IFC and openBIM®


The right solution for advanced BIM collaboration tools and full data availability and security.

Find out what IFC is, why openBIM® represents the future of the construction industry and how ACCA software can help overcome the new challenges of building and infrastructure digitisation

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What is IFC | ACCA software

What is IFC (Industry Foundation Classes)?

IFC is an open standard format that promotes the exchange of BIM data while aiming at facilitating collaboration between different stakeholders in the construction industry.

Nowadays, AEC professionals need to be able to work on projects analyzing complex model geometries and all types of datasets even if deriving from other engineering disciplines. The purpose of the IFC model is precisely to be a reference for these professionals who work with different applications.

IFC has been designed by buildingSMART International® to support interoperability between individual applications operating within the construction industry and is registered as an official international standard, the ISO 16739:2013.

It's the only format that can keep information unchanged such as:

  • the geometry (e.g.: walls, doors, floor slabs, etc.);
  • objects topology;
  • material properties and performance (energy, structural, etc.).

Using an IFC model is extremely beneficial, considering that it allows you to:

  • avoid errors during the design phase and also encourages transparent and open workflows;
  • it reduces project costs optimizing activity phasing during construction;
  • it improves operational management of the building during its maintenance;
  • improves management for possible future building renovations or extensions by means of rapid analysis processes of the existing structure based on the IFC model with immediate assessments of all possible improvements.
What is the role of IFC format in BIM | ACCA software

What is the role of the IFC format in BIM?

The IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) plays a key role in the collaboration and interoperability that are the basis of a BIM process.

The use of proprietary file formats introduces considerable problems related to how data is exchanged and how coordination between teams take place, while with open formats, such as the IFC standard format, interoperability limitations can now be overcome in a simplified workflow.

This is because IFC is an open and neutral file format, not controlled by any specific software vendor, and can be used to exchange and share data reliably and securely between various applications developed by different software houses.

The power of IFC lies in its ability to standardize the different components of a BIM model and share them with others while maintaining the structure of the geometrical - documental connections.

These are precisely the reasons why use of the IFC open format becomes fundamental in implementing the BIM methodology and the purpose of the OpenBIM approach.

What is open BIM | ACCA software

What is open BIM?

Open BIM is a working approach promoted by BuildingSMART International and based on interoperability and collaboration between all specialistic disciplines involved in the design, construction and commissioning of buildings.

The objective of OpenBIM is to extend its benefits of BIM processes, in order to tear down the technological barriers that prevent different professionals from working together and coordinating their work while also improving the entire process throughout the entire life cycle of a building or infrastructure.

The digital transformation of the entire construction industry can only be possible using openBIM and standardised processes based on open data formats that improve accessibility, usability and management of digital data and consequently improve the quality of your work.


BIM vs openBIM ®: what are the differences?

usBIM, the open platform certified by buildingSMART International and completely online.

How to put IFC-openBIM into practice and have maximum freedom to communicate, share and collaborate?

To put the openBIM approach into practice, it's crucial to use buildingSMART certified BIM authoring tools which are capable of importing and exporting IFC format files.

Thanks to open BIM compliant software, data can be centralized and accessible to all stakeholders involved the construction sector regardless of the software solutions which are used. This is why open BIM is the certainly the best approach.

And this is what we believe in.

  • This is why we want to transform BIM into openBIM® and be the leading IFC-openBIM® world specialists.
  • ACCA can strongly boast the largest number of IFC-certified software solutions ensuring consistent and reliable IFC data exchanges.

Also with the aim of promoting the dissemination of the openBIM approach, we have developed a free BIM model viewer with which AEC professionals can manage different aspects of the BIM process together with an open platform, certified by buildingSMART International, completely online.

Free your BIM processes from specific software, go for maximum freedom, to collaborate exchanging models and documents while maintaining ownership of your data thanks to openBIM.

OpenBIM IFC | ACCA software

Transforming BIM to openBIM ®

The N.1 IFC-openBIM® Expert, the company with the highest number of IFC-certified software in the world.

buildingSMART International Multinational Member
buildingSMART International Awards 2020 Winner
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