The Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) data model is intended to describe building and construction industry data. It is a neutral and open specification that is not controlled by a single vendor or group of vendors. It is an object-based file format with a data model developed by buildingSMART to facilitate interoperability in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry, and is a commonly used format for Building information modeling (BIM).
In spring 2013, buildingSMART’s IFC4 was formally published as ISO standard – ISO 16739. IFC4 is intended to replace the current IFC2x3 standard. The major BIM software vendors are certified or in the process of becoming certified via the official buildingSMART IFC2x3 Coordination View V2.0 certification process.
Overview of IFC4
- enhances the capability of the IFC specification in its main architectural, building service and structural elements with new geometric, parametric and other features
- enables new BIM workflows – including 4D and 5D model exchanges, manufacturer product libraries, BIM to GIS interoperability, enhanced thermal simulations and sustainability assessments
- links all IFC property definitions to the buildingSMART data dictionary
- improves readability and ease of access to the documentation with numerous implementation concepts and fully linked examples
- contains ifcXML4 schema, fully integrated into the IFC specification in addition to the EXPRESS schema
- has been developed in line with the new mvdXML methodology (as the baseline for future computer-readable model views and data validation services)
- corrects technical problems found since the release of IFC2x3
- enables the extension of IFC to infrastructure and other parts of the built environment