BIM Technical Standards: Naming

BIM File Naming

There are two distinct ways in which BIM design software platforms manage files: the traditional method where only one sheet, floor or model will exist per file, and the newer generation of software which can contain a complete project within one file. In this document, the multi-file platforms are referred to as drawing-based file platforms while the other is referred to as project-based file platforms.

Design Software File Management Type
AutoCAD (including Architecture, MEP and all other verticals) Drawing-based file platform
MicroStation (including Architecture, Building and all other verticals) Drawing-based file platform
Revit (all versions) Project-based file platform
Archicad (all versions) Project-based file platform


Graphic displaying the proper method of naming project-based files
  • Drawing-based file platforms will use the most current PBS CAD standard [PDF - 100 KB] (PDF - 100.30 KB) for all file naming. This document makes no changes to the existing standards for drawing-based file platforms.
  • Project-based file platforms will use a four part file name consisting of:
    • The GSA assigned building ID or site ID
    • 1 character major discipline / trade designator (from the PBS [PDF - 100 KB] - )
    • 1 character minor discipline / trade designator (from the PBS [PDF - 100 KB] - )
    • 5 characters to define contained floors
    • 1 character type designator M/S/C (model, sheets, combined)


Example 1

Graphic displaying the proper method of naming project-based files

Example of several Revit models in the standard folder structure

File Name: 00000000_AI_B4-50_C.rvt
Most projects will be Combined files or C files. These have both the BIM and supporting sheets in a single file.

  • Architectural Interior file;
  • Combined sheets and model file
  • Contains floors basement 4 (B4) through 50

Example 2

File Name: 00000000_EP_01-10_M.rvt
Some very large projects will need to have their model and sheets split into separate files to manage computer hardware requirements.

  • Electrical Power file
  • Model file only (no sheets)
  • Contains floors 01 through 10

Example 3

File Name: 00000000_A_B1-03_C.rvt
On smaller projects, a one letter discipline code may be used.

  • Architectural file (all Architectural elements in a single file)
  • Combined sheets and model file
  • Contains floors basement 1 (B1) through 3

Files must be named correctly, and be properly stored within the approved folder structure. See Data Submittal Standards and the Folder Structure Template for additional information on the approved folder structure.

NCS Compliant Discipline Codes

Category Abr. Name Description
G - General GI General Information Cover sheet, list of sheets and symbols, code summary, orientation maps
GC General Contractual Phasing, schedules, staging areas, haul routes
GI General Resource Photographs, soil borings
H - Hazardous Materials HA Asbestos Asbestos abatement, identification or containment
HC Chemicals Toxic chemicals handling, removal or storage
HL Lead Lead piping or paint removal
HP PCB PCB containing and removal
HR Refrigerant Ozone depleting refrigerants
V - Survey VA Aerial Survey Aerial surveyed points and features
VF Field Survey Field surveyed points and features
VI Digital Survey Digitized points and features
VU Combined Utilities N/A
B - Geotechnical N/A N/A N/A
C - Civil CD Civil Demolition Structure removal and site clearing
CS Civil Survey (Site) Plats, topographic, dimension control
CE Civil Erosion Erosion and sedimentation control plans
CL Civil Layout Dimensions and coordinates for aboveground site features
CP Civil Grading and Paving Excavation, grading, roads and parking lots
CU Civil Utilities Water, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, power, and communications
L - Landscape LD Landscape Demolition Protection and removal of existing landscaping
LI Landscape Irrigation Mainlines, valves, controller, pumps, etc.
LL Landscape Lighting N/A
S - Structural SG Structural Grid Column grid lines and bubbles (MODEL FILE ONLY)
SD Structural Demolition Protection and removal
SB Structural Substructure Foundations, piers, slabs
SF Structural Framing Columns, trusses, joists, beams
A - Architectural AD Architectural Demolition Protection and removal
AE Architectural Elements Columns, trusses, joists, beams
AC Architectural Ceiling General architectural
AF Architectural Finishes N/A
AG Architectural Graphics Signage
AI Architectural Interiors N/A
AS Architectural Site N/A
I - Interiors ID Interior Demolition Protection and removal
IF Interior Furnishings All furniture
IG Interior Graphics Murals and visuals
IN Interior Design N/A
Q - Equipment QA Athletic Equipment Gymnasium, exercise, aquatic and recreational
QB Bank Equipment Vaults, teller units, ATM, drive-thru
QD Detention Equipment Prisons and Jails
QE Educational Equipment Chalkboards, library
QF Food Service Equipment Kitchen, bar, service, storage and processing
QH Medical Equipment Medical, exam and treatment
QL Laboratory Equipment Science labs, hoods, benches
F - Fire Protection FA Fire Detection and Alarm Devices and circuiting (Electrical)
FX Fire Suppression Fire extinguishing system and equipment (Mechanical)
P - Plumbing PD Plumbing Demolition Protection, termination and removal added
PL Plumbing Fixtures Domestic water, sanitary and storm drainage fixtures
PP Plumbing Piping Domestic water, sanitary and storm drainage pipe, fixtures and equipment (unless split to separate files)
PQ Plumbing Equipment Pumps and Tanks
D - Process DD Process Demolition Protection and removal
DE Process Electrical Electrical components and wiring
DI Process Instrumentation N/A
DQ Process Equipment N/A
DP Process Piping N/A
DX Process Exhaust Mist collection, dust collection, exhaust stacks
M - Mechanical MD Mechanical Demolition Protection, termination and removal
MH Mechanical HVAC Ductwork, air devices and equipment
MP Mechanical Piping Piping
MI Mechanical Instrum. Instrumentation and controls
E - Electrical ES Electrical Site N/A
ED Electrical Demolition Protection, termination and removal
EG Electrical Grounding Grounding and Lightning Protection
EI Electrical Instrumentation Controls, relays, instrumentation and measurement devices
EL Electrical Lighting N/A
EP Electrical Power N/A
T - Telecommunications TG Telecommunications General Telephone, network, voice, data, alarm, nurse call, security, CCTV, PA, clock
TA Audio Visual N/A
TC Clock and program N/A
TI Public address system N/A
TJ Wireless networks N/A
TM Monitoring N/A
TN Data networks N/A
TT Telephone N/A
TY Security N/A
R - Resource / For Reference Only RC Resource Civil N/A
RS Resource Structural N/A
RA Resource Architectural N/A
RM Resource Mechanical N/A
RE Resource Electrical N/A
Z - Contractor / Shop Drawings N/A N/A N/A

