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There are a number of user guidelines, documentati­ons and learning examples that support the architect, engineer or other users when exploring the use of IFC enabled software solutions.

IFC Users should know the following things


Software applications with IFC export/import capability

First users have to check whether the software they are using today or in future supports IFC. A preference should be given to certified software as it has undergone already some quality assurance processes.

Note: a new "IFC Certification 2.0" process has recently been announced to improve certification and finally quality of IFC interfaces, read article here.

General information about the use of IFC data exchange and sharing

  • There is an BIM/IFC user guide (IFC Anwenderhandbuch - written in German) describing the use of Building Information Models in the area of architecture and building services (including test files) --> more
  • There is an Information Delivery Manual (IDM) --> more
  • There is an Exchange Guide for Five of the major 3D CAD applications, a full Danish version is available --> more and an English summary Download

Guidelines on IFC capabilities of commercial software systems

  • There is a Reference Guide for the ArchiCAD IFC support --> more, new! updated for IFC2x3 Guide, previous version IFC2x2 Guide
  • There is a Documentation for the IFC-Utility 2x for ADT developed by Inopso --> more
  • There is a BIM/IFC Guideline (Leitfaden - written in German) for ALLPLAN IFC support --> download
  • There is a general IFC Overview and how it is supported in Bentley products --> more
  • There are guidelines on how to use each software packages that participated in the German BIM/IFC User Guide, published by buildingSMART German Speaking Alliance, the "Anwenderhandbuch". Each guideline includes (if applicable) a section for building an IFC aware/optimized BIM model, for IFC export settings, and for IFC import settings. These software specific guidelines are --> available in German for
    • architectural: Allplan, ArchiCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, Bentley Architecture, EliteCAD, Revit Architecture
    • building services: AutoCAD MEP, DDS-CAD Elektro, DDS-CAD SHK, MagiCAD (-> Progman)
    • energy analysis: ETU Energieberater, MagiCAD Comfort and Energy
    • presentation, collaboration: Acrobat 9 Pro Extended
  • There is a first test for IFC Tutorials

Discussion forums about the usage of IFC

Methods and tools to convert IFC data files

IFC data files can be converted into a different representation (e.g. IFC data files into ifcXML data files), into other product data model formats (like CityGML), or into file formats of other applications (like KML for Google Earth).