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How to import IFC properties from Excel

Importing IFC properties from an Excel file and assigning them to an entity or group of entities. Here are a series of useful tools and an example file ready to use

Are you dealing with having to import IFC properties from an Excel file in order to assign them to your 3D model?

In this focus article I’ll show you how you can assign custom properties or standard properties to your IFC objects through some easy to read illustrations and an example file that is ready for you to download.

In the sample file you’ll notice that I have already assigned the properties to my project entities (PropertySet) as defined by building SMART.

I’ll also provide you Excel templates with all the standard properties of the following entities:

Download the zip file with all the Excel templates

Take advantage of usBIM.viewer+ , so as to have all the tools that you need to import a template from Excel with IFC properties and assign the properties to your project entities. Further on this article, you’ll find a step-by-step guide that shows this very straight-forward process.

IFC Property Set from an Excel file

IFC Property Set from an Excel file | usBIM.viewer+

How to create a template in Excel

You can either follow the buildingSMART standards or create custom properties. In both cases you need to open a new Excel workbook (Excel file) and set up a table with four columns containing:

  • Pset Name, where you can enter the name of the object (eg: Pset_WallCommon)
  • Property Name, where you can enter the property name (es: Reference)
  • Property IFC Type, where you can enter the type of value to be used (eg: IfcPropertySingleValueIfcIdentifier)
  • Property Default Value, where you can enter the property values.

Here you can find one of our templates ready to use and make the necessary changes in the Excel file to customize the properties to be assigned your project entities.

In this template, I followed the buildingSMART instructions to create the example of a wall entity. As you can see from the image below, I’ve also added a custom property that I have identified as New Property.

Property set structure in Excel

Property set structure in Excel

How to import a template from Excel

If you’ve created your property template in Excel and want to assign it to your IFC template, follow these simple steps:

  1. download usBIM.viewer+ and install it for free
  2. create your custom template or use one of the Excel files that I make available for you
  3. open your IFC model with usBIM.viewer+
  4. click on Edit
  5. select the entity to assign to the new properties
  6. from the tool bar, click on Template in the Properties section
  7. click on the folder icon in the Properties to add
  8. select the Excel file to import
  9. in the entity filter, select the entities to which assigning properties
  10. select one of the two options proposed to confirm the operation
  11. click on Confirm>Apply.

If you have correctly followed all the steps, you can now verify that your template has been assigned to the selected entities, by choosing the reference entity and reading its values in the properties toolbox.

Take a look at the new properties in the IFC file that is ready for you to download.

How to assign the template to a group of entities

Let’s now take a closer look at how to assign custom properties also to a group of entities. All you need to do is the following:

  1. open your IFC model with usBIM.viewer+
  2. click on Edit>Groups
  3. click the + symbol from the dialog, type the group name>confirm
  4. select the entities that you want to group and add them to the newly created group by clicking on the + symbol
  5. click on Edit properties
  6. from the pop-up dialog, click on the folder symbol and choose the template file
  7. click on Confirm>Apply.

Animated Gif import Property Set multiple selection – usBIM.viewer+.


On the tool box on the left-hand side you’ll see the group that you’ve created (IfcGroup) while on the right-hand side toolbox the properties that you’ve imported with the template.

In brief, by following these simple steps you have:

  • created an IFC property template with Excel
  • assigned your template to a project entity with usBIM.viewer+
  • created a group of entities
  • assigned your template to the entity group that you’ve created.

Software download and sample files

Here are some useful tools to create a property template with Excel and assign it to your project entities:

sample IFC file

Template in Excel format with the main entity properties (wall, slab, door and windows) of a project