3D Image Naming

3D Imaging data is considered any non-model based 3D data. On most projects, this data will come from 3D laser scanning. See the 3D Imaging standard for additional information on the capture and use of 3D image data on GSA projects.

Given the diverse nature of 3D Imaging software, a traditional naming standard cannot be developed. The producer of the 3D imaging data is highly encouraged to engage the GSA BIM Manager in a discussion of how to apply the naming standard to the specific software being used to process the scans.


  • A naming convention will be established as part of the BEP.
    • The established naming convention will be followed by all project participants.
  • The naming convention will be hierarchical based on established divisions of the site. For example; interior building data should be named "Area ## - Room #### - ##" where the last two digits are sequential numbers to support multiple scans of the same room.
    • The hierarchical divisions are to be: Building > Floor > Area > Room
  • Hierarchical divisions are not to be repeated. For example, if the building or site name is contained in the folder name of the data's location, it should not be repeated in the name of a single scan.
  • Naming will be consistent across the project, even when multiple capture firms are present.
  • If previous data for the same site exists and conforms to the standard, the naming convention established by that data is to be followed for all new data.
  • All naming within the point cloud data is to follow the General Naming Guidelines.
  • The use of non-standard names for the purposes of logically organizing the data is allowed.
    • Non-standard names must meet the general naming requirements.
    • Non-standard names may only be used when standard names, such as floor or area, do not describe the contents of the folder or file.

Note: Files must named correctly, and be properly stored within the approved folder structure. See Data Submittal Standards and the Folder Structure Template for additional information on the approved folder structure.


Scans in authoring application

Graphic of example of proper file structure in Cyclone

Data in the authoring application. In this example, Leica Cyclone is being used to process the scan data. Notice that the database is named using the building number. The individual scans are grouped under a scan folder for the purpose of data organization. The scans are further separated by floor and then named by room.
The model spaces are grouped by floor then area, Floor 0x - Area 0x.

TruView data in standard folder structure

Graphic of example of proper file structure in TruView

Leica TruView data in the file system. Note that the standard folder structure is being used putting this data in the folder ../0000000/Scanning/TruViews/. Since the building number is in the root folder, it is not needed in the individual file or folder names.

Standard Equipment Abbreviations

GSA has standardized an abbreviation for common mechanical and electrical equipment. When the use of abbreviations is prudent, these standard abbreviations should be used.


When using abbreviations for electrical and mechanical equipment, the following abbreviations are to be used:

This list contains letters A through G.

