Build parcels from lines

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

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

  • Parcel record polygons are updated to match the cumulative geometry of all the parcels associated with them.
  • The Parcel Count field in the Records feature class is updated with the number of parcels associated with each record.


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

Building parcels from lines fixes the following topology errors:

  • Lines—Endpoint Must Be Covered By—Points
  • Lines—Must Be Covered By Boundary Of—Polygons topology errors

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.

Create or add parcel lines

Parcels can be built from lines stored in the parcel type lines feature class. The parcel type lines feature class is a COGO-enabled lines feature class and stores COGO dimensions in COGO fields such as Direction and Distance.

Parcel lines can be created in or added to a parcel type in the following ways:

  • Create lines using editing tools such as the Traverse tool.
  • Copy lines from existing lines in the parcel fabric, CAD files, or other feature classes.

When creating parcel lines, an active record should be set for the map. New lines will be associated with the active record.

Create parcel seeds

When building parcels from lines, parcel seeds are used. A parcel seed is the initial state, or seed state, of a parcel. A parcel seed indicates to the build process that a parcel can be built from the lines enclosing the seed.

Learn more about creating parcel seeds

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 to build parcels associated with the active record.

When building parcels in the active record, all seeds associated with the active record will be built into parcels, even if the seeds lie outside the current map extent.

When using the Copy Lines To tool Copy Lines To to copy lines to the same parcel type for construction, the original selected parcel or lines are retired as historic. If any of the copied lines are not changed when new parcels are built, the Retired By Record field is set to Null and the original lines are kept as current. This indicates that the original lines were not altered by the new parcel record and that they will stay current and keep their association with the parcel record that created them.

If copied lines are deleted during the parcel construction process, the original lines will remain as historic when parcels are built.

Build strata parcels

Strata parcels can be built from multiple, overlapping closed loops of lines and seeds. 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 closed loop of lines to be built as a floor level parcel, their FloorOrder fields 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. There must also be a corresponding seed created for each overlapping loop of lines.

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

Learn more about creating strata parcels

Build parcels in the map extent

Click the Build Active drop-down arrow and click Build Extent Build Extent to build parcels from lines enclosing seeds in the map extent. If a loop of lines does not enclose a seed, the parcel will not be built.

When building the map extent, seeds can be present in the map extent and associated with different parcel records. For example, you can use the Copy Lines To tool Copy Lines To to copy sets of lines to different active parcel records.

Building the map extent works as follows:

  • The Build Extent command can build up to 1,000 parcels in the map extent. To build parcels for the whole parcel fabric dataset, run the Build Parcel Fabric geoprocessing tool.
  • The Build Extent command turns off the Show Only Active command if it is on.
  • If a seed is not visible in the map extent, the parcel is not built.
  • When building parcels from lines and seeds, parcel polygons and parcel points are created. The built parcel features are associated with the same parcel record as the parcel seed.