Expanding the Issues Ecosystem with BCF export in Autodesk Construction Cloud

Expanding the Issues Ecosystem with BCF export in Autodesk Construction Cloud

Just over a decade ago, project users who were working with BIM -data and models were burdened with many manual processes. One of the biggest pain points occurred when professionals compared different versions of the BIM model to identify the kind of changes required during the design process. This required BIM users to deal with large data sets as the entire model had to be exchanged as a bulk of data. The process was manual, unclear, and required significant effort and time.  

But in 2014, buildingSMART helped drive a more collaborative way of working with rich BIM model data. The organization developed an open standard to enable easy and fast information exchange between different software solutions, like the Industry Foundation Classes (IFCs) model sharing standard, but for issues.  

Now, picture this: you are working on an important international project, and you want to analyze issues raised to understand what changes need to be made to the BIM model and so do other architects and design teams working on the same model and project. 

You are working with various design teams working in different software applications. You need to export issue information including comments, image attachments, and more BIM Collaboration Format (BCF) standard fields, as well as share it with other architects. If they are working in a different design software solution, the collaboration process becomes complex as each team needs to analyze those changes in solutions that do not speak the same language. This results in a long and non-collaborative workflow and the inability to effectively communicate required changes. 

Apart from that, there are certain countries where BCF is required on most of the projects for collaborative design and operation information exchange, such as Norway. For countries like Denmark and Sweden, BCF is the desired format for exchanging coordination issues data.  

Introducing BCF Export for Autodesk Construction Cloud 

With BCF export release in Autodesk Construction Cloud and BIM 360, users can now export issues to BCF file from the model viewer, get the file emailed back to them, and continue their workflow by importing the file into other BCF compatible software. Along the process, Autodesk Construction Cloud or BIM 360 act as the main hub for your project issues, and for all project issues once we launch BCF import capabilities. 

“Our main goal with aligning to BCF standard for sharing issues is allowing cross-ecosystem workflows,” says Oren Aghion, Senior Product Manager, Autodesk Construction Cloud. “This should help reduce the time and cost around unplanned roadblocks and make construction projects more efficient.”

BCF Export supports the following: 

  • Comments, image attachments, selected model elements, camera view, and issue thumbnail  
  • Exports from within a single issue or bulk export using the issues side panel in a model viewer, and get it emailed to user 
  • RVT and IFC files 

When to Use BCF Export 

BCF format allows your teams to communicate the information about the objects in your model and improves IFC-based processes. It helps your teams identify and exchange model-based information through issue exports between BIM software tools, streamlining workflows and minimizing the number of steps that need to be taken throughout the design process.  

Once issues are exported, they may be pushed into another BIM software used by project stakeholders. Once all the changes are made to the model, the model can be uploaded back to Autodesk Construction Cloud or BIM 360 for all members of the project to continue working in one common data environment supported by extensive project and account level analytics and insights to help project teams further mitigate and prevent risks. 

“We want to remove the boundaries between design stakeholders and involve more folks in the workflow. The goal is to reduce risks and cost by solving issues more efficiently. BCF integration empowers the platform to dig its tentacles into alternative software solutions, thus promoting a positive outcome with reduced effort.”

- Abbas Malik, Digital Lead at Skanska Sweden

BCF export in Autodesk Construction Cloud benefits your teams as it: 

  • Promotes a more collaborative environment during the design process  
  • Allows teams to export and analyze rich model data 
  • Supports more efficient and precise coordination and issue management workflows 
  • Helps to meet international industry requirements and allows companies to expand their project footprint in other countries  
  • Supports open standards where we still let you choose where to bring your own data, even if you are working with non-Autodesk products 

The Future of Collaboration with Model Data is Bright

In order to support efforts focused on enabling collaborative environment for project teams, Autodesk has become a strategic member of the buildingSMART International Association. buildingSMART has adopted the Open BIM Collaboration Format (BCF) as a buildingSMART standard back in 2014 and continues exploring the industry to support the continuous development of processes and workflows.  

So, what's next?  

We recognize the importance of enabling your project and design teams to have all the capabilities supporting collaborative model information exchange, which is why our R&D team continues to develop further capabilities, the BCF import being one of them. Stay tuned and subscribe to our blog to learn about upcoming releases! 

Learn more about all July releases across Autodesk Construction Cloud unified platform here. 

Kristina Poluyanova

As a Senior Product Marketing Manager for EMEA, Kristina brings a rich blend of experiences and insight to Autodesk. With six years deeply immersed in the construction industry across Europe and the Middle East, and a decade navigating the dynamic SaaS landscape, she has a robust understanding of the industry. With a diverse background spans across customer success, product marketing, sales, and strategy, Kristina excels at understanding your challenges, conveying them back to Autodesk, and transforming them into tailored messages that resonate with specific markets. Her global perspective is broadened by residing in three different countries, where she now calls London, UK, her home. Always open to forging new connections, Kristina welcomes networking opportunities. So, if you're in town, don't hesitate to reach out!”