  • Aerator: AER
  • Air Blower: ABL
  • Air Compressor: CMP
  • Air Compressor, Recip: CMP
  • Air Conditioner Package: ACU
  • Air Conditioner, Window: ACW
  • Air Curtain: ACT
  • Air Dryer: ADR
  • Air Handling Unit, 25 ton thru 50 ton: AHU-02
  • Air Handling Unit, 3 ton thru 24 ton: AHU-01
  • Air Handling Unit, Computer Room: AHU-04
  • Air Handling Unit, over 50 ton: AHU-03
  • Backflow Prevention Device: BFP
  • Boiler, Electric: BLR-E
  • Boiler, Hot Water, Oil/Gas/Comb, 120 to 500 MBH: BLR-HW2
  • Boiler, Hot Water, Oil/Gas/Comb, 500 to 1000 MBH: BLR-HW3
  • Boiler, Hot Water, Oil/Gas/Comb, over 1000 MBH: BLR-HW4
  • Boiler, Hot Water, Oil/Gas/Comb, up to 120 MBH: BLR-HW1
  • Boiler, Steam, Natural Gas: BLR-ST2
  • Boiler, Steam, Oil/Gas/Comb: BLR-ST2
  • Boiler, Steam, Oil/Gas/Comb, 500 to 1000 MBH: BLR-ST3
  • Boiler, Steam, Oil/Gas/Comb, over 1000 MBH: BLR-ST4
  • Boiler, Steam, Oil/Gas/Comb, up to 120 MBH: BLR-ST1
  • Building Automation System, DDC: BAS-01
  • Building Automation System, Pnuematic: BAS-02
  • Building Automation System, Terminal End Devices: BAS-03
  • Cabinet Heater: CHT
  • Carbon-Monoxide Detection Sensors: CMD
  • Chiller, Absorption unit, 500 to 5000 tons: CHL-A2
  • Chiller, Absorption unit, up to 500 tons: CHL-A1
  • Chiller, Centrifugal, water cooled, over 100 tons: CHL-CW2
  • Chiller, Centrifugal, water cooled, up to 100 tons: CHL-CW1
  • Chiller, Recip, Air Cooled, over 25 tons: CHL-RA2
  • Chiller, Recip, Air Cooled, up to 25 tons: CHL-RA1
  • Chiller, Recip, Water Cooled, over 50 tons: CHL-W2
  • Chiller, Recip, Water Cooled, up to 50 tons: CHL-W1
  • Chiller, Screw, Water Cooled: CHL-S1
  • Chiller, Screw, Water Cooled: CHL-S2
  • Clean-Agent Fire-Extinguishing Systems: FSP-04
  • Computer Room A.C.1 (CRAC Unit): CRAC
  • Condenser, Air-Cooled: ACC
  • Condenser, Water-Cooled: WCC
  • Cooling Tower: CTR
  • Davits/Roof Anchors/Fall Protection: DAV
  • Deaerator Tank: DEA
  • Dish/Tray Busing Conveyor: DSH-3
  • Dishwasher - Elect: DSH-1
  • Dishwasher - Steam: DSH-2
  • Drinking Fountain, Packaged: EWC
  • Dry-Pipe Sprinkler Systems: FSP-02
  • Duplex Sewage Ejector: DSE
  • Electric Traction Elevator: ELV-2
  • Emergency Diesel Generator: EMG-01
  • Emergency Lighting: ELT
  • Emergency Natural Gas Generator: EMG-02
  • Escalator: ESC
  • Evaporative Cooler: EVP
  • Exit Signs: EXS
  • Expansion Tank: EXT
  • Exterior Doors: DOR
  • Exterior Walls: WAL
  • Exterior Windows: WIN
  • Fan Coil Unit: FCU
  • Fan, Axial: FAN-01
  • Fan, Centrifugal: FAN-02
  • Fan, Make-up: FAN-03
  • Fan, Utility Set: FAN-04
  • Fences and Gates: FNG
  • Filter, OR: FLT-1
  • Filter, Sand: FLT-2
  • Filter, Water: FLT-3
  • Fire and Smoke Dampers: FSD
  • Fire Detection and Alarm System: ALM
  • Fire Door - Sliding & Rolling: FDR-02
  • Fire Door - Swinging: FDR-01
  • Fire Extinguishers: FEX
  • Fire Hose / Hose Connections: HSE
  • Fire Hydrant: HYD
  • Fire Pump, Diesel: FPM-02
  • Fire Pump, Electric-Drive: FPM-01
  • Fryer, Pressurized Broaster, Gas/Electric: DFF
  • Fuel-Gas Detection Sensors: GDS
  • Furnace, Forced Air, Natural Gas: FAF
  • Garbage Disposal: GBG
  • Glycol Feed System: GFS
  • Grease Trap: GTP
  • Grill: GRL

This list contains letters H through W (there are no other letters beyond W).

