Build parcels from polygons

Building parcels creates missing parcel features. Parcels can be built from lines or polygons.

When building parcels from polygons, missing parcel lines and parcel points are created. Additionally, the following data is updated:

  • Record polygons are updated to match the cumulative geometry of all the parcels associated to them.
  • The Parcel Count field on the Records feature class is updated with the number of parcels associated to each record.
  • If the COGO Accuracy field on the Records feature class has an accuracy value, it will be transferred to the COGO Accuracy field of all the lines associated to the record.


Record polygons will not be created or updated for records that are associated to more than 2,000 parcels.

Building parcels from polygons fixes the following topology errors:

  • Polygon—Must Be Covered By Its Lines—Lines
  • Lines—Endpoint Must Be Covered By—Points

Only current parcels are built. Historic parcels are not built. The Retired By Record attribute field of historic parcels is populated with the global ID of the record that retired them.

Add polygons

Parcel polygons can be appended to a parcel type polygon feature class in the parcel fabric. Polygons can be appended from external feature classes or shapefiles. If you have parcel record information for your polygons, use the Create Parcel Records geoprocessing tool to create and associate your polygons with parcel records.

Parcel lines

Building parcels creates missing lines and points for parcel polygons.

Parcel lines are created in the corresponding parcel type lines feature class of the parcel polygon. If lines already exist, the build process will not create lines for those polygon segments.

  • The build process creates 2-point lines around the boundary of a polygon. A 2-point line is created for each polygon segment.
  • A single line is created for adjacent parcel boundaries.

    If adjacent polygons are from adjacent records, the line is associated with the record with the most recent recorded date. If the recorded date is not specified, the line is assigned to the record that was most recently created in the database (Created Date field). If the database creation dates are equal, the line is randomly assigned to one of the records.

  • If a polygon segment has vertices that are collinear, a single 2-point line is created instead of collinear lines.
  • COGO attributes are not populated for created lines.

    Use the Update Cogo tool Update Attributes under COGO in the Tools gallery on the Parcels ribbon to populate COGO attributes for selected line features.

Build parcels in the active record

To only build parcels in the active record, click Build Active Build Parcels In The Active Record in the Construct group on the Parcel Record Workflows tab. Parcels will be built from polygons that are associated with the active record (the global ID in the Created By Record field of the polygon matches the global ID of the active record). The record polygon will be updated to match the cumulative geometry of all the parcels associated with it.

All parcels associated with the active record will be built, even if the parcel polygons lie outside the current map extent.

Build strata parcels

Strata parcels can be built from multiple, overlapping polygons. Strata parcels represent floor levels and are also known as condominiums, units, flats, apartments, and basements. Before creating strata parcels, ensure the parcel type supports the storage of strata parcels.

For a polygon to be built as a floor level parcel, the FloorOrder field must be populated with an integer value that represents the floor level, for example, 0, 1, 2. Negative values can be used to represent floor levels that are below ground, for example -1, -2.

Once the strata parcel is built, the FloorOrder field of the parcel lines is populated with the same floor level as the polygon used to build the parcel.

Learn more about creating strata parcels

Build parcels in the map extent

To build parcels in the map extent, click the Build Active drop-down arrow and click Build Extent Build Extent.

The Build Extent command can build up to 1,000 parcels in the map extent. To build a larger number of parcels or the whole parcel fabric dataset, run the Build Parcel Fabric geoprocessing tool in the Parcels Tools toolbox.