Last updated March 10, 2020 by Tekla User Assistance

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You can export reinforcement geometry to the BVBS format. The result is an ASCII file with a file name extension .abs.

You can export reinforcement geometry to BVBS (Bundesvereinigung Bausoftware) format. The result is a text file in ASCII format. The supported version of the BVBS format is 2.0 year 2000.

You can export bent reinforcing bars, reinforcing barreinforcement that represents a steel bar used to reinforce a concrete structure

The steel bars are usually ribbed and they are used to increase the tensile strength of concrete.

groups and reinforcement meshes, which can be rectangular, polygonal, non-bent or bent, and may include cuts. The export of hooks is also supported.

Reinforcing bars that have bendings with two or more variable radius values are exported fully conforming with the BVBS specification so that radius element and leg elements are written separately. If this causes compatibility issues within your own environment and other tools using the BVBS files, you can still go back to the older way of exporting by setting the advanced option XS_BVBS_EXPORT_ARC_COMPATIBLE_TO_OLDER_METHOD to TRUE in an .ini file, for example, in user.ini.

Export to the BVBS format

  1. Ensure that numberingprocess of assigning position numbers to parts, cast units, assemblies, or reinforcement

    In Tekla Structures, the position numbers assigned in the numbering are shown in marks and templates, for example.

    is up to date.
  2. Go to the properties of the cast units and reinforcement that you plan to export, and edit the user-defined attributes on the BVBS tab as required. The user-defined attributes are environment specific.
  3. Select the cast units with the desired reinforcement content, or select the reinforcement.
  4. On the File menu, click Export > BVBS.

    The BVBS Export dialog box is displayed.

  5. Define the BVBS export settings:
    1. On the Parameters tab, select:
      • which reinforcement to export

      • how to export drawing data
      • how and where to export the BVBS file or files
      • which BVBS elements to export

      You can use saved selection filters to exclude reinforcement bars or meshes matching with the selected filter.

    2. On the Advanced tab, select whether you want to:
      • round rebar lengths for 2D bent bars

      • make meshes out of rebars
      • include the detailed data of meshreinforcement that represents a mesh of steel bars in two perpendicular directions

        In Tekla Structures, the reinforcement mesh bars in one direction are called main bars and reinforcement mesh bars perpendicular to them are called crossing bars.

        bars in the exported data of the mesh
      • define the order of the items in the output file
      • export the private data block and select the data items for this additional block

      You can also define which bending radius is used to calculate the arc length: Bending radius to the rebar center line, which is the default for most interfaces, or to the rebar inner edge, in which case the bending radius is shortened with half of the rebar nominal diameter.

      BVBS export uses arc geometry in two cases:

      • For circular rebars such as spirals or hoops.

      • When bent rebar has more than 1 bending radius, the bends with the larger radius are exported as arc sections.

    3. On the Checking tab, select whether you want to run additional checks for the reinforcing bars.
  6. Click Export.
The BVBS file or files in .abs format are exported to the folder specified in the Output file area. You can check the export report by clicking the report link that appears at the bottom of the dialog box.

BVBS export settings

Use the BVBS Export dialog box to control the BVBS export settings.

Parameters tab



Model objects to be exported

Select which reinforcing bars or meshes are exported.

  • Reinforcement of all cast units in the model

    Exports reinforcing bars or meshes in all cast units in the model. If there are cast units that do not have reinforcing bars or meshes, no empty files are created.

  • Reinforcement of selected cast units

    Exports reinforcing bars or meshes in the cast units you have selected in the model.

  • Selected reinforcement only

    Exports the reinforcing bars or meshes you have selected in the model or in the drawing. When you select this option, you can export only to a single file.

  • Reinforcement of selected cast units (totals by all positions)

    Exports reinforcing bars or meshes in all the cast units that have the same cast unit position as any of the selected cast unit positions.

    For example, if a cast unit with the cast unit position W-120 is selected, the reinforcing bars or meshes in all the cast units that have position W-120 are exported even though not all of them were selected.

Excluding reinforcement by filter

Exclude reinforcing bars or meshes by selecting any of the selection filters. Reinforcing bars or meshes that match the filter are excluded.

Single file

Export all BVBS information into one .abs file. Enter the file name in the box or click the ... button to browse for the file. If you do not enter a path, the file is saved in the model folder.

