In spring 2013, the new release of IFC4 was formally published as
an ISO standard – ISO 16739.
At the end of a long and meticulous process, IFC emerges stronger and better, and ready to win new fans around the world.
‘Accreditation of IFC4 was a welcome achievement after the efforts of everyone involved,’ says Thomas Liebich, AEC3 DE, who led the work through buildingSMART’s Model Support Group.‘At the last round of voting, the response to ISO 16739 DIS [Draft International Standard] was overwhelmingly positive – 11 ‘yes’ votes and zero ‘no’ votes. It doesn’t get better than that.’
Route to accreditation
The process has involved intensive internal and external reviews to highlight and resolve the issues. As the process took its course, the IFC4 issue database accumulated a total of 1,100 issues that had to be resolved. ‘Software companies usually come in late in the review process,’ explains Thomas. ‘And there was more feedback on the last release candidate than ever before.
IFC has come a long way since the early releases in the mid-1990s. End-users will feel the benefits once IFC4 is implemented in commercial software, and there will be a ripple effect as clients get their projects built more efficiently and sustainably. Until then, newly certified IFC2x3 software should be used.
IFC4 at a glance
• 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