IFC File Support Improves Construction Data Exchange for Companies In EMEA

June 4, 2019 Jadie Fanganello

The efficient exchange of construction data and documents is key to managing today’s fast-moving construction projects, and teams use many different authoring softwares when building their design and fabrication models. For example, the Structural Engineer may have added structural detail to the model using Tekla but the Architect originally created the architectural model in Revit. Designers, trades and subcontractors bring a range of data formats to the project. BIM 360 Model Coordination enables multiple file formats from different design applications to be integrated into a single project model for multi-discipline team coordination.

Since teams are using different authoring tools, a common way to ensure construction data can be shared across the team is to export to an IFC file (Industry Foundation Classes). The IFC file format supports interoperability by enabling the sharing of object-based documents regardless of which software platforms they were created in.


IFC Files Now Supported

Now this industry-standard file format is supported in the Model Coordination module for BIM 360, alongside RVT (Revit) and DWG (drawing) files. Users can import ArchiCad, Revit, and Tekla files in IFC format, ensuring that data from a comprehensive range of sources can be included in the integrated project model.

Gert-Jan Ditsel, a BIM Manager at Dura Vermeer, sees a huge benefit of having IFC support, especially since his team used over 22,000 IFC files last year. “Through interoperability we can collaborate extremely efficiently with our supply chain by exchanging Building Information Models as IFC files. This way we can realize our ambition to make the digital transformation happen.”



Since teams are using different authoring tools, a common way to ensure construction data can be shared across the team is to export to an IFC file


So how does it all work? Exported IFC files are uploaded into BIM 360 and shared with VDC / BIM teams. Model Coordination automatically aggregates and clash checks all of the models together to streamline coordination workflows across versions.

This upgrade will bring several other advantages across BIM 360 feature modules:

1. Improved IFC geometry conversion

2. Improved structure of IFC model browser/selection tree hierarchy

3. Improved Support for IFC model object properties

4. Support for shared coordinate/transform data specified within the IFC file


Better Construction Data Exchange With IFC Support

In addition to the new IFC support feature, we are also excited to announce that the Model Coordination module is now also available in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Many countries in Northern Europe tend to standardize design and construction workflows around IFC files, so the timing of this release could not be better.

“We have seen many Nordic countries start to demand the use of IFC files and now many major Norwegian construction companies use IFC files on a daily basis. IFC’s are continuing to be used in BIM workflows and it is essential for us to have a platform that supports this collaboration. In addition, the use of IFC files in our VDC sessions is very useful to be able to use the strong issues workflow efficiently in design. We are very happy that Autodesk has used time and resources to support IFC in BIM 360.

Øivind Pettersen, Business Developer at Skanska Digital / Project Manager at Skanska in the Digital Building Site

Skanska and Dura Vermeer aren’t the only companies who are enthusiastic to see these new updates. But in case you need more convincing, here are 4 reasons why you should be excited about IFC file support and Model Coordination availability in EMEA:

1. Enhanced Collaboration...Allowing teams to upload and work off of an industry-standard file format gives more people visibility into model and drawing files without needing a specific authoring application.

2. Less Rework…By leveraging an open file format that is uploaded and shared via a common data platform, it ensures everyone is always working off the most up to date version.

3. Increased Accuracy…Enhanced IFC fidelity ensures better geometry conversion plus accurate data and object representation for imported IFC models.

4. Standardization Compliance...Support for IFC files strengthens compliance with various EMEA and international standards, such as Publicly Available Specification (PAS) and those established by the British Standards Institution (BSI), as well as International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

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