13. Validate Model Data
In Simplebim you can validate that your models are valid input for a task, like quantity take-off or energy analysis. The Simplebim validation answers the question: is this model fit for a purpose? Validating the design solution captured by the model is out of scope, like checking models against building codes.
Only included properties and groups are ever validated. This is logical, because you do not care about the quality of anything you have excluded. Validation rules are set with a Simplebim template.
When you validate properties it is recommended that you add the properties to your model using a template before you apply the validation for those properties. This way you get the appropriate validation results even if the model you validate does not originally contain the properties you are validating. But if your model already has those properties, then adding them again will actually do nothing and there is no harm done.
The simplest form of validation is for object classes and properties of object classes.
- The model must have objects from an object class
- Example: Energy analysis or facility management cannot be done without space objects
- An object class must have a property
- Example: Spaces have a type, like office, meeting room, corridor etc.
- A property of an object class must have required values
- Example: Comparing the model to the room schedule requires that the model has the same space names as the room schedule.
- Example: Building storeys must be named after a naming scheme, e.g. that the name starts with two numbers, followed by a space and any number of alphanumerical characters.
The simple validation will get you started, but it is not what you most often need. This is because the object class seldom corresponds to the way you organize and validate the models. You might for example have different requirements for internal and external walls, in which case validating walls is not the solution. The solution is to first create a group of objects and then validate using that group.
You can create groups manually or based on rules. If your model does not for example have any properties that allow you to separate external walls from internal walls, then you can assign walls to your groups via drag&drop. However, if you have suitable data in your model, you can set up rules that assign the correct walls into your groups.
Once you have created your groups you can validate the groups
- A group must have objects
- Example: The Exterior Walls group must not be empty
- A group must not have any objects
- Example: The group containing all walls shorter than 10cm must be empty
- All objects in a group must have a property
- Example: All objects in the Exterior Walls group must have a U-Value
- All objects in a group must have required property values
- Example: All objects in the Circulation Spaces -group must have a space type from a list of allowed values; corridor, lobby, staircase…
The results of the validation are shown in the Simplebim user interface for example in the Objects and Properties palettes as additional information. When you edit the model in Simplebim the validation results are automatically updated. This way the validation results become your to-do list and when all validation passes (is green), then your model is fit for purpose and you are ready to export a relevant and reliable IFC model to be used in other applications.
You can also create BCF issues from the validation results and communicate them to other parties in your project.