Standards Australia recently published AS ISO 16739:2017 Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) for data sharing in the construction and facility management industries, which is an identical adoption of the international standard ISO 16739.
AS ISO 16739 establishes a data schema and exchange file format for Building Information Model (BIM) data and is intended for use in architecture, engineering, construction and operation industries. Its adoption fits within the government’s goal of improving productivity, quality and sustainability in the Australian built environment sector.
The data schema describes entities commonly found in AECO industries, such as building elements, construction systems, spaces, locations, projects, actors and processes, and the relationships between them.
AS ISO 16739 acts as an intermediary between different proprietary schemas by assisting software developers to write programs that can export IFC format files and allow IFC files to be imported from other applications.
In March 2016 the Australasian Procurement and Construction Council (APCC) recommended the national adoption of ISO and related BIM standards across the Commonwealth, and all States and Territories as part of the government report Smart ICT – Report on the inquiry into the role of smart ICT in the design and planning of infrastructure.
The direct adoption of this international standard was supported by BD-104, Standards Australia’s mirror committee of ISO TC 59/SC 13, Organization of information about construction works.
“The most commonly used BIM authoring applications in Australia are all able to import and export files in an IFC format. Adopting ISO 16739 as an Australian Standard formally recognises its value, increases awareness of it within the local industry and makes it more accessible,” says BD-104 chair Neil Greenstreet.
“Open BIM standards such as IFC mean stakeholders do not have to be locked into one proprietary range of software products – they can choose the tools best suited to their specific needs and exchange their work with others with different needs or preferences. A diversity of products also stimulates competition and development.”