buildingSMART Forums

ISG Spring 2019 Meeting (#68) - Columbia, MD USA


14-15 March 2019
Columbia, MD USA

Hosted by Vectorworks, Inc.

Please register your attendance, by 28 February, via Doodle:

***Please note that vendors should plan on sending no more than two (2) representatives, to help with keeping attendance manageable for hosts. This will be policy from now on.

Meeting Location:
Vectorworks, Inc.
7150 Riverwood Drive,
Columbia, MD 21046

There are a number of quality business hotels in the area.
The closest to the Vectorworks HQ include:

  • Hampton Inn & Suites Columbia/South - 7045 Minstrel Way, Columbia, MD 21046
  • SpringHill Suites by Marriott/Columbia - 7055 Minstrel Way, Columbia, MD 21046
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton Columbia/Laurel - 7531 Montpelier Rd, Laurel, MD 20723

Closer to the airport, include:

  • The Hotel at Arundel Preserve - 7795 Arundel Mills Blvd, Hanover, MD 21076
  • Cambria Hotel Arundel Mills-BWI Airport - 7700 Milestone Pkwy, Hanover, MD 21076
  • Element Arundel Mills BWI Airport - 7522 Teague Rd, Hanover, MD 21076
  • Aloft Arundel Mills BWI Airport - 7520 Teague Rd, Hanover, MD 21076

Any questions, please feel free to ask.

Host Dinner:
The Kings Contrivance -
10150 Shaker Drive
Columbia, MD 21046
6:30pm - Reception at the bar
7:30pm - Dinner

Agenda (proposed/tentative – please propose other agenda items to Angel and Jeff prior to 01 MARCH 2019. Any attempt to add after that date will NOT be considered) :

  • ISG business
    • Review previous meeting notes/ outstanding items - J. Ouellette/A. Velez
    • IFC4 Certification updates – J. Ouellette for R. Steinmann
    • DTV 1.x refinement - J. Ouellette for R. Steinmann
    • Outstanding issues - J. Ouellette
      • Finalize ISG charter – Structure, mission, operations, etc.
      • Finalize IFC intent/use/scope documentation
      • Communications via Forums and GitHub
    • Software Vendor Engagement strategies
      • Update on Rail Project and general infrastructure project Software Vendor Engagement - T. Liebich
      • Proposed Software Vendor Engagement Program for bSI initiatives/projects - R. Kelly/J. Ouellette
  • MSG business – T. Liebich
    • IFC developments
    • IFC development roadmap/strategy
  • bSI business - R. Kelly
    • bSI Room/Project/Summit updates
  • End user presentations:
    • FHWA Bridge project (informal update) - B. Kozy
    • AASHTO BIM for Bridges and Structures - C. Christian
  • Vendor presentations:
    • IFC support by Open Design Alliance - S. Vishnevetsky, ODA
    • IFC Use Survey - J. Kiss, GRAPHISOFT
    • IFC Delta exchange proposal - J. Kiss, GRAPHISOFT
  • Workshops
    • IFC5 – Proposals from ISG for changes, additions, enhancements (please submit ideas as a Forum Topic to be reviewed prior to discussions. Any proposals NOT submitted previously to Forum will not be discussed!!)
    • open IFC Toolkit - Using the opportunity for ISG members to take the items from last year’s NY Tech meeting and give input on scope, criteria, expectations, roadmap, process, technology, etc.
pinned globally #2

Is this purely for attendance by developers who work on implementations of IFC in BIM software, or is there scope for users to attend, who may not be working on an implementation, but have opinions on its practical use in the industry, or would like to learn more?

In addition, is there a fund available for non-commercial implementations, such as open-source implementors like IfcOpenShell and FreeCAD?


This meeting is primarily for member vendor/developers with MSG, bSI management, Software Certification, and bSI Room representatives, to discuss implementation issues and strategies. New/local vendors, as well as academics involved with open BIM research, are always invited/encouraged to attend and learn the value of engagement. Each host is also asked to invite one or two local users to present on their use of open BIM workflows, dependent on time allowed in the agenda. All travel and accommodations are self-funded by participants. Hosts provide meeting facilities and meals.

Direct end user engagement typically happens through local chapter events, the International Standards Summits, and Room projects, as well as this new forum. Ideas from these events/groups/forums then make their way through the organization via responsible parties, being appropriately “funneled” into one of several processes for consideration and development.

