GEM Building Taxonomy v2.0: an Overview

The GEM Building Taxonomy is presented in tabular form. The master table below summarizes 13 main attributes that describe building characteristics for the Taxonomy. By clicking on an attribute name you will be directed to another web page and a table that shows all taxonomy terms associated with that attribute. Descriptions of main attributes are available by clicking on the icons in the Definition column below.

A comprehensive online Glossary which describes all taxonomy terms is also available. All terms can be accessed in alphabetical order from here. Alternatively, any term can be accessed by clicking on its name listed in one of the 13 taxonomy tables:

Authors of the Glossary are the Building Taxonomy Glossary team; Luke Allen, Andrew Charleson, Svetlana Brzev, and Charles Scawthorn.


Attribute group


Attribute name

Links to taxonomy tables


Links to attribute definitions

Structural System

1 Direction Info


Material of the Lateral Load-Resisting System Info


Lateral Load-Resisting System


Building Information



5 Date of Construction or Retrofit Info
6 Occupancy Info

Exterior Attributes


Building Position within a Block

8 Shape of the Building Plan Info
9 Structural Irregularity Info
10 Exterior Walls Info

Roof/Floor System

11 Roof Info
12 Floor Info
13 Foundation System