In IFC 4.1 Specification, both IfcCivilElement and IfcBuildingElement are derived from IfcElement. IfcBuildingElement has many subclasses, while IfcCivilElement has no subclass. In fact, there are many elements that are related to civil engineering works. And there may be some overlap over building elements and civil elements. So what’s the specific difference between these two classes?
Really good question!! Looking forward to an elaboration on this topic!
IfcCivilElement had been introduced back in 2012-13 to IFC4 as a stub for further work in Infrastructure. Now, based on the intensive work on IFC Bridge, Road and Rail, it became clear, that a distinction between building and civil elements is not the best way to go - therefore it is very likely that IfcCivilElement (and probably also IfcBuildingElement) are deprecated in future releases.
Thank you for your reply, Thomas.
Yes, I also think that it may be better to just remain one of the two to aviod potential confusion. Thus, it will be more clear for us to develop the conceptual models of ongoing projects.