I would encourage you to continue to engage through this forum, as well as getting involved in your local/national chapter, if available. Each chapter has their own engagement strategy and event schedule. The schedules for Standard Summits can be found under News > Events at


Funding for projects, either standards or technology development, typically comes from sponsors, separately from membership, for each specific project. Sometimes a crowd-sourcing model, with in-kind contributions has produced results/products. However, there is currently no “general fund” for software development.


I want to remind everyone to please register via Doodle link by 22 FEBRUARY to give the host plenty of time to make arrangements. If you are having issues with visas, please let me know.

I also want to get all agenda suggestions by 01 MARCH.


Some comments on the agenda.
I hope that the product library development and current status is presented.
Also, the infra projects development and statuses need to be covered.
I have also an issue to discuss. Advanced Breps in DTV.


Last call for participation registration and agenda suggestions!

Please note that “technical items” should be posted here in the Forum prior to the meeting. @lassi.liflander has already posted a couple of topics that should be reviewed. These can then either be resolved ahead of time (preferred) or continue the discussion in Columbia. The plan is to make this “standard practice” so we can make the meetings more strategic, gather info from projects and end user cases, and then making suggestions to MSG and others on moving forward.

As mentioned the last few meetings, I will not accept last minute requests to add items to the agenda. All proposals need to be reviewed ahead of time to make sure they fit the overall purpose of the meeting.

See y’all soon!


GRAPHISOFT would like to add the following to the agenda:

The transparency of the certification process, including:

  • What IFC file was used during certification of the software
  • “Passed” IFC files uploaded by a vendor are not accessible to others
  • How are the criteria for certification selected?
    • Export criteria are not to be discussed - anymore?
      • We wanted to add “Speed” as criteria, because for our users that’s a often heard remark
    • Import criteria are not defined, to our best knowledge
      • We want to add these variables:
        • How to cooperate with other disciplines
        • Speed
        • Use of real models
    • Multiple options for export the same elements:
      • Should be accepted
      • with a different export are good in IFC but the certification only checks rigid and is not flexible
    • The certification is about collecting sample files not checking against MVD

Presentation IFC Survey

After the user presentation we would like to share the results of the GRAPHISOFT user survey regarding IFC-usage.

IFC Commands / IFC Delta (proposal for exchanging information between applications) - [Presented by Jozsef L. Kiss]

  • Workflows to be improved:
    • Reference Model Workflow
    • Shared Model Workflow (via BCF and BIMSnippet)
    • Design Transfer Workflow
  • Technical background
  • Prototype


  1. In regards to the Certification program we advise to use:
  • Detailed certification stamp for:
    • Export Reference View
    • Import Reference View
    • Export Design Transfer View
    • Import Design Transfer View
  • Description for certificate
    • More transparency for the end-users
    • Too many exceptions for 2x3
  • Results testing the appropriate view instead of testing the data
  1. (probably included already in the charter of the ISG), we would like to have a democratic process for elections of the board / leadership.

  2. We hope the meeting can clarify; Which command is certified for import and/or export: for example for import: “all IFC import commands”, “open IFC”, “link IFC”

  3. Additional question; What are the statuses of the previous IFC2x3 MVD’s such as “Basic FM Handover View”, “COBie 2.4”, “Structural Analysis View”?

  4. What about Add-on views such as “Space Boundary”? Are they part of certification? Can both RV and DTV be extended with add-on views (compatibility matrix)?

Thanks, See you in Columbia, looking forward to a fruitful meeting!

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As the Building Room’s liaison with ISG I am carrying this message regarding Model Setup IDM (MSI):

The key issue for MSI is the protracted time it has taken to get approvals and implementation of this modest IFC extension.

The reports (which I will post later because I don’t know where to put them attached to this message) summarises the current state of development, the available documents and the timings of key events.

The poll for the Standards Committee approval has been sent and closes on the 7 Mar 2019.

Whilst this SC vote is an important step towards a successful completion, the key point is that the Implementation of the extension is not known.

My fellow steering committee member John Mitchell have had several meetings with ISG, we had a presentation at Barcelona (well received) to the Infrastructure room, we have example implementation files, all of which in our opinion allows the project to be implemented.

So far MSG and ISG (to our knowledge) have not formalised the project.

