Remember Me
Or use your Academic/Social account:


Or use your Academic/Social account:


You have just completed your registration at OpenAire.

Before you can login to the site, you will need to activate your account. An e-mail will be sent to you with the proper instructions.


Please note that this site is currently undergoing Beta testing.
Any new content you create is not guaranteed to be present to the final version of the site upon release.

Thank you for your patience,
OpenAire Dev Team.

Close This Message


Verify Password:
Verify E-mail:
*All Fields Are Required.
Please Verify You Are Human:
fbtwitterlinkedinvimeoflicker grey 14rssslideshare1
Laakso, M; Kiviniemi, AO
Publisher: Open Publishing Services
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: built_and_human_env
IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) is an open and standardized data model intended to enable interoperability between building information modeling software applications in the AEC/FM industry. IFC has been in development by an industry consortium since 1994, and since the start of the effort, the evolving industry context, standardization organization, resource availability, and technology development have exposed the standardization process to a dynamic environment. While the overarching mission of IFC standardization has always been to enable interoperability between AEC/FM software applications, the approach for how best to operationalize that mission has changed over the years. Through a literature review supported by the general theory on IT standardization, this study follows the development process of the IFC standard from its origins in the early 1990s to its latest activities in 2012. The end result is both a descriptive review of the history of IFC standardization and the establishment of an initial connection to IT standardization research for the IFC standard by profiling the effort in accordance with existing IT standardization theories and typologies. The review highlights the evolution of IFC standardization through several distinct phases, and its gradual movement from emphasizing technical architecture development towards growing involvement in specifying the processes facilitating its use. The organization behind the standard has also seen changes in its modus operandi, from initially being a closed and loosely coupled alliance to evolving into a consortium incorporating open hybrid standardization, where a formal standards body publishes the standards prepared by the consortium. The consortium has faced many challenges compiling an ambitious interoperability standard with few resources, and were it not for the growing demand for the standard provided by public actors, momentum and enthusiasm for the effort might have petered out due to slow market uptake and low use of the data standard in actual construction projects thus far. While this paper does not investigate the adoption phenomenon in-depth, the moderate uptake of the standard can perhaps be explained to be a symptom of the slow adoption of collaborative model-based construction processes and industry reluctance to switch over to new IT tools, which in turn are prerequisites for the existence of demand for an open interoperability standard.
  • The results below are discovered through our pilot algorithms. Let us know how we are doing!

