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):

  • Templates (draft)
  • Classification examples
    • Autodesk AutoCAD
    • Autodesk AutoCAD Architecture / MEP
    • Autodesk Civil 3D
    • Autodesk Revit

Templates (draft)

In English

In Estonian

Note: Sample templates for AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD MEP, Autodesk Civil 3D are based on default templates into where CCI (CCI-EE) sections are added: Property Set Definitions, List Definitions, Classification Definitions.

Note: Sample “template” for Autodesk Revit is a Excel file to be used with BIM Interoperability Tools (Classification Manager). In addition (depending on Revit & BIM Interoperability Tools version) you may need to copy SP_ClassificationManager.txt shared parameter file into: C:\Program Files (x86)\Autodesk\BIT\2022\Resources\ (this is known bug in Revit 2022 and hopefully it will be fixed soon and updated also in this post).

Note: File names include the reference to CCI / CCI-EE table version. For example, template “CCI-template-ENG-C3D_CCI-EE-2021.06.0.1.dwt” is updated according to CCI-EE Excel file version: CCI-EE-2021.06.0.1.xls.

Classification examples

In this section sample products are tested according to provided templates.

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

AutoCAD Architecture / MEP is well-known, construction-component-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.

General for AutoCAD Architecture / MEP / Autodesk Civil 3D: The key in here is to use Style Manager. Under the node Multi-purpose Objects > Classification Definitions, you define those classification definitions based on CCI (CCI-EE) tables.

As each definition should have some unique value, this is given through properties table (see: CCI-EE, RI 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. Therefore, Classification Definition AC075_cciCOcode is so called parameter name which uniquely identifies its content and will be userd across other platforms as well. Content of the definition is directly coming from CCI-EE, CO table and includes class code + term which helps to apply it onto objects at later stage. 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 IfcClassificationReference section.

IfcClassficationReference after export as seen in Trimble Connect.

General for AutoCAD Architecture / MEP / Autodesk Civil 3D: In addition to Classification Definitions, List Definitions are also added into the template. This simplifies to generate level codes (reference designation system) in Property Set Definitions.

General for AutoCAD Architecture / MEP / Autodesk Civil 3D: In addition, Style Manager is used to generate various sample Property Set Definitions (available in Templates). Property Set Definition 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.

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

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).

Those Property Set Definitions can be generated for all objects or you create separate RDS Property Set Definition for different object types. But you should use different names, like AC01_RDS(component1), AC02_RDS(component2), … AC76(componentN)… And those Property Set Definition templates should be carefully generated to keep their meaning in different products. So, AC01_SomeName refers to some IT system requirement, Exchange Information Requirements and it includes same properties across the used software platforms to ensure the consistency. Same is true for all other Property Set Definitions, in where those can be generated based on object types, project stage according to ISO 19650 series.

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 (level code) will change if the classification code is changed (whatever the reason). Pump as modelled in AutoCAD MEP (multi-view block).

Reference designation code (level 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 to focus onto basics. But the workflow will be the same as we generate our models/projects according to CCI (CCI-EE) classfications system.

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. Note that in Civil 3D there are many more object types. Please also check other parts which were explained in section AutoCAD Architecture / MEP (incl List Definitions, Property Set Definitions – which are also available in Civil 3D template as examples).

Therefore if we want to classify a road that is in a planned stage (no actual road, only a road line is defined) we can use an alignment to draw it and add a classification through Entities table (CE table).

As with the Architecture / MEP example, we can add property sets through various data templates which gather parameters according to an owner / client needs or according to project stage requreiments.

Once this preliminary road is developed further and include a corridor model, it will still be the same road in terms of entity.

But properties will change that can include additional information. Also, that road as an entity can be broken down into component levels (curb, construction layers as surfaces etc.). In that case we can include component code as well. For example the paving code for a road top construction layer.

To be able to map in which stage some planned/design/built object is, additional level codes are added into properties section.

And those are aligned into a complete reference designation code as follows. You do not have to use that long code alone. The idea behind of level codes are that you can break the long code into several parts as needed.

If we come back to the road, which is in planned stage we can add the following coding:

AC125_cciPAcode: <PA>EAG (pre-design process, project administration, sketching)
AC095_cciRAcode: <RA>ABA (developers, designers, planner)
AC145_cciPPcode: <PP>### (not yet defined)

Note: There are multiple ways how reference designation codes are formed. For example, in addition to a fixed property name, you may want to include a table name into the code itself: Instead of writing just EAG from PA table, you may want to include the table identifier in front of the code: <PA>EAG (in that case it is clearly indicated from which table this comes). Also automatic code building is then different (will you include the fixed table code + code from the input field, or you type it in with both values). Down below you see an example of that same road alignment as described above.

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.

drones in construction drones

droneHOW – Drones in construction

The construction sector plays an important role in World’s economy and is estimated to be about 6% of the world gross domestic product (GDP) and is expected to reach around 14.7% by 2030 (GCP, 2015). Construction sector is important for European economy as well, providing 18 million jobs and 1% rise in productivity could save $100 billion a year in construction costs (WEF, 2016). Construction sector is in the era of transformation, towards the 4th industrial revolution and therefore given a name of Construction 4.0 (Craveiro et al., 2019). Construction 4.0 basically means the greater level of digitalization through a building information modelling (BIM) (Figure 1). BIM main purpose is to integrate the entire building information along its lifecycle (design, construct, operate, maintain, reuse, demolish).

Figure 1. “Construction 4.0” environment enabled by intensive use of digital technologies (adapted from Craveiro et al., 2019)

I have created a video series to show how drones can be used in construction sector more easily. It will start with creating a drone flight program (in different ways), carrying out drone flight itself and editing the data in different ways.

Episode #01 – Creating a drone flight program (DJI Phantom 4 RTK)

Episode #02 – Creating a drone flight program from a KML file (DJI Phantom 4 RTK)

Episode #03 – Flying a drone at construction site (DJI Phantom 4 RTK)

Episode #04 – Creating a 3D model (Bentley ContextCapture)

Episode #05 – KML-based flight program for 3D photogrammetry (DJI Phantom 4 RTK)

Episode #06 – How to organize your photos/images

Episode #07 – Sharing a pointcloud through a free web service

Episode #08 – Using ground control points in drone survey (Bentley ContextCapture)

Episode #09 – Generating pointcloud (Bentley ContextCapture)

Episode #10 – Combined pointcloud (Potree viewer)


Craveiro, F., Duarte, J.P., Bartolo, H. and Bartolo, P.J (2019) Additive manufacturing as an enabling technology for digital construction: a perspective on Construction 4.0, Automation in Construction, 103, 251-267.

GCP (2015) Global Construction Perspectives and Oxford Economics, A Global Forecast for the Construction Industry by 2030, Global Construction Perspectives and Oxford Economics, London, UK, 2015 (ISBN 978-0-9564207-9-4).

WEF (2016) World Economic Forum, Shaping the future of construction – a breakthrough in mindset and technology, World Economic Forum, Geneva, Switzerland, WEF_Shaping_the_Future_of_Construction_full_report__.pdf, accessed: 07.06.2019.