is returned of the issue which lists the multiple site names.
Check Whether Site has Geometry or Not
When this parameter is checked the rule checks to ensure the site in the model contains geometry. In the image below, the site is selected in the Model Tree which highlights it green in the 3D View.
In the image below, the geometry of the site was removed. It is selected in the Model Tree, but there is no existing geometry in the 3D view to select.
When this check is run, a result is returned that lists the site that doesn’t have geometry.
Require Unique IFC GUIDs
This parameter is used to check if the Global Unique Identifier of components is unique in your model. The drop down that can be set to Unique in One Model, and the GUIDs of components are only compared within that single model. When the drop down is set to Unique in All Models, GUID of a component is compared against the GUIDs of all components in ALL the loaded models.
In the image below, the beam on the left has a GUID value of 06pcgjPDbES92yHX6IVtf_. This beam resides in the architectural model.
In the image below, the beam on the right also has a GUID value of 06pcgjPDbES92yHX6IVtf_. This beam resides in the structural model.
After running a check for “Unique GUIDs in All Models” a result is returned for these two beams with duplicate GUIDs as seen selected in the image below.
The information provided in this article should provide you a better understanding of the Model Structure rule and allow you to custom tailor a ruleset using the this rule template to suit your needs QA-QC requirements.