buildingSMART Forums

ODA Begins Work on IFC Solution

As civil engineer I have been following IFC developments for quite some years. But for me little to none progress can be seen in taking BIM for infra any further, sorry. Most things i see and read are mostly imput - output realated to the next BIM conference anywhere on this world. People involved seem to like to be talking mostl, those who enjoy the bim networking… Where is this going??

But I like the fact you guys put up a forum. Took a while but hey…
What is really was excited to read about, is the involvement ODA now is undertaking!!! They have a serious track record in REAL DEVELOPMENT. So this this is exciting IFC news for me, since years !!!




opendesign dot com

Actually, there are several “Infrastructure for IFC” projects currently underway. IFC extensions for Alignment has most recently been adopted into IFC4.1. This was needed as the basis for all other infrastructure projects to move forward. Other concurrent projects includes Rail, Road, and Bridge, as well as the important “Common Schema” project. Ports & Harbors, Tunnels, and other projects are also being considered. A new project, “IFC for Site, Landscape, and Urban Planning” is soon to launch, to round out all these efforts. You can find some more information here:

IFC4 software certification for the building domain is also currently underway. 13 vendors are currently onboard to certify their applications based on the Reference View v1.2. There are some toolkits that have already been supporting IFC4 for some time.

Hopefully, through this Forum, the site and the new technical site (coming soon), you will get more information about all these efforts and more. As we ramp up involvement within the community, I hope that all those currently working within these projects will provide updates to the public through this site. Keep your eyes open, Hans.

As for the ODA, while I appreciate their decision to finally include IFC translation, it is another 3rd-party option. The buildingSMART International technical community is currently exploring the creation of an official, open-source IFC toolkit. The intent is to provide an authoritative benchmark toolkit for developers of all levels and types to use in support of IFC across a wide spectrum of tools. It would also aid further experimentation and development of future versions of the schema to meet the future needs of the entire built asset industry. In addition, we all could benefit from a “managed” open-source model, where bSI is able to leverage the work of many talented developers, from all over the globe, toward the goal of total industry digitization and interoperability.

I’m glad to see that you are excited, but don’t think “nothing” is being done inside the bSI community. In fact, I am seeing more activity and results in the last 6 years than I have in the previous 10.


Could you confirm that “read more” link it’s not working ?



You’re right, it looks like something is wrong from my end, too.

1 Like

This link works better:


Thanks Jeffrey!

Any news on the open source buildingSMART IFC toolkit? Is it more a benchmark or will it complement IfcOpenShell, GeometryGym, IfcEngine, Ifcplusplus, etc,?

Also if this is a Microsoft .NET toolkit, as IfcDoc, it may not be really usable for some of us…

No news at the moment @stefkeB. We still need to further clarify approach, scope, budget, and schedule into formal documentation. We definitely need help in funding the start of this effort. There is more support for this in the community, especially after talks in Düsseldorf and among end users who now understand that their efforts require more than just new schema proposals.

The original vision is that this could be the basis for any other toolkits to add further value on top of, but would contain enough features to be distributed as its own Libraries and/or SDK to any developer, alongside the others. One goal is to have a definitive and official implementation of low-level tooling to support the interpretation of the schema to libraries in one consistent way, instead of having everyone going about it in many different parallel directions. From there, we can consider other options of feature set that are part of the official toolkit.

We also know we have to be more flexible than one programming language/environment.

I had a chance to get and test early (gamma:) version of ODA toolkit.
At the moment it can read IFC2x3 / IFC4 and provide early and late binding functions to access data.
Stress tests shown performance is better comparing to some open source solutions but still not good as some commercial.
I did not test model creation and serializing, only reading but saw related API exists.
Team informed me they are working on implementation SDAI C/C++ API as well as performance improvement.
waiting next release…