Graphisoft Extends Interoperability in the Construction Industry
IFC 2x translator for ARCHICAD® certified by IAI; available as free download
BUDAPEST, November 28, 2002 - Graphisoft's continuing support for the now international standard for construction information exchange (adopted as an ISO standard 16739 at Seoul November 2002), is strengthened by its certification for the IFC 2x release. ARCHICAD's IFC 2x add-on gives ARCHICAD® users added power and security when exchanging data across disciplines and throughout the building lifecycle. An IAI (International Alliance for Interoperability) 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.
Certification for IFC 2x has significantly been improved over previous versions. Hosted by one of Germany's largest contractors Hochtief in their Frankfurt office, observers came from many professions of the building industry - software, facility management, universities and research labs - working in the fields of product modeling and IFC. For several days the applications were thoroughly tested against some 60 test cases. The next step is a six months period, during which the IFC-interfaces of each application will be used in practice. At the end of this period end-users again contribute to final acceptance during a second certification workshop using extended test cases.
Participants expressed their conviction that this certification is the historical moment for the IAI. The IFC 2x platform, stable until at least 2005, allows implementers a secure investment in IFC interface development with no risk of continual change. The test group represents a wide cross-section of AEC application vendors representing a now significant market share. Participants were also confident in the future of IFC 2x as already in this first certification applications from very different areas can seamlessly implement it and gain significant advantage.
The benefits apply not only to ARCHICAD users - who have a new powerful capacity to improve the quality of designs - 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, the benefits of IFC based collaboration are well demonstrated in a new report by CIFE at Stanford, US for the Helsinki University of Technology Auditorium-600 project," explains Graphisoft's IFC coordinator John Mitchell. "ARCHICAD was the center for IFC exchanges for this project, and continues to provide a leading position in the use of fully integrated building models, which allows users to take the initiative to improve the quality of designs and building performance."
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 the IFC file format to achieve higher efficiency in integrating costing information from ARCHICAD and other specialist engineering systems. Graphisoft attended and assisted the recent IAI Japan Chapter Certification of seven industry applications, extending the list of IFC 2.0 supporters.
The IFC 2x beta add-on for ARCHICAD 7.0 (Mac and Windows) is now available for free download on Graphisoft's website at www.graphisoft.com/ifc. The add-on for AchiCAD®8 will be available by spring next year. Further information about the IAI and BLIS can be found at www.iai-international.org and www.blis-project.org respectively.