Our commitment to open digital workflows and data continuity

January 28, 2019

Autodesk is a co-founder of buildingSMART, formerly called International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI). We started this journey 22 years ago in 1996 with 11 strategic partners including AT&T, HOK, Archibus and others. Since then, Autodesk has always been committed to support openBIM® and its standards like the leading IFC formats. We have also supported COBie standards, and other open standards like GBxml for energy performance, CityGML, LandXML and many others. Part of this involvement has been focusing on integrating these standards in our AEC solutions, but also into our manufacturing software because we see a convergence in the AEC and manufacturing industries and the most effective way to leverage this convergence is with open standards. We were the also one of the first software vendors to support IFC4 standard. This was a few years ago and we’re currently working to soon be certified in IFC4 because we strongly believe in IFC.

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(Illustration 1 - Autodesk Software supporting IFC)


We are convinced that buildingSMART and open standards are the only way to ensure a long-term visibility and security to AEC professionals and owner-operators. We believe open standards are key to be sure our users can reuse their data and models on a long-term basis.

This is why more than 16 of our AEC applications support IFC import and export capabilities and it is why we support the process of buildingSMART IFC certifications. The certification process promotes a high-level of IFC implementation and quality information exchanges to AEC professionals.

A big step forward is the unique availability of our open source engine to quickly deliver updates and upgrades to all our customers without waiting for a new version of applications to be released. This gives our customers significant flexibility and agility when working with IFC information.

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Autodesk is constantly enhancing the open source IFC Engine to fulfill our customers’ needs. This is what we did recently for some of the most important engineering and construction companies like Bouygues, VINCI, Artelia and COLAS by adding some enhancements in the fields of coordinate systems export to better position projects, adding the capability to save and load IFC export settings, a better IFC properties mapping interface.

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Our Customers – from the smallest to the largest companies in the architecture, engineering and construction clearly understand the benefits of open data exchanges. For example, the recent BIM Golden Awards Trophy in France organized by Le Moniteur, the leading AEC Magazine editor clearly shows the use of our solutions in combination with other solutions of the market therefore using IFC workflows in the Building and Infrastructure spaces.

Last but not least, Bouygues Construction – a French leading Contractor - is currently experimenting in partnership with buildingSMART France - the connection plugin to the bSDD (buildingSMART Data Dictionary), we developed specifically for Autodesk solutions. As Bouygues has stated, it will be a revolution for the French market and the IFC exchanges in general as it will guarantee a quality of data exchange through the IFC format. We are proud to be a key contributor to the ever-growing use of openBIM and IFC around the world. This is not a dream anymore, it’s reality!

Author: Emmanuel Di Giacomo, Autodesk

emmanuel.digiacomo@autodesk.com