IFC Open Standard or why SHARING IS CARING.



Architects, engineers and other experts still don’t engage with the discussion”

Past week BUILDING SMART HK organised a IFC technical seminar in Hong Kong. It’s great to see the big effort that HK is doing preparing the way for a true BIM implementation in the local industry.

Even though the architects, engineers and other experts still don’t engage with this discussion and it would be extremely helpful to listen their different opinions and see different angles to keep on enhancing the creation of this global standards.

In my opinion before getting technical, we should try to engage the general public. It needs to penetrate the industry, and get into the daily conversations. IFC is about communication, is our new common language and we need to get excited about it!

We should start spreading the word about projects that succeedthanks to use it. People sharing experience and opinions before hearing definitions. Words about how projects are more sustainable, more efficient, better managed or cheaper to design and build thanks to be able to share and communicate better the information between the teams.


Image courtesy of BUILDING SMART

Diversity is better

AEC industry is now huge. Before Architects and Builders would talk the same language and the disciplines were simpler and less divided.

Now a days things are happening very differently. Projects are more complicated, different disciplines have different approaches,  different quality controls and have to follow different standards and regulations. That makes that the deep expertise in this different disciplines is now divided and worked out separately. The consultants developing different parts have distinctive and very specific requirements that most of the times are translated in different software solutions. Then everything have to be put together again.


The ultimate goal is do better projects and enhance the industry.”

feat-ac18-openbim copy

2+2 is usually less than 4

The ultimate problem is collaboration and coordination. How can the effort made by all of them be combined and be useful for the rest?

How many times did you receive a model made by other consultant that you had to re-do? How many hours wasted repeating work already done by someone else?

IFC is about the smile you’ll have after opening a model done by other team in a different software and realise that you can use it, that is useful. That’s all this about!

The importance of promote open standards

Image courtesy of Archinect

 All the software solutions have to commit to an open standard. IFC is the way forward.”

And then finally only remark that IFC is not only about BIM modelling, is not Revit or ARCHICAD. IFC and Open BIM is about freedom to choose the best tool for every circumstances. Different stages of a project and different disciplines may require the use of different tools. And also variety is good. Every architect or engineer may have a software of preference for different reasons. Let’s be inclusive and keep the game open!

Just because Revit is the most used BIM software (thanks to the huge marketing effort that Autodesk makes) many still think that it is the standard. They think that BIM models have to be Revit compatible and other softwares have to comply with that, when it’s totally the opposite. All the softwares have to commit to an open standard. IFC is the way forward.

Public entities have to make the effort to deep understand the big picture and even educate the industry. They have to embrace open formats to impulse the whole industry to innovate, try different solutions improving their projects and upgrading ultimately the entire industry!