It’s known as the lingua franca for design software, the agnostic and vendor-neutral connective tissue that sustains data sharing across a project lifecycle.
We’re talking about Industry Foundation Classes (IFC), of course. IFC is a worldwide open data standard that supports information exchange across hardware devices, software platforms, and interfaces. It is maintained by buildingSMART International, a worldwide not-for-profit organization that traces its roots back to 1994, when Autodesk invited 12 other software vendors and companies to join them in facilitating the industry’s digital transformation. Today, IFC does just that across a growing landscape of BIM applications.
Just ask Erik Giudice. An award-winning architect, Giudice is the principal of the Franco-Swedish multidisciplinary firm EGA Erik Giudice Architects. The firm’s work on the 645,834-square-foot, $253 million Platinan, a mixed-use property now under construction in Goteborg, Sweden, is a masterclass in information sharing.
Collaboration is Key
“BIM acts as a common digital language between different actors,” Giudice explains. “We opted for openBIM and the IFC standard. We regularly export IFC files of different models. Autodesk Revit is our core tool and it interacts with all software.” Other applications include Tekla Structures, MagiCAD Solutions, Autodesk BIM 360, Solibri, Bluebeam, and Dalux.
Collaboration is at the heart of any project. That’s especially true for the Platinan, an 18-story, LEED Platinum-targeted structure that reimagines asset flexibility. Need to add or subtract hotel or office space? No problem for the Platinan owners.
As Giudice says: “BIM allows the project team to collaborate in real-time across thousands of kilometers. Each design office works on its own model. Then the BIM manager assembles the models on Revit in the interoperable IFC format. We take into account all the geometries from different consultants. I believe we had six or seven models assembled on BIM 360.”
Giudice is especially pleased by the level of collaboration with prefabrication contractors. Prefab work demonstrates how IFC serves the team well beyond engineering applications. “For example, the facade manufacturer produced their own model to make fabrication drawings. We could import their model and use Solibri for clash detection and resolution."
2024 Summer Games in Paris
Giudice is also working on a project 950 miles southwest of Goteborg: the athletes’ village for the 2024 Summer Games in Paris. “It’s a big project. We’re working on about a third of the village. There are 11 architecture offices involved in this portion of the project. We’re also serving as the coordinating architect for the area around the village central square,” Giudice says. IFC helps link the project’s design tools, including Revit, ArchiCAD, Pleiades, Navisworks, Mezzoteam, Revizto, and cadwork.
In short, IFC helps project stakeholders collaborate like never before. Professionals can work confidently knowing their application of choice plays well with other solutions.
Collaboration for All
For Giudice, the real excitement is what the future holds. He envisions BIM for all, pushing the model out to public audiences for new levels of democratic engagement and collaboration. “People are more and more interested in their city. What’s the building’s carbon footprint? We’ve attained good collaboration inside the project with engineers, architects, and developers. The more we embrace open ways of working, the more collaborative the process of building our cities will become.”
Learn more about how Revit and other tools can support your next project with IFC collaboration.