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Graphisoft Advances Interoperability in the Construction Industry

IFC 2.0 translator for ARCHICAD® certified by IAI; available as free download

BUDAPEST, June 21, 2001 - Graphisoft has been working to turn the concept of construction industry interoperability into a commercial reality with its adoption of the International Alliance for Interoperability's (IAI) object data model standard, IFC. ARCHICAD's recently certified IFC 2.0 add-on gives ARCHICAD users added power and security when exchanging data across disciplines and throughout the building lifecycle. An IAI member since 1996, Graphisoft is again one of the first CAD vendors to release certified IFC translators.

IFC provides a neutral, object-based information exchange standard, allowing for data transfer among compliant software programs, regardless of their type or origin. In contrast to traditional files in DWG/DXF format, with their inherent 2D CAD drawing bias, the IFC protocol defines an integrated facility object model, a full geometric description in 3D, and also understands the relationships, as well as all the properties (or parameters) of each object.

The benefits apply not only to ARCHICAD users - who have a new powerful capacity to improve the quality of designs and the important coordination with the building engineering disciplines - but also to other participants in the facility life cycle who depend on access to comprehensive and accurate data for costing, bidding, construction planning and facility management.

"For ARCHICAD users, IFC offers the ability now to access the accurate geometry and object parameters of building service and structural systems and other specialist design disciplines," explains Graphisoft's director of virtual building technologies, John Mitchell, who was recently named the IAI's international marketing coordinator. "ARCHICAD's leading position in the use of fully integrated building models allows users to take the initiative to improve the quality of designs and building performance."

An IFC export from ARCHICAD, the AEC industry's most well-developed integrated building modeling system, ensures that rich coordinated data is available for cost estimators, bidding, product procurement, construction planning and facility management. Bringing ARCHICAD data into Timberline's PECAD (cost estimation) and Skanska's FACETS (construction planning), both certified for IFC release 2.0, improves the time-consuming, redundant and error-prone traditional processes for accurate bidding and construction management.

ARCHICAD's IFC 2.0 add-on was certified by the IAI in May. All candidates certified at that time are involved in the Building Lifecycle Interoperable Software (BLIS) project, an association of more than 50 IAI member firms from Europe, Australia, North America and Japan. The benefits of IFC were demonstrated in real-time project data exchange among software applications, by eight BLIS participants, including Graphisoft, at the A/E/C Systems show in Chicago on June 19.

Graphisoft supports its customers worldwide who have already pressed forward with IFC object model exchanges. Kajima Corporation, one of Japan's largest construction companies, uses IFC file format to achieve higher efficiency in integrating costing information from ARCHICAD and other specialist engineering systems. Several ARCHICAD users in Scandinavia including YIT and the University of Helsinki auditorium project have been using IFC.

Graphisoft's ArchiFM® also uses IFC 2.0, and the next version of the GDL Object Web Plug-in will allow direct download capability from the Web in IFC 2.0 format.

The IFC 1.5.1 and 2.0 add-ons for ARCHICAD 6.5 and 7.0 (Mac and Windows) are now available for free download on Graphisoft's website at www.graphisoft.com/ifc. More information about the IAI and BLIS can be found at www.iai-international.org and www.blis-project.org respectively.