The NSW Government asked us in November 2018 to present to a new Australian Geographic Datum WG on how BIM implements geo-referencing. The feedback from them is very positive and John will do a further presentation on 22 Mar 2019 to an extended audience of NSW agencies. He really wants at that event to announce the implementation commitment.

buildingSMART Australasia has strongly recommended that governments require openBIM data exchange and this has recently been adopted by the states of Queensland, NSW and Victoria.

But, the IFC extension has not been implemented: a 2 line entity definition in IFC4 and 2 PSets in IFC2x3. Whilst implementation may have to consider a wider software development context in a BIM software, we are talking about a very small extension that has a profound benefit and value to the robustness of BIM models - of all asset types - in a mapping context.

Speaking in John his words; We recommend strongly ISG should make this extension implementation the immediate priority with an agreed date for release in middle 2019.

Thanks for putting this on the agenda - and @jwouellette please let me know where to store the reports -

kind regards, on behalf of the Steering Committee of the Building Room, Rob Roef

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@rroef While I understand John’s frustration, I think we all have to remember that buildingSMART, in any capacity (be it management, Standards Committee, Room, Support Group, or project), CANNOT force vendors to support any MVD, much less IFC itself (or even BCF for that matter). Yes, personally I would love to see the Model Setup MVD suddenly pop up in the IFC Export interfaces of all the tools, but we all have to recognize practical limits and responsibilities of making such efforts come to fruition.

Richard Kelly and I are working on formalizing the software vendor engagement process and presenting this at the ISG and in DĂĽsseldorf, this March. We hope this will provide better guidance to end users and their projects, as well as the vendor community, to better enable support for such efforts. There is also work being done to address the larger IFC development governance within the bSI, CEN, and ISO contexts. On top of that, there are still tweaks being made to the details of project process(es), through recent experiences, that also affects implementation and outcomes. All of these are recognized as needed, interrelated components of an overall strategy for the maturation of bSI as a standards body.

At the same time, we are also working on how the ISG operates overall. As I’ve previously stated in many different meetings previously, I would like to see all the members of the ISG being more proactive and responsive moving forward. This requires a step up in commitment and execution on each vendor’s part, independent of what the bSI community may desire. But to better enable such a change we also need to put formalized processes and tools in place that make it easier for all vendors (legacy and new) to support needs and initiatives. We also have to recognize that this is a mix of internal business and technical decisions for vendors, as well, and that can be more complex for some vendors than others for various reasons beyond anyone else’s control.

I appreciate such a push coming from a vendor willing to support a specific end user effort, but we also need to have patience and be mutually supportive of efforts to take these initiatives forward and raise bSI community efforts to the next level. It may take time, but I feel we are moving forward quite well with the resources at hand.


@rroef Rasso will not be able to make this meeting as he is working to prepare the German chapter for the Standard Summit in Düsseldorf. As such, we will defer all the Certification related items to a separate discussion with him and his team. We must all remember that Certification is NOT a function of the ISG. We don’t manage it, we don’t create the criteria for it, we don’t direct it in any way. It is under the governance of the Standards Committee and Standards Committee Executive.

I will add your presentations on IFC Survey & IFC Delta. I think the questions about the previous 2x3 MVDs is best handled by Thomas (he will be there) and also is relevant to the digital infrastructure/communications discussion.


I’ve made what I think are the final updates to the overall proposed agenda. Next week, I’ll post a detailed schedule that addresses when we’ll talk about all the proposed issues. Still some coordinating needed for some attendees.

Please be prepared for all the discussions prior to the meeting. This is especially true for the Workshops on IFC5 improvements and the open IFC Toolkit. For the IFC5 discussion, it is most helpful to list each “improvement” in the Forum, first so we can make a list and have open documentation available. For the open IFC Toolkit, we want the ISG members to consider what they’ve done and what they would share, as well as what people feels works well or does not from their own experiences with internal, 3rd party, and open source tools currently available.


Please make sure you let our hosts know if you have any special dietary requirements, restrictions, or allergies for coffee, lunch, and dinner. You can contact Kim Rooney at

Thank you,


We’ll start at 9:00am. Working on the agenda. Will post soon.


Detailed agenda (PDF) can be found on the buildingSMART ShareFile ISG folder for ISG members:
If you are an bSI-ISG member and don’t have access, please let me know.


I will be posting a summary after the DĂĽsseldorf Standards Summit. As part of that effort, I will also post responses to each of the items identified in the Forum for discussion.

Your patience is greatly appreciated.

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