  • Heat Exchanger, Flat Plate: HXR-01
  • Heat Exchanger, Tube (Shell and Tube): HXR-02
  • Heat Pump, Air Cooled: HTP-1
  • Heat Pump, Water Cooled: HTP-2
  • Heater, Baseboard: BSB
  • Heating & Ventilating Units: HVU
  • Heating/Cooling Unit: HCU
  • Humidifier, Evaporative Pan w/ Heating Coil: HUM
  • Humidifier, Steam: SHS
  • Hydraulic Elevator: ELV-1
  • Ice Machine: ICE
  • Irrigation Pump: PMP
  • Kettle, Steam: KTL
  • Metering Devices: MTR
  • Mixer, Electric: MIX
  • Motor: MOT
  • Motor Control Center: MCC
  • Motor, Fan: MOT-01
  • Motor, Pump: MOT-02
  • Oven, Convection, Gas or Elect: OVN-1
  • Oven, Rotary, Elect: OVN-2
  • Oven, Rotary, Gas: OVN-3
  • Package Unit, Air Cooled: RTU
  • Package Unit, Water Cooled: RTU
  • Panelboard, Lighting & Appliance: PNB
  • Panelboard, Power Distribution: EPB
  • Parking Arm Gates: PAG
  • Parking Lots (Paving): LOT
  • Powered Doors: PDR
  • Preaction Sprinkler Systems: FSP-03
  • Pump: PMP
  • Pump, Centrifugal: PMP-01
  • Pump, Chemical Feed: PMP
  • Pump, Chilled Water: PMP-02
  • Pump, Circulating: PMP
  • Pump, Circulating, Hot Water: PMP
  • Pump, Condensate: PMP-03
  • Pump, Condensate Return: PMP-04
  • Pump, Condensate Return, Duplex: PMP-05
  • Pump, Condenser: PMP-06
  • Pump, Fuel Oil: PMP-07
  • Pump, In-line: PMP-08
  • Pump, Re-Circulation: PMP-09
  • Pump, Vacuum, Duplex: PMP
  • Pump, Water, Boiler Feed: PMP-10
  • Radiator, Finned Tube: RAD-01
  • Radiator, Steam: RAD-02
  • Range, Gas: RNG
  • Refrigeration Machine: RFR
  • Refrigerator unit/display case w/external condenser: FRG
  • Refrigerator/Freezer, walk-in box w/external condenser: FRZ
  • Roof System and Drains: RFS
  • Smoke Detection Sensors: SDS
  • Snow Melt System: SMS
  • Space Heater: UHT-01
  • Steam Station: STS
  • Steam Trap: STR
  • Sump Pump: SMP
  • Switch, Automatic Transfer: ATS
  • Switch, Disconnect: DCT
  • Switchboard, Electrical: SWB
  • Tank, Fuel: TNK-01
  • Tank, Hot Water: TNK-02
  • Tank, Oil Storage: TNK-03
  • Tank, Water: TNK-04
  • Terminal Unit: TMU
  • Transformer, Dry: DTT
  • Transformer, Oil-Filled: TRN
  • Undergraound Storage Tank (UST): UST
  • Unit Heater: UHT-02
  • Unit Heater, Cabinet: UHT-03
  • UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply): UPS
  • Vacuum Pump: VCP
  • Valves: VLV
  • Variable Frequency Drive: VFD
  • VAV (Variable Air Volume Boxes): VAV
  • Voltage Regulator: VLT
  • Water Heater, Electric: WHT-01
  • Water Heater, Natural Gas: WHT-02
  • Water Softener: WSF
  • Water Treatment (Chemical): WTM
  • Wet-Pipe Sprinkler Systems: FSP-01
  • Wheelchair Lift: WLF

General Naming

Within any of the major BIM platforms, there is a need for clear and concise naming for many different kinds of data. Whether it is Revit worksets or Bentley parts and families, the ability to effectively work with the BIM is intrinsically tied to the effectiveness of given names. The guidelines listed below will apply to any objects present in the dataset at the time of delivery to the GSA. Temporary or working data that will be purged from the file prior to submittal is excluded.


  • Naming schemes should be consistent throughout the project data.
  • Names should be in plain text. No abstractions such as Uniclass or Omniclass numbers.
  • Names of people should not be used in naming any object. For example "John's Workset" is not acceptable.
  • Non-English language should not be used with the exception of non-English manufacturer names.
  • Abbreviations should be kept to a minimum and if used, they should be consistent throughout the project.
  • Standard title case should be used for all names.
  • Imperial units in names should appear as a' – b c/d" x a' – b c/d". In most cases, sizes should be in inches i.e. aa" x bb".
  • Sequential numbering should not be used. For example, Exterior 01, Exterior 02, etc. These numbers should be replaced by descriptive text, highlighting the difference between the objects being named. The exception to this is the use of sequential numbering as a means of forcing a particular sort order.
Last Reviewed: 2022-07-18