suggestion: new property for place of installation (Einbauort)

I am working in a bS Germany group where we define a MVD for model based quantity take off (for Architecture). We are working together with architects, construction companies, QTO engineers.
The goal is to define a kind of an mvdxml which contains a certain set of data at a dedicated planning stage.
We are designing this MVD based on the VDI norm which defines the degree of completion (Fertigstellungsgrad) for cost estimation. This goes from 100 up 500, whereas 300 is a finished design (Entwurf in german). We are currently working on 300.

Now after defining the needed properties we are in the mapping phase where we map the properties to the corresponding IFC properties.
And here we are coming to the point where it seems that the existing IFC properties are not sufficient.

In this design planing phase the architects need an additional description which belongs to a building element. This description contains additional information which will help the QTO engineer to calculate the price tag. We call this field “Einbauort” (in English “place of installation”). This is the location where the building element is placed. And this comes as an additional information to storey or room whoch are not enough.

Examples: Zone 3, or Section 2 etc.

This “place of installation” is a kind of additional information helping the QTO engineer understand the element. In the design phase the QTO engineers do not have the final information but need to understand as good as possible the design intension of the architect.

We have tried to find several properties in IFC but so far none of them seems to fit.

Did you consider IfcZone or IfcSpatialZone? Support in all software isn’t great I think, especially if you need to have additional properties on these zones. But long-term this sounds like a better alternative? Or what kind of additional values do you expect for this property?

It is a free entry to help the QTO engineer understanding the building element. It is a free text entry for information whoch does not come out the geometry automatically but transports important information whoch affect the price.
We took a look atIfcZone and IfcSpatialZonebut they are not the right ones.

I believe that the IfcSpacialZone would be the apropriate component to resolve your problem. The truth is, sadly, this entity has been left aside and never had the attention as the others.
It is currently “under construction” and should soon be available for implementation. Maybe @daviddelven could give as some insight about it.


In my understanding the IfcSpacialZone is the defintion of eg. a “thermal zone”. Meaning: a combination of rooms which have something in common.
This could be the flats in one building. They are the “residential zone”. The parking garage is the “non heated basement zone”. The stores in the basement floor are the “shopping zone”. Or a certain area belongs to a fire security zone (fire section).
The “Einbauort” is more a description than a real zone.

Hello, guys

Indeed. The IfcSpatialZone, added in IFC4, but not implemented in Software so far, is since July 2021 an official project within the bSI framework. Switzerland, Japan, Germany and Spain are the current chapters involved. It has been presented in the last bSI virtual Summits.

The current project roadmap will provide, probably at the last 2022 quarter, some outcomes enabling SW industry to start implementing IfcSpatialZone.

In case there is someone interested in participating in providing expertise or consulting, get in contact with your chapter and address your request.

Regarding the discussed topic here, and considering what is covered by IfcSpatialZone, it seems that the “place of installation” might be perfectly covered by one of the planned use cases of Spatial Zones. They are particularly aimed to be non-hierarchical and to have its independent placement and shape representation.

Here you can find a short summary of Spatial Zone use cases:

Zone types: construction, security, fire-safety, lighting, etc…
Zone volume: 2D, 2.5D, 3D
Simulation volumes (energy, evacuation…)
MEP reservations (holders, shafts, intermediate rooms, etc…)
Operation and management (with shape representation requirements)
GIS connection
Urban/Infra domain management (decoupling from Project Models to urban or landscape level).

The next IFC Schema version might include already an initial list of PredefinedTypes and, in the future, also include their own Pset structures, etc.

In the meantime, i.m.o. a custom property at an instance level is necessary for the “place of installation” and probably you should use an IfcSpace, assuming the story dependency constraint.




I am not really aware @hkreienbrink about this “Einbauort”, especially in the early design phases.

From what I understand, a custom Pset to that building element does not solve your problem. On the other hand, I wonder, how do you intend to extract the quantities if an element sits between two of these zones.
We use in projects a similar concept of Einbauort, but it is more as a “building part” or even “site part”. In this case, we generate different IFC files with two IfcBuildings or IfcSites, hence a clear definition where the element is placed.

Do you maybe have an example of what you exactly mean?