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Who is responsible for determining the standards that apply to the openBIM®? What is the role of buildingSMART International?

buildingSMART is the worldwide organization driving the transformation of the built asset economy through creation & adoption of open, international standards. buildingSMART develops and maintains industry standards such as IFC created in 1996 (COBie or BCF also allow these exchanges).

IFC is standardized by the International Standards Organization (ISO). These rules establishing a common standard allows software vendors, including Autodesk, to benefit from common language to export and import data.

buildingSMART International actively participates in IFC development. The organization has launched various working groups around the world to define the needs of BIM users. buildingSMART is also active in standardization committees that define new standards. These steps lead to the improvement of object libraries or the opening of IFC to new disciplines.

What is the difference between openBIM® and the Open BIM™ program?

openBIM® is an collaborative approach supported by buildingSMART International. It defines interoperability methods for BIM software, including Autodesk solutions to communicate. The Open BIM ™ is a commercial marketing program of a group of software vendors.

Is Autodesk part of buildingSMART International? Since when Autodesk is supporting openBIM®?

Autodesk is an active member of buildingSMART International, and has been from the beginning of the formation of buildingSMART. Back in 1995, Autodesk organized a private alliance of twelve companies to prove the benefits of interoperability between the many software programs being used in the building industry.

After a year of effort, the International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI) was established in 1996—in 2008, it was renamed into buildingSMART International. Autodesk is on the Strategic Advisory Council of buildingSMART International, the highest level of membership participation.

Since Autodesk’s inception in 1982, interoperability has been part of Autodesk DNA. The company is committed to the buildingSMART openBIM® and supports today 14 Autodesk solutions with  IFC data exchange capabilities to enable open collaboration on several MVD’s (Model View Definition) including the 2x3 Coordination view for Architecture, Structure, and MEP. Revit also has IFC 4.0 capabilities available today.

I have heard about IFC format? What does it really do?

IFC format, like other industry standards, enables data exchange between different BIM software applications.  The development of the IFC standard increases the scope of the openBIM® approach to new disciplines, to help expand project collaboration.

Which Autodesk solutions are compatible with the IFC?

Several Autodesk BIM solutions are IFC certified. Thus, they allow the import and export of data with professionals using other software that also have IFC capabilities. Autodesk has also integrated IFC in Inventor software and in our collaborative platform A360 and BIM 360.

Is there an "openBIM®" certification?

The "openBIM®" certification does not exist under this name, but IFC certification exists, the exchange standard which enables an openBIM process. There is a certification process for the software vendors that is also a reference for the users. buildingSMART manages the software certifications and the information on its website.

I would like to work with a partner company which does not use Autodesk software. How can I work with a partner company?

The IFC data exchange format, implemented in several Autodesk software offerings is also used by other software. If your partner also uses software that has implemented the certified 2x3 coordination view for IFC, you will be able to share BIM data, helping you and your business partner save time on each project.

Does openBIM® mean open source?

openBIM® is a collaborative approach to project workflows sponsored by buildingSMART International. Open source is free software with the source code available to anyone. Autodesk participates in openBIM® through buildingSMART international.

Autodesk also provides an IFC open source software library for Revit with both import and export capabilities. This capability is unique among the major BIM software vendors.  

Interoperability: Frequently asked questions

Learn about interoperability, openBIM®, IFC, and more.

Read more