Working with IFC

IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) is an open, neutral data exchange format. It is optimized for OPEN BIM- and model-based interoperability among disciplines, primarily in the AEC industry.

BIM, or “Building Information Modeling,” is one of the biggest advances in the building industry’s working methods since the introduction of CAD software. BIM is not synonymous with 3D projects. Three-dimensional geometric representation is only one part of the digital deliverables. A project includes non-graphical information, such as calculations, that are used in surveying, facility management and energy calculation. A prerequisite for a successful BIM project is that intelligent information can be exchanged between different software and even operating systems, throughout the stages of the building process. This interoperability demands a neutral file format with an open standard that supports different systems. IFC is such a system, enabling us to synchronize building models between the disciplines much more easily.

The IFC format is used for the efficient import and export of 3D elements and related non-geometric data, regardless of the application used to create the model. The IFC format is ISO-certified and can be integrated into any existing quality assurance polices your office may have. IFC is developed in part by buildingSMART (formerly the IAI - the International Alliance for Interoperability).

GRAPHISOFT has played an active role within the buildingSMART organization since 1996 and supports the IFC standard. Through IFC, ARCHICAD can communicate with other disciplines within the context of the building model. The building model can be exported back to literally hundreds of other systems that support IFC.

The list of registered IFC supporter applications (by functional category/design disciplines) is available here.

ARCHICAD supports the import and export of both IFC2x3 and IFC4 versions. IFC data are managed according to the latest worldwide-certified IFC standard, IFC2x3 TC1 (Technical Corrigendum 1).

For more information, see the buildingSMART website.

This chapter provides an insight into the IFC standard and how it works in ARCHICAD.

Related Topics

IFC File Types Supported by ARCHICAD

ARCHICAD Classifications and Categories in IFC

Export IFC Model from ARCHICAD

Import IFC Model to ARCHICAD

Hotlink IFC File

Update with IFC Model

IFC Project Manager

Manage IFC Data at Element Level

IFC Local Preferences

Define Element Criteria using IFC Data

IFC Translators: Overview

Translators for Import (Detailed Settings)

Translators for Export (Detailed Settings)

Filter Model at Import (Secondary Filter)

Filter Model at Export

Appendix: IFC Terms and Concepts

Appendix: IFC Data Mapping in ARCHICAD