Define additional property sets for IFC export

Added May 4, 2021 by Tekla User Assistance

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Define additional property sets for IFC export

Define additional property sets for IFC export

You can create additional property sets out of template attributes and user-defined attributes, define properties for the attributes, and bind the Tekla Structures property sets to IFCfile format commonly used in BIM that facilitates software interoperability

IFC is an open specification developed by the IAI (International Alliance for Interoperability).

Model can be exported into an IFC file.

entities for IFC export. Tekla Structures saves additional property sets in configuration files. You can keep several configuration files in several locations. When Tekla Structures exports an IFC file, it reads the predefined property sets and the additional property sets.

Add a new IFC property set configuration file

  1. On the File menu, click Export > IFC .
  2. Select <new> in the Additional property sets list and click Edit. If you have copied one of the predefined configuration files in the model folderfolder that is used for storing files associated with a model

    Tekla Structures stores all files associated with a model in a folder it creates with the same name as the model database (.db1).

    In multi-user mode all users access the same model folder.

    , open that one.
  3. For a new configuration file, in the Property Set Definitions dialog box, enter a name for the configuration file in the Name box.
  4. Enter a name for the property set next to the New button and click New.

    You can also select one of the property sets in the Property Set list.

    You can create several property sets in one configuration file. For example, you can add COGs, and start and end points on the part level, and scheduling information on the assembly levelassembly’s place in the assembly hierarchy

    The assembly level is expressed as a number.


  5. For a new property set, enter a description for the property set in the empty box.
  6. Select an entity type from the Select entity types list by selecting its check box.

    When you do this, the Select attributes list shows the attributes that are available for the selected entity type.

  7. Add the desired attributes from the Select attributes list by selecting the check boxes next to the attribute names.

    The attribute is added to the List of all selected properties list on the right. This list shows which attributes are exported and in which format:

    • You can add new attributes by entering an attribute name in the Attribute box in the Create/Modify property area and clicking the Add button.
    • You can modify and remove attributes on the list by selecting the attributes on the list and clicking Modify or Remove.
  8. Under Create/Modify property, define the attribute properties:
    • Select Property type for the selected attribute.

      Here, always select Template attribute for those user-defined attributes whose name contains more than 19 characters. For example, select Template attribute for ASSEMBLY.USERDEFINED.PLANS_STATUS.

    • Enter or modify the name of the selected attribute in the name box Name.
    • Select the Type of the attribute. The Type can be one of the following: String (sequence of characters), Boolean(false or true), Integer (number without a fractional part), Measurement, Real (numbers that have decimal representations), or Time stamp.
    • If the type of the user-defined attributeobject 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.

      is Measurement:
      • You can select the Measurement type: Length, Area, Volume, Mass, Positive length or Count.
      • You can select the Conversion factor and Accuracy.

        User-definable accuracy allows better IFC file size optimization.

  9. Click Save to save your modifications.

1) The entity groups where Tekla Structures attributes are written in the exported IFC file

2) The template attributes or user-defined attributes that you want to export for the selected entity

3) List showing the selected attributes

4) The properties that you can define for the attributes


You can get a string value for a user-defined attribute so that you add the prefix USERDEFINED. to the user-defined attribute, change the Property type to Template attribute and the Type to String.


Tekla Structures model objects and corresponding IFC entities

Tekla Structures object

IFC entity


IfcBeam (IfcMember)


IfcColumn, (IfcPile), (IfcMember)


IfcBeam, (IfcMember)

Curved beam

IfcBeam, (IfcMember)

Pad footing, Strip footing





IfcWall or IfcWallStandardCase

Contour plate

IfcPlate or IfcDiscreteAccessory

Bolts, nuts and washers


Bolt hole


Vertical braces


Railing: Beam, Column

IfcBeam, IfcColumn, (IfcRailing)

Assembly, cast unit

IfcElementAssembly, (IfcRailing), (IfcRamp), (IfcRoof), (IfcStair), (IfcWall)

Pour unit


Tekla Structures project


Assembly sub-part


Note that by default, the IFC2x3 export does not export steel secondary objects as IfcDiscreteAccessory. You can force steel secondary parts to the IfcDiscreteAccessory category by setting the advanced option XS_IFC2X3_EXPORT_SECONDARY_AS_DISCRETEACCESSORY to TRUE in an .ini file, for example, in teklastructures.ini.



Bar, wire, strand, mesh, tendon, and other component embedded in concrete




Pour object, pour break


Surface treatment




  • If the entity is not in parenthesis in the table above, the object is automatically exported to this entity type. If an entity is in parenthesis, the object is not exported to this entity type automatically, but you can select the entity for the object on theIFC export tab.
  • The IfcBuildingElementPart and IfcBuildingElement entities can also be used. IfcBuildingElement matches beams, columns, etc, but not assemblies.
  • Polybeams are always exported as B-rep.

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