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Defining standard properties

As explained in the theory section, objects in BriefBuilder (e.g. spaces or systems) can have particular properties (e.g. size or capacity). You can create these on the detail view of an object, but you can also predefine them in the requirements settings menu.

You may for example want to predefine that all spaces should have a property ‘minimum floor-to-ceiling height’, or that all deliverables should have a property ‘submission moment’.

Below, we will explain how to do this. You can also watch the video.

Please note: standard properties work best if they are relevant for the majority of objects of a particular type — otherwise you will get a lot of empty entry fields on your detail views. If a property is relevant for only a few objects, it is better to define them as custom properties.

Try to avoid referring to other objects in properties. For example: a property with the name “Number of power sockets per room” is (formally) not a good property because power sockets are objects in their right, which may have their own properties (e.g. type).

Settings menu

Standard properties can be defined in the requirements settings menu, which can be found at the bottom of the navigation bar.

When you have clicked on ‘standard properties’ you get to see a selection window in which you can select the object type (systems, spaces, spatial elements etc.) for which you want to define standard properties.

Select the object for which you want to define a standard property

In building projects, the spaces are typically the most important carrier of standard properties. Think of floor area sizes and indoor climate requirements.

Creating blocks and tables

If an object type does not yet have a table for standard properties, you will see a button that says: Define your first property block.

When clicking on that button, you are creating what-we-call a ‘block’ with standard properties on the detail view of that object type.

It is possible to make multiple blocks on a detail view by clicking on the on the top of the page. Please note however that a single block is usually sufficient.

It is also possible to subdivide a block into smaller tables (by clicking on the icon next to the block name) but, again, there is usually no need for this.

Creating a standard property

You can add standard properties to your block or table by clicking on Add standard property at the bottom of the table. If you do so, you get a table in which you can define the following property attributes:


The name of the property, indicating the quality or topic for which you want to define a requirement. For example, ‘energy usage’ or ‘floor area’.


Some explanatory words about the property, if relevant. Preferably the description is a formal definition from an accepted standard (e.g. an ISO or EN standard).


A symbol (>, <, =, etc.) that explains how the property’s value should be understood. Does it, for example, concern a minimum value (e.g. floor size > 30 m2) or a maximum value (e.g. temperature level < 20 oC).

Input type

The type of input that is allowed in the value field. There are four options:

  • Text: allows the entry of text values (the most flexible option)
  • Number: allows only numerical values (relevant when you want to calculate with values)
  • Picklist: enables you to predefine values (e.g. class A, B and C)
  • User: allows you to select (BriefBuilder) users (Please note: these are not really property values. This option is only relevant in very specific cases, such as when defining verification settings)

Unit of measure

The unit in which a value is expressed. For example: is the property value for floor size referring to square meters or square feet?

Picklist values

If you have chosen ‘picklist’ as input type (see earlier), this is where you can define the value options by clicking on Add value in the pop-up. You can also add a (short) description for every individual picklist option.

For some object types (i.e. spaces) you will see properties marked with an asterisk (*): these are properties that cannot be removed because they are needed for particular features in BriefBuilder (e.g. calculation of the total number of square meters of a project). It is possible however to customise them (e.g. change their name or description).

Changing the sequence of properties

You can change the sequence of standard properties in the table by means of the little arrows behind it (). When clicking on those arrows and holding on to your mouse button, you can move properties up and down.

Drag properties up and down by means of the little arrows

Deleting standard properties

It is possible to delete a standard property by clicking on the icon. You will get a warning notification to ensure that you actually want to delete that property.

Please note that this can be quite a far-reaching action as the property will be removed from all objects that have it. To see how many times a property has been used, you can look at the Used column that shows how many objects have a value for that property.

The last column (‘Used’) of a standard property shows how many times it has been used in the model. In this example, there are 13 objects that have a value (or value note) for a property.

Please note that (for the sake of consistency) we also use the concept of standard properties for the definition of the settings for analysis and verification.

Importing standard property blocks

If you have a good set of standard properties in another project or in a library model, you can easily import these into your own model.

This can be done via the import property block button () at the top of the page (see image below).

When doing the import, the software checks whether there are properties in the source model and the target model that have the same name.

If that is the case—and if these properties are already in use in your model—none of your property attributes (description, input type, …) will be overwritten. This is to avoid changes to existing data.

But when properties have not yet been used in your model, you will get all the property attributes from the model from which you are doing the import.

Note: if property names are different (e.g. Floor-to-ceiling height in one model and Ceiling height in the other), you will get two properties that say something about a room’s height, which may not be your intention. It is therefore recommended that you take a close look at the property names in the both the source and the target model before you do the import. This to avoid unwanted duplicate properties.

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