One file per each cast unit

Export each cast unit reinforcement content to its own file.

The files are created under the folder that you define in the Folder name box, or you can browse for the folder using the ... button.

Use the File naming template list to select how the created files are automatically named. You can use multiple assembly template properties in the file name. Type the template properties in the box and separate them with spaces. The combination will be separated by underscores in the exported file name.

You can include revision into file name by selecting the Include revision into file name check box.

BVBS elements to be exported

Select which item types are exported. The options are:
  • 2D reinforcement bars (BF2D)

  • 3D reinforcement bars (BF3D)

  • Spiral reinforcement coils (BFWE)

  • Reinforcement meshes (BFMA)

  • Lattice girders (BFGT)

    If you select Lattice girders (BFGT), enter the class numbers used in the model for the lattice girder bars in the Class numbers for girder box. The lattice girder may contain two or three chord bars and one or two diagonal zig-zag bars. The lattice girder length and other attributes are taken from the main chord (usually top chord).

Settings tab

Option Description

Drawing name source

In BVBS file each row/rebar has a data field for Drawing number of the respective drawing (drawing name) and Index of the respective drawing (drawing revision). With the option Drawing name source you can control how the values for these data fields will be set.

Cast unit position

Drawing Name

Drawing Mark

Drawing Title1

Drawing Title2

Drawing Title3

Fixed text: If you select this, enter the text in User-defined drawing name.

Reinforcement UDA

Reinforcement template

Assembly template

By selecting the option Fixed text you can enter the values in the dialog box and same ("fixed") values will be written for every exported rebar.

If any of the other options is selected, the drawing name and revision will be taken from the cast unit or cast unit drawing of the rebar.

Note that it depends on the receiving system of the BVBS file how important and for what purpose this data will be used. From Tekla Structures perspective, using this data field is not obligatory.

User-defined drawing name

Enter a text string to be used for the drawing in the export.

This option is available only when you have selected the Fixed text option in Drawing name source.


Drawing revision (index).

This option is available only when you have selected the option Fixed text in Drawing name source.

Position source

Define the source of the position. The options are Reinforcement position, Reinforcement UDA and Fixed text.

User-defined reinforcement position

Define the reinforcement UDA position number. Exported item with the same position number but different UDA position number will be exported to different rows.
Project number

Define the project number. The options are:

Project Properties: The export fetches the project number information from the project properties set in Tekla Structures.

Project properties UDA: The export uses the UDA name entered in the User-defined reinforcement position box.

Fixed text: The export uses the text entered in theUser-defined reinforcement position.

Advanced tab




Round lengths to

Round leg lengths to

Round rebar lengths for 2D bent bars. Mesh and 3D rebars are not affected.

To round the lengths, first select an option for the Round setting. The options are:

YesUp - Uses the nearest rounding value.

Up - Rounds the lengths up.

Down - Rounds the lengths down.

Round lengths to rounds the total rebar lengths in the corresponding BVBS field in the header block, and the available values are 1, 5, 10, and 25.

Round leg lengths to rounds the leg lengths in the geometry block, and the available values are 1, 5, and 10.

1 is the default value for both options.

Bent leg arc radius

This setting defines which bending radius is used to calculate the arc length: Bending radius to the rebar center line (Center line), which is the default for most interfaces, to the rebar inner edge (Inner edge), or to the rebar outer edge (Outer edge). If you select Inner edge, the bending radius is shortened with half of the rebar nominal diameter.

The BVBS export uses arc geometry in two cases:

  • For circular rebars such as spirals or hoops.

  • When bent rebar has more than 1 bending radius, the bends with the larger radius are exported as arc sections.

Try to make meshes of rebars

Select whether the export tries to automatically form meshes of a single reinforcing bar or of a group reinforcing bars and export them as a mesh instead of separate 2D bars. The options are:

Yes, group rebars by class

Yes, group rebars by name

Yes, group rebars by grade

Yes, group rebars by UDA

In order to form a mesh the reinforcing bars need to belong to the same part, be straight, be on the same plane, and have equal filtering attribute values.

UDA name for grouping

If you selected the value Yes, group rebars by UDA for Try to make meshes of rebars, enter the UDA name for grouping.

Exporting of mesh bar data (@X..@Y..)

