File Naming

File Naming

The method for naming a file is detailed within BS 1192:2007+A2:2016 Collaborative production of architectural, engineering and construction information – Code of practice.

Before we get into the detail of how the naming works, a couple of key points:

  • To comply with Level 1 BIM (and subsequently Level 2 BIM) standard naming applies to all project documents (and not just drawings and models)
  • Project codes (ideally) should be defined by the client within the Employer’s Information Requirements (EIR) or alternatively are defined within the BIM Execution Plan (BEP)
  • The fields required for file naming (and only those required) are clearly defined within the code of practice. All fields are required in the defined order (within the exception of the optional and metadata fields which may be omitted)

So, to deliver BIM level 2 all project document files should be named in accordance with BS 1192, no alternative methods are accepted. However, in practice not all the file naming requirements will work for every project any deviation should be clearly referenced within project documents (EIR and BEP).

The arrangement for file naming, with each field separated by a hyphen (generally the table below and further information applies to the BS 1192 standard coding):

Field Project Originator Volume or System Levels and Locations Type Role Classification Number Suitability Revision Extension Suffix
Example AAA BB 00 01 DR A SL_25_70_47 0001 .pdf
Required or optional Required Required Required Required Required Required Optional Required Optional Optional Required
Characters 2-6 3-6 1-2 2 2 1 character To match the selected classification library 4 integer numeric digits 2 3 – with additional decimals for WIP As applicable application

Project Code

This is an individual code for the project that will be used consistently throughout the project. Ideally the project code should be confirmed at the early stages of the project, ideally by the client and confirmed in the EIR. For a project where a client does not initialise a project wide code, but the design team require a consistent reference, this should be developed by the project team and confirmed within the BEP.

Some large projects, for example a large development, may consist of multiple projects with some of the projects being sub-projects. The project code can be setup to have a main project number with sub-projects identified with an additional reference.

Main project code 101

Sub-project code101a

Originator Code

A unique code for each organisation, so that the originator for the file can identified from the file name.

Volume or System Code

This provides a code for identifying an individual or system. The code should be one to two characters long.

A volume can consist of groupings such as existing building with another code for the proposed new building. Projects can also be split into systems, allowing for items such as primary electrical containment or steelwork to have a unique system code. The codes can be viewed as similar to CAD layers, they allow related parts of a model to be provided as a single volume.

Volume and system codes can also be used to organise large estates with separate volumes being provided for each facility and then sub-volumes for departments. Depending upon the size of the estate this may require additional codes beyond those available with the allowable 2 digits. The use of additional digits would not be in accordance with the requirements of BS 1192, but the standard provides guidance, the use of codes should work for your requirements.

Levels and Locations

Standard codes for levels

ZZ Multiple levels Where the file applies to multiple levels, for example a cross sectional drawing
XX No level For files that are not relevant to the levels, for example specifications or meeting minutes
GF Ground floor
00 Base level For linear assets (for example roads) or where GF isn’t applicable
01 Level one The first level primary level above ground level
M1 Mezzanine one Mezzanine level above level one
M2 Mezzanine two Mezzanine level above level two
B1 Basement one The first level below ground level
B2 Basement two The second level below ground level


A code to identify the type of file, the full list of type codes from BS 1192

Drawings & Models

AF Animation File (of a model)
CM Combined model (federated mutlidiscipline model)
CR Specific for the clash process
DR 2D drawing
M2 2D model file
M3 3D model file
MR Model rendition file (for example thermal analysis)
VS Visualisation of a model


BQ Bill of quantities
CO Correspondence
CP Cost plan
DB Database
FN File note
HS Health & Safety
IE Information exchange file
MI Minutes / action notes
MS Method statement
PP Presentation
PR Programme
RD Room data sheet
RI Request for information
RP Report
SA Schedule of accommodation
CA Calculations
SH Schedule
SN Snagging list
SP Specification
SU Survey


A code to identify the originator of the file, the full list of codes from BS 1192

A Architect
B Building Surveyor
C Civil Engineer
D Drainage, Highways Engineer
E Electrical Engineer
F Facilities Manager
G Geographical and Land Surveyor
H Heating and Ventilation Designer
I Interior Designer
K Client
L Landscape Architect
M Mechanical Engineer
P Public Health Engineer
Q Quantity Surveyor
S Structural Engineer
T Town and Country Planner
W Contractor
Y Specialist Designer
Z General (non-disciplinary)


For standard codes, BS 1192 references codes compliant to BS ISO 12006 and the Uniclass publication. The Uniclass 2015 tables that may be utilised for classification include the Products and Systems tables.

Some points to note

    • Standards have been defined as “an agreed, repeatable way of doing something”, they are not compulsory and should be a live and evolving document. Therefore, deviations from the standards shouldn’t be discounted subject to any deviations providing a meaningful benefit to a project and are clearly defined and agreed
    • Number, PAS 1192-2 identifies 5 digit numerical characters (an additional digit to BS 1192)
    • Number, it’s possible to add in the CI/SfB code into the number character. For example the first two digits relate to the CI/SfB code (for example 43 floor finishes and 90 external works) and the next three digits providing the drawing number within the series.
    • Role, the single letter character can be insufficient for complicated projects with multiple stakeholders and consultants (such as acoustic or catering)
    • Suitability, PAS 1192-2 lists a similar (not the same) suitability codes table and headed as status codes. Status = Suitability Code + Revision Code. Some of differences include:
BS 1192:2007 PAS 1192-2:2013
References ‘Suitable for…’ References ‘Issued for…’
S4 – Suitable for stage approval S4 – Issued for construction approval
Lists the applicable files to each code Does not list the applicable files
Provides published documents status A and B with sub-codes A1, A2, B1, B2 etc Provides published documents status A and B only

For associated information refer to ‘Suitability or Status‘ and ‘Selecting a Classification System

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A template for clarifying file naming for a project can be downloaded below (you will need to register and be logged in to download)