bSI Newsletter No. 17 is now available – Strategic changes to reshape bSI. bSI chair Patrick MacLeamy put the case for strategic change in his paper, The Way Forward. ‘BuildingSmart International is at a turning point…
The beta version of a minor IFC4 update, the IFC4 Addendum 1, has been published on 11. Aug 2014. The review period is now open until 30. Sep 2014.
London / Munich, Aug 11, 2014
As part of the ongoing maintenance work on its main standard specification, the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) for BIM data sharing, buildingSMART International has published today the beta version of a minor enhancement of the IFC4 specification, the IFC4 Addendum 1.
The beta version is now out for public review until Sep 30, 2014. At the same time, the first official Model View Definition (MVD), based on IFC4 Addendum 1, has been published as well.
See the official website for all information, online access, downloads and guidelines on how to comment during the review period.
New model view definitions will speed uptake of IFC4
A project to create a model view definition for IFC4 launched on 1 January and is now half-way through its workplan. The development of this essential tool is being done by buildingSMART’s Model Support Group, led by Thomas Liebich, and work is expected to complete in August. The tool is key to unlocking the benefits of IFC4 and allowing end-users to achieve swift, open workflows.
‘The coordination view for IFC 2×3 was broadly acknowledged to have been very successful,’ says Thomas. ‘But now that we are moving on to a model view definition for IFC4, we have the opportunity to learn from past experiences.’
Why is the model coordination view needed? A model view definition (MVD) is a subset of the IFC standard. ‘Software solutions supporting IFC are always based on an MVD – a subset that meets the needs of one or more particular use cases,’ Thomas explains. ‘The coordination view is probably the most important tool for implementing IFC in commercial software products.’The main use case of the coordination view is to support the exchange of information between the separate models of the structural, architectural and building services disciplines. The architectural design mustn’t obstruct the structural elements and the building services mustn’t block either the structure or the architecture: for this reason, the clash detection support of IFC has long been valued. It is regularly cited as one of the greatest benefits of IFC. A number of other use cases are also covered in the MVD, including consistency control, building code checking, the coordination of voids and tighter integration of architectural, mechanical and structural design and detailing.
Swift and easier to use: the new coordination view. Coordination planning and clash detection represent one of the most important workflows today. The IFC 2×3 coordination view was widely implemented by software vendors who submitted their products for bS certification – and overall it commanded the confidence of the market. But end-users were in practice often frustrated because it did not distinguish between different workflows.
The many demands made of it meant that heavy computation was necessary and this in turn led to long loading times for import and export. For certain activities, the complex geometry inherent in the view, and the way it operated, made it cumbersome. It was providing a sledgehammer to crack a nut, or – as Thomas puts it – ‘it was shooting beyond the mark’. To resolve this problem, the Model Support Group decided to split the coordination view into two sub-views: the IFC4 reference view and the IFC design transfer or handover view. The goal of the reference view is to enable the swift, accurate exchange of information between disciplines for reference. As the definition of the project explains, the view must allow 100% correct explicit geometry and 100% correct attributes, properties and spatial structures, with rapid export and import times and no need for rework. The goal of the design transfer view – this is a working title – is to allow the BIM model to be handed over to the next stage of editing, which is likely to be a once-and-for-all adoption, with a modicum of rework and longer import/export times acceptable. Responsibility for the transferred model is likely to be taken over by the receiver. ‘While providing a generic solution, we are able to meet the separate needs of reference and transfer,’ says Thomas.
What next? The project, stage one of which is funded by the Norwegian National Office of Building Technology and Administration, is expected to complete in two phases in July and September. Software companies can then start to implement the view in their software products, with buildingSMART certification to IFC4 due to begin some time in 2015. ‘Results of our work will provide immediate benefits,’ concludes Thomas. ‘End users will be able to use open solutions for collaborative workflows, clients can require project information to be delivered in an open format and software vendors will be able give their customers design tools that work fast and efficiently.’
Newsletter for Open BIM. IFC4 coordination view project underway/BuildingSMART responds to market demand/PhD students learn about buildingSMART/Creating business value through BIM – International survey to explore the economic benefits/Next steps in certification/New bSI award for Heroes of Interoperability/CEN looking to develop BIM standards/What is open BIM?
The BCF 2.0 proposal is public on github: Please use the issue tracker for feedback. Click on the image for the link.
buildingSMART-ISG (Implementer Support Group) has created a task group for defining BCF 2.0 and the result of this work will be provided before the next ISG meeting in Prague, on the 9 of September 2013. There are lots of improvements proposed, most important are:
Support for multiple snapshots/viewpoints on topics.
Improved control of colour, visibility and colour was added to visualization. This is a difficult issue as you never know how many models that might be open at the same time. The topic might have been created while two models where opened and is later “covered” by a third domain model.
New support for bitmaps on viewpoints. This is to allow for overlays of text, sketches etc in viewpoints.
Support for “BimSnipplets”. These are in effect small ifcXML, ifc2x4 or ifc4 files. This is to support eg. provision for voids.
Support for “DocumentReference”. Could refer to a file in the topic folder or to an URL.
Email added to comments for better identification of authors.
A topic comment can now have the status of open or closed. If more granularity is needed “VerbalStatus” can be used. A set of proposed status lists might be provided with the documentation of the format.
minor optional improvements like the possibility to index topics was also added.
The improved BCF 2.0 will be backwards compatible with BCF 1.0. The work is being documented on ISG Jira with participants from Catenda, DDS, Iabi, ISG, Solibri and Tekla.
A second task group currently is working on a standardised webservice, so that BCF could be synchronised automatically among various applications and platforms, in future.
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