Use this option to control whether the detailed data on mesh bars is included in the exported data of the mesh. The appropriate option depends on the needs and capabilities of the receiving system. The data is needed if it will be used, for example, for mesh fabrication.

  • Custom and cut catalog meshes only

    Detailed bar data is included only for custom meshes and catalog meshes that have additional cuts, openings or skewed edges.

  • All meshes

    Detailed bar data is written for all meshes.

  • None meshes

    Detailed bar data is not written to any of the meshes.

Export stepped bars as separate items

By default a stepped group is exported as a single string with the stepping length defined in a certain data block.

If you select the value Yes for Exporting of mesh bar data (@X..@Y..), all tapered reinforcing bar groups are exported as multiple separate reinforcing bar items even if they have regular spacing and could be exported as one single stepped reinforcing bar item.

If all the tapered bars within the group have the same geometry and length, they will be exported within a single BVBS string as a regular group would, regardless of this setting.

Sort items

Use this option to define the order of the items in the output files. The options are:

No sorting

By diameter, smaller size first

By diameter, bigger size first

By position number

Private data block

With Private data block you can control whether the private data block is exported (Export private data block) and select the data items for this additional block. The following data types are available:

- Reinforcement report property (integer, float or text)

- User-defined attribute (integer, float or text)

- Open API object property

- Assembly report property (integer, float or text)

Click the New... button to add new predefined private data fields to the list. Enter information about the data item.

  • Name in list

    The text shown in the Private data block list.

  • Field identifier (one lower case letter)

    The field code which separates the individual data fields in the private data block. It can be any lower case letter. Typically, it is a good practice to use a different value for each data item but this is not required. The receiving system may also be able to read only certain data fields.

  • Property or UDA name

    The value defines which data will be inquired from the reinforcement object. Note that a non-existing property will be not exported.

  • Property data type

    The value has to match the actual selected property. The options are:

    • Reinforcement report property Integer/Reinforcement report property Float/Reinforcement report property Text

    • User defined attribute - Integer/User defined attribute - Float/User defined attribute - Text

    • Open API object property

    • Assembly report property Integer/Assembly report property Float/Assembly report property Text

You can also edit and remove data fields, and change their order.

Checking tab



Check reinforcement

Select whether you want to run additional checks for the following:

Reinforcement diameters(separated with spaces)

Minimum cutting length of reinforcing bars

Maximum cutting length of the reinforcing bars

Minimum leg length for straight sections between the bends

Maximum weight of individual bars

When you select the Check reinforcement check box, and the values of the exported reinforcing bar are less than the minimum or greater than the maximum, a warning is written to the export log file.

The log file entry contains the ID of the reinforcing bar. You can locate the reinforcing bar in the model by selecting the appropriate row in the log file. Note that the reinforcing bar is still exported normally and only the additional warning is given.

Note that when the check is activated, the length of lattice girders is also checked. A warning is added in the log when the check fails. The length of the main chord defines the exported length of the lattice girder.

UDAs tab

On this tab you can define the UDAobject property created by the user in order to widen the range of predefined object properties

User-defined attributes are used when the predefined object properties are not sufficient but more properties are needed. For example, comment, locked, and erection status are user-defined attributes.

fields to be used, and the content to write into reinforcement, part, cast unit and pour objectbuilding object that is formed of one or more cast-in-place concrete parts, or parts of cast-in-place concrete parts

The cast-in-place concrete parts are merged into one pour object if they have the same material grade and pour phase, and if they touch each other. Pour objects are visible in pour view.

UDAs. You can tag UDAs based on release code, release status, release date and released by information. You can also select whether existing UDAs are checked and handled by using the setting Check existing UDAs. The options are No, Prevent export, Report to log, Report to log and overwrite, and Overwrite only.

Reinforcing bar length calculation in BVBS export

The length of the reinforcing bar is calculated according to the BVBS specification. The length also depends on the bending angle. Lengths L1 and L2 are exported.

If you set the advanced option XS_​USE_​USER_​DEFINED_​REBAR_​LENGTH_​AND_​WEIGHT to TRUE, the user-defined length value is exported as the overall length for the reinforcing bar.

Note that the BVBS format specifications define that the overall length of the bar is ignored if the data contains actual geometry data. Some other software applications may still use the overall length values in the BVBS file for calculating quantities. The exported overall length in Tekla Structures is the same length as shown in reports.

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