4.7 Material




Each object has a property relationship with a material. Knowing what material an object is made of makes it possible to check whether it meets the set of (aesthetic, physical and maintenance) requirements. Being able to identify materials is also important for, among other things, for example visualization, material passport and purchasing.

Separate materials

In IFC, separate materials are linked to the element. If this is not the case, you can choose the dominant material. Consider a translucent plastic cover or the white aluminium of an air handling unit cover.

Pay special attention to composite objects, such as Timber stud walls or lighting fixtures: if the separate parts have separate materials, these will be exported as such to IfcMaterial.

Naming Rules

Quality and performance requirements are preferably not included in the materialname; these are separate properties applied to the element. For example: a wall, which has a FireRating requirement of 60 minutes, may initially be a sand-lime brick and during the process can be changed to concrete. The FireRating requirement of 60 minutes will continue to apply to this single instance of the wall. It is now possible to change this by changing the wall type or just the material.

Element codes (such as NL-SfB Table 1) are not included in the material. In this way, a material such as wood can be used in an internal wall opening, but also in an external wall finish or main load-bearing structure.

Avoid duplicating information

Manufacturer and supplier are each entered in a different place, so that they can be exported to PsetManufacturerTypeInformation – Manufacturer. A common exception to this is colour: within the IFC-scheme there are no properties available to indicate colour and finish. In addition, materials are often used within aspect models to visualise the building. In general, we advise: keep it as simple and uniform as possible and take sorting into account.