Virtually affecting reality...

creators of Project JAIN™

The IFC file format...

The IFC file format is a vendor independent, open file format commonly used on BIM projects. IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) is registered with ISO as an official International Standard, ISO 16739:2013 and is maintained by a consortium.

It is the only proper exchange format and also the most common file format that can be exchanged by all BIM capable applications.

IFC documentation is publicly available and there are many examples available.
A guidebook is available that explains in detail how to implement the IFC file format on BIM projects.

The purpose of the IFC file format is to describe a building, not to design it. Intended to facilitate interoperability in the building (AEC) industry.

Examples of what information an IFC model contains...

  • Building hierarchy.
  • Element type.
  • Product type.
  • Geometry.
  • Layers.
  • Standard and custom IFC properties (material, coating etc.).
  • Connections.

The IFC specification is developed and maintained by buildingSMART, (formally known as International Alliance for Interoperability, IAI).


Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) data model — buildingSMART