    • Amor, R (2008). A Better BIM: Ideas from other Industries. Proceedings of the 2008 CIB W78 Conference. 48-
    • Bazjanac, V & Crawley, D (1997). The implementation of industry foundation classes in simulation tools for the building industry. Proceedings of the 1997 International Building Simulation Conference, 203-210.
    • Behrman W (2002). Best practices for the development and use of XML data interchange standards. Center for Integrated Facility Engineering Technical Report. Vol. 131, pp. 27
    • Bell H, Bjørkhaug L (2.0A06b)uildingSMART ontology. Proceedings of the 2006 ECPPM Conference, 185- 190
    • Autodesk (2008) Press Release - Autodesk and Bentley to Advance AEC Software Interoperability. http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/item?siteID=123112&id=11680608&linkID=14271589. Accessed 29.5.2012
    • Bernstein H M, Jones S A, Gudgel J E (2010). The Business Value of BIM in Europe - Getting Building eing to the Bottom Line in the United Kingdom, France and Germany. McGraw Hill Construction SmartMarket Report, pp. 52
    • Björk B-C, Penttila H (1989). A scenario for the development and implementation of a building product model standard. Advances in Engineering Software, 11 (4), 176-187
    • Björk B-C (1992). Unified Approach for Modelling Construction Information. Building and Environment, 27(2), 173-194.
    • Björk B-C, Laakso M (2010). CAD standardisation in the construction industry - A process view. Automation in Construction. Vol. 19 (4), 398-406
    • Blind K (2008). A welfare analysis of standards competition: the example of the ECMA OpenXML standard and the ISO ODF standard. (Ed.) Jakobs K and SöderEstUröRmASEP.roceedings 2008. 1-17
    • BLIS-project.org (2002). BLIS project pages. http://www.blis-project.org/. Accessed 7.6.2011
    • Nordic IAI Chapter Meeting Minutes - http://www.iainordic.no/category/Minutes/category.php?categoryID=176
    • Open IFC Model Repository (2012) http://openifcmodel.cs.auckland.ac.nz. Accessed 29.5.2012
    • ProIT (2004). ProIT News December 2004, Confederation of Finnish Construction Industries, pp. 8
    • ProIT (2005). ProIT News August 2005, Confederation of Finnish Construction Industries, pp. 8
    • Purao S, Bagby J, Umapathy K (2008) Standardizing Web Services: Overcoming 'Design by Committee'. 2008 IEEE Congress on Services - Part I, 223-230
    • Samuelson O (2010). IT-Innovationer i svenska bygg- och fastighetssektorn - En studie av förekomst och utveckling av IT under ett decennium. Doctoral Disstertation. Hanken School of Economics, p. 244
    • Schenck, D., & Wilson, P. (1993). Information Modeling: The EXPRESS Way. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. p. 388
    • Schoechle, T. (2008). Standardization and Digital Enclosure: The Privatization of Standards, Knowledge, and Policy in the Age of Global Information Technology (p. 358). IGI Global.
    • Söderström, E (2004) Formulating a General Standards LifeLeCctyucrlee.Notes in Computer Science, Springer, 263-275
    • Stangeland B (2009). Presentation: buildingSMART international - Vision, mission, strategy & goals. www.itp.net/events/buildsmart/presentations/Bjorn.pdf. Accessed 7.6.2011
    • Statsbygg (2010). 2009 rsberetning. pp. 26
    • Steinmann R (2010). IFC Software Implementation - New Certification Program. Retrieved from http://www.buildingsmart.de/pdf/buildingSMART2010_Steinmann.pdf. Accessed 7.6.2011
    • Tanyer AM, Aouad GF (2005). Moving beyond the fourth dimension with an IFC-based single project database. Automation in Construction. Vol. 14 (1), 15-32
    • Taylor, J. & R.Levitt. 2004, 'Understanding and Managing Systemic Innovation in Project-based Industries', in DP Slevin, DI Cleland & JK Pinto (eds), Innovations: Project management research 2004, Project Management Institute, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, 83-99.
    • Tarandi V (1998). Neutral Intelligent CAD Communication - Information exchange in construction based upon a minimal schema, Doctoral Dissertation, Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan, Stockholm, pp. 194
    • Taylor J, Levitt R (2005). Modeling Systemic Innovation in Design and Construction Networks. CIFE Technical Report #163, pp. 23.
    • Taylor J, Levitt R (2007). Innovation alignment and project network dynamics: An integrative model for change. Project Management Journal, Vol. 38 (3), 22-35
    • Tolman FP (1999). Product modeling standards for the building and construction industry: past, present and future. Automation in Construction. Vol. 8 (3), 227-235
    • Turner J (1990). AEC Building Systems Model, ISO TC 1184/SC4/WG1, Document, 1990.
    • Weiss M, Cargill C (1992) Consortia in the standards development process. Journal of the American Society for Information Science. Vol. 43 (8), 559-565
    • West J (2004). What are Open Standards? Implications for Adoption, Competition and Policy. Standards and Public Policy Conference, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, May 2004
    • Winstead D, Jensen FF, Kohvakka A, Lie M, Jägers (P2008). Statement of Intention to Support Building Information Models With Open Standards. Retrieved from http://www.gsa.gov/graphics/pbs/Statement_of_Intention-BIM_FINAL.pdf
    • Wix J, Bloomfeld D P (1995) Standardisation in the building industry the STEP building construction core model. Proceedings of the 1995 W078 Conference. 184-195
    • Wix J, Karlshøj (J2007). Information Delivery Manual. Guide to Components and Development Methods, pp.
    • 82. buildingSMART International. Retrieved from
    • http://iug.buildingsmart.com/idms/development/IDMC_004_1_2.pdf/at_download/file
    • Yang D, Eastman CM (2007). A rule-based subset generation method for product data models. Computer-Aided
    • Civil and Infrastructure Engineering, Vol. 22 (2) , 133-148.
    • Young NW, Jones SA, Bernstein HM (2007). Interoperability in the Construction Industry. McGraw Hill Construction SmartMarket Report, pp. 36
    • Young NW, Jones SA, Bernstein HM (2008). Building Information Modeling (BIM) - Transforming Design and Construction to Achieve Greater Industry Productivity. McGraw Hill Construction SmartMarket Report, pp. 48
    • Young NW, Jones SA, Bernstein HM, Gudgel J (2009). The Business Value of BIM - Getