Title:  Development of Industry Foundation Classes (IFCs) for Structural Concrete Components - Strategic Plan

Client:  ACI Foundation

Status:  Completed



This project seeks to develop a strategic plan for the development of Industry Foundation Classes (IFCs) for Structural Concrete Components to foster interoperability between disparate Building Information Modeling (BIM) software platforms.  This is the initial step in the creation of an extensive suite of interoperable attributes for the IFC exchanges of structural concrete components.  The strategic plan will synthesize the state of the art of current IFC interoperability and prioritize the attribute exchanges that would most benefit the industry. This research is designed to support the goal of creating advance tools and methods in the interoperability and building information modeling arena.

The results from the research effort will be documented in a comprehensive report that describes current state of the industry, attribute exchange priorities, and a strategy for implementing effective IFC exchanges.  The document will present a possible vision for concrete IFC exchanges and a set of goals and strategies for implementation by incorporation into the evolving National Building Information Model Standards (NBIMS).  In addition, it will describe the findings of the feasibility study on encouraging utilization by the design and construction community.

A presentation containing an introduction to the project can be obtained here.

Task 1: Strategic Planning Research

An assessment of the current state of the industry and opinion of industry participants, design professionals, suppliers and builders has been compiled.  This information is derived from:

  1. The recent Strategic Development Council (SDC) BIM survey.  The Strategic Development Council is a council of the ACI Foundation.
  2. Telephone interviews conducted industry professionals to gain insight and industry perspective on the needs and opportunities that interoperability can achieve. A summary of the interviews is also available.
  3. Concrete domain survey prepared by Chuck Eastman and Pete Carrato for Tekla, which Tekla has agreed to release to the public domain.

A white paper has been produced aggregating this research and laying out a broad structure for the project group to discuss and evolve at the Strategic Planning Session.

Task 2: Strategic Planning Session

The strategic planning session will bring together professionals and industry representatives in a forum to foster discussion, solicit input and gain support for industry initiatives for concrete BIM interoperability.  The strategic planning session will consist of an assortment of plenary and break-out meetings to coalesce ideas into strategic initiatives.  The session was held on May 5th and 6th, 2010, in Kansas City, in conjunction with SDC session #27. The report  from this session can be viewed here (7MB pdf file).

Task 3: Strategic Plan Report

The strategic planning research and the group session was used to develop a Strategic Work Plan.  This report highlights the state of the industry and portray a vision for increasing interoperability through the use of IFCs.  The exchange attribute priorities are clearly defined and a direction is offered for achieving interoperability through IFC implementation. The Strategic Plan for Development of IFCs for Structural Concrete is available for download here (5.8MB pdf file).