ArcGIS Pro

Combine multiple digital models into a single building scene layer

This workflow is for ArcGIS Pro 2.9 or later.

As a GIS analyst supporting the maintenance team of a newly constructed building, you must create a single source of the building to share with the facilities manager and the events team. Due to the complexity of the project and the expertise needed, the single structure was split into multiple digital models so each contractor could work on their disciplines.

Learn how you can combine multiple models into a single layer in ArcGIS by completing the following steps.

Assumptions

Tips and tricks

Consider the following before beginning the workflow steps:

 

List of digital models
List of digital models

Inspect the file version and upgrade

Complete the following steps to inspect and upgrade the file:

1. Select the BIM file workspace in the Catalog

2. Go to Properties.

Property Window for the Digital Model
Property Window for the Digital Model

The File Property window appears.

4. Go to Model Properties.

5. Look at the File Version.

Digital Model File Version
Digital Model File Version

In this case, the file version is 2018, so you can upgrade the file.

6. Go to General.

7. Click the Upgrade button.

Upgrade Digital Model Button
Upgrade Window Properties

This will take a few minutes.

If you check Model Properties again, you will see that the file version is now 2022.

Upgraded Digital Model
Digital Model File Version (Upgraded)

Now that you understand how to make your workflows more efficient, you can create a single source of a facility to share with the facilities manager and the events team.

Create a single dataset from multiple digital models

Complete the following steps to create a single dataset:

1. Click the Analysis

2. Click Tools.

3. Search for the BIM File To Geodatabase geoprocessing tool.

BIM File to Geodatabase Geoprocessing Tool
BIM File to Geodatabase Geoprocessing Tool

4. Click the geoprocessing tool.

BIM File to Geodatabase Geoprocessing Tool
BIM File to Geodatabase Geoprocessing Tool Input

5. Fill out the required parameters in the geoprocessing tool.

Revit and IFC files can be used as inputs on the same run of the BIM File to Geodatabase geoprocessing tool.

In this case, I named the dataset based on the contract.

In this example, I used the date that the dataset was created, but it could be used as way to identify the building on a campus\facility. This identifier is added to all the elements in the dataset.

 

BIM File to Geodatabase Geoprocessing Tool Populated
BIM File to Geodatabase Geoprocessing Tool Populated

6. Click Run.

The run of the tool will take some time as the files are very detailed.

Now that you have the dataset that combines the multiple digital models, you can create a building layer. This is the first step to create the building scene layer package.

Create a building layer

Complete the following steps to create the building layer:

1. Search for the Make Building Layer geoprocessing tool.

2. Click the geoprocessing tool.

3. Fill out the geoprocessing tool parameters.

Make Building Layer Geoprocessing Tool
Make Building Layer Geoprocessing Tool Input

4. Click Run.

The run of the tool will take some time as the files are very detailed.

Jihlava Multipurpose Arena Single Building Layer
Jihlava Multipurpose Arena as a Single Building Layer

Now that you have the dataset structure as a building layer, you can create the building scene layer, which you can use for lightweight consumption on ArcGIS Pro, but your end goal is to publish to ArcGIS Online.

Create building scene layer content

Complete the following steps to create the building scene layer content:

1. Search for the Create Building Scene Layer Content geoprocessing tool.

Create Building Scene Layer Content Geoprocessing Tool
Create Building Scene Layer Content Geoprocessing Tool

2. Click the geoprocessing tool.

Building Scene Layer Content Geoprocessing Tool Input

3. Fill out the geoprocessing tool parameters.

For additional information on texture optimization, visit the help documentation.

Building Scene Layer Content Geoprocessing Tool Populated
Building Scene Layer Content Geoprocessing Tool Populated

4. Click Run.

The run of the tool will take some time as the files are very detailed.

The next step is to share your building layer. This can be done in two ways:

Summary

This blog covered the workflow of creating a building scene layer package that represents a building that is composed of multiple digital models (Revit or IFC). Keep the following in mind as you use this workflow:

 

Thank you to ARCDATA PRAHA, s.r.o. and the City of Jihlava (Magistrát města Jihlavy) for sharing the digital models

About the author

David Alvarez

David is a product engineer on the BIM/CAD team and have been with Esri since 2018.

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