According to the NBS International BIM Report 2013 – 39% of those surveyed are actively using BIM on their projects VS 13% in 2010 and it is expected that 93% will be using the approach in at least some of their projects in five years' time.
As leading construction vsoftware authors Autodesk spotted the challenges around construction collaboration and started working on their data exchange capabilities decades ago, to support industry (and subsequently) Building Information Modelling (BIM) interoperability standards and open source data exchange.
BIM as a tool allows collaboration through standardisation and information sharing. This requirement for consistency and exchange of data was observed by Autodesk which led to them drive the originating Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) initiative wayback in 1994.
IFC export capabilities permits cross functional project teams to use various BIM software solutions to create intelligent 3D digital models and export them as standard BIM data – IFC.
The purpose of this function is to provide all stakeholders and project participants with a clearer vision of the project therefore allowing each vendor to work on the project no matter what software they use and ultimately increase their ability to make faster and more informed decisions.
To put it simply if you were working in Autodesk Revit your project would save as an RVT file however if you are working with a subcontractor that doesn't work in Revit then they potentially wouldn't be able to see the file in their software but by exporting it as a neutral IFC file means they can open and view the project data.
The IFC data model contains both geometry and properties of intelligent building elements and their relationships to other elements in a building model.
IFC data exchanges play an important part in the AEC industry as it has many contributing disciplines that consistently collaborate which means that it is more than likely that a number of BIM software solutions will be used. Therefore numerous cross-vendor data exchanges will take place in the course of a project.
The need for IFC export capabilities and a common standard will need to be adopted in all industries as of 2016 due to the UK Government BIM Strategy implementation which will mean that if you are involved in government projects, (and a rapidly increasing number of private projects) then BIM will be a requirement.
For help with your own Businesses evolution into the BIM environment or for BIM implementation consultancy and advice call us on 023 8086 8947 or request more information.