The use of CCI and CCI-EE in construction related…

CCI stands for Construction Classification International (CCI) and represents the construction classification system for the whole building lifecycle. The CCI classification framework is based on ISO 12006-2 and tables are divided into two key groups: (a) CCI core tables (Built space, Construction complex, Construction entity, Construction element: Functional system, Technical system, Component) and (b) localized tables (all other tables). Therefore CCI-EE represents CCI core tables + localized tables from the sections of construction process and construction resource. CCI core tables are based on IEC/ISO 81346 standards, while CCI-EE tables on other standards, guidelines which partly have been used before the CCI-EE applications. CCI core tables can be accessed from and CCI-EE tables (also with English terms/definitions) from

Figure 1. Green parts belong into CCI core tables, yellow/red parts into CCI-EE.

In this post we take a look how CCI/CCI-EE can be applied through various software applications which are commonly used in construction lifecycle tasks, covering both, buildings as well as infrastructure. The core idea is to ensure the same classfication structure from various platforms once exported into various open data formats.

The current list of software platforms (will be renewed once covered):

  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Autodesk AutoCAD Architecture / MEP
  • Autodesk Civil 3D
  • Autodesk Revit

Autodesk AutoCAD

Autodesk AutoCAD fits into various modelling tasks and it can be used to generate various data for BIM/FM models but as it does not support the addition of property sets and/or classification system that can be exported into IFC, it is skipped in here, but we come back to that later, because general 2D/3D components can be classified through AutoCAD vertical applications like AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD MEP, Autodesk Civil 3D. It is also important to mention that as there are many platforms that use AutoCAD as its base platform, that those workflows should be also “upgraded” into verticals or some additional plugin should be used.

AutoCAD Architecture / MEP

Well known construction object-based modelling platform before the Autodesk Revit came along from Autodesk side and to some extent it is still commonly used, as there are plenty of other software applications that use it as a base product (ex. hsbcad, MagiCAD). It also supports IFC export.

The key in here is to use Style Manager. Under the node Multi-purpose Objects > Classification Definitions, you define the class codes based on tables. As it should have some unique value, this is given through properties table, in where we can find all available properties listed.

For example, CCI Component table code is coming from the section AC, and has a unique code of AC075. The name also includes some text which is as short as possible but the key is to make it understandable/readable from different packages/software/viewers etc.

Those Classification Definitions can be applied to various design object types through a tab Applies To.

Those classification values can be then applied through Properties palette and once exported into IFC, it will be added into IfcClassification section.

IfcClassficationReference after export as seen in Trimble Connect.

In addition, Style Manager is used to generate various Property Sets. Property set name will start with the section name (data template) from CCI-EE, RI table and will include a number to make that set unique which defines the list of properties as well as default units etc. Down below performance related properties are included and each property starts with their unique class code which makes them comparable across the platforms. Name after the unique class code is again a short recognizable (human readable) name that follows the CCI-EE, RI table but should not be misleading.

In addition, some other property sets are generated according to CCI-EE, RI table (for example name/type related information is coming from section AN).

Name section in CCI-EE, RI table.

For reference designations in where multiple codes are put together, another property set is generated and because it is coming from CCI-EE, RI section AC, its name starts with AC + some number to make it unique.

Those reference designations are usually calculated and will include the template of the complete string. It also uses the Classification Definition code as its base and will add properties as needed. Different levels can be created and those are listed in AC section (CCI-EE, RI table).

Once defined this information is automatically put together in Properties palette but some information can be easily manipulated. For example, type/number as well as the reference designation will change if the classification code is changed (whatever the reason). Pump as modelled in AutoCAD MEP (multi-view block).

Reference designation code follows some agreed template. In here it is currently in state that includes CCI, as well as CCI-EE local tables.

Once exported the pump related information is shared in between IfcClassificationReference and data templates sections.

Note that the pump efficiency is simulating the occasion, when it is not yet known value and the placeholder # is used.

This same logic can be now applied to various components, AutoCAD Architecture or AutoCAD MEP related objects. Depending on component type, it will reflect the different part of the CCI table (space, entity, functional system, technical system, component). For example, an entity is simulated through Autodesk Civil 3D export, as the context of the built area is built there (see the next section) while spaces can be simulated with a Space tool in AutoCAD Architecture/MEP or in Civil 3D as an extra Surface.

Entity as a building. Note, in here we have a simple building’s outer shape as a Solid object (as modelled in AutoCAD), but it can be classified and exported into IFC only in AutoCAD vertical products (AutoCAD Architecture/MEP, Civil 3D). Although it can be modelled also in vanilla AutoCAD (3D) as well.

Parking lot (generated as a surface) as an entity which includes parking spaces.

Wall (as modelled in AutoCAD Architecture) as a technical system (which also includes a window).

Please note that all images are preliminary examples and represents very simple scene. Those will be swapped soon. But the workflow will be the same as we use those models for CCI, CCI-EE visualization purposes.

Autodesk Civil 3D

Formerly also called as AutoCAD Civil 3D which clearly indicates that it uses AutoCAD as a base product but as it is meant for civil engineering tasks (domain) it clearly differentiate itself from other AutoCAD based products. And again, Autodesk Civil 3D can be a core product for various other vendors (Trimble Novapoint) whose products are built on top of it (may use also AutoCAD, AutoCAD Map 3D – but as stated before, those are with limited support in terms of IFC export support).

The key in here is also to use Style Manager, … please check back soon to see some more examples.

Autodesk Revit

Autodesk Revit is a key modelling package from Autodesk for buildings, structures, engineering systems (indoor) as well as for structures which belong into infrastructure domain (ex. bridges, noise walls etc.).

The key in here is using BIM Interoperability Tools which includes Classification Manager. But as it simplifies the classification task in itself, additional workflows through parameter definitions/rules can be used to shape the information export as needed.

… please check back soon to see some more examples.