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Graphisoft joins industry alliance for interoperability

Budapest and San Francisco, August 6, 1996

Expressing its support of standardization of the way in which building elements are described by CAD and other AEC/FM industry software, Graphisoft® announced today that it has joined the Industry Alliance for Interoperability (IAI) and intends to support Industry Foundation Classes in future releases of its flagship CAD software, ARCHICAD®.

"The IAI represents one of the most serious efforts in the building industry to create standards for describing the objects and products which make up our built environment. Graphisoft has long pioneered the 'virtual building' concept, and we see the IAI's initiative as critical to moving our industry from automated drafting to simulated buildings," states Gabor Bojar, President of Graphisoft R&D Software Development.

As a part of its support of the IAI, Graphisoft intends to support the IAI's Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) in future releases of ARCHICAD. IFC is a collection of semantically related information joined together in a set of class definitions. These classes are used by developers such as Graphisoft who are familiar with object-oriented programming to make objects "interoperable" among many different pieces of software. The intention of the IAI is to use IFC to define all of the objects that could occur in a building.

For example, using IFC compliant building objects, an ARCHICAD user in the future can download a door from a manufacturer's website and place it in his or her ARCHICAD project. The door would "know" things about itself such as its size, name, price, finish, etc. ARCHICAD would add additional attributes such as placement in a wall, swing direction, frame size, etc. Then the entire assembly can be passed on to another cost estimating, scheduling or code analysis application which would use all of the attributes from both the manufacturer and ARCHICAD to perform its work.

The benefit to the ARCHICAD user is a computerized building model (a "virtual building") which can be shared by all project team members throughout the building's life. Eliminating the inefficiency of exchanging drawings, or drawing based files, will help them deliver buildings faster and cheaper, but also better, as the use of one consistent set of information by the entire team reduces risk and liability. ARCHICAD and IFC will also improve global communication among team members through a standardized extensible format for describing building components.

Since its inception in 1984, ARCHICAD has employed intelligent objects to describe buildings in three dimensions, producing both building models and working drawings simultaneously. The addition of IFC compliance will enrich ARCHICAD's decade-long ability to work with intelligent objects in a simulated building and incorporate non-CAD information for facilities managers, estimators, building owners, and all other members of the AEC/FM industry.

"We welcome Graphisoft to the IAI and value their experience developing object-based CAD," says IAI's Executive Director, Ken Herold. "We also value Graphisoft's international reach because any standards promoted through the IAI must be international to be successful."

The Industry Alliance for Interoperability is a not-for-profit industry alliance founded in June 1995 by a group of 12 companies involved in the AEC/FM industry. Today, the Alliance internationally counts more than 220 members from all parts of the building industry: architects, building owners, manufacturers, engineers, research laboratories and software developers. It's mission is to "define, promote and publish specifications for the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) as a basis for information sharing through the project life cycle, globally, across disciplines and technical applications."

For more information about the IAI, contact:
Ken Herold, Executive Director
Industry Alliance for Interoperability
(314) 692-2002 (Tel)
(314) 692-2022 (Fax)
e-mail: iaiexec@interoperability.com

Graphisoft is a leading provider of computer-aided design (CAD) software solutions for the architectural profession and the building industry. Founded in 1982, Graphisoft is ranked today among the largest AEC CAD software developers in the world, with 12 offices all over the world in addition to its headquarters. Graphisoft's flagship product, ARCHICAD, is used by more than 75,000 architects worldwide and distributed in 25 languages and 80 countries. Shares of Graphisoft are traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange Neuer Markt under the symbol GPH. More information about Graphisoft is available at www.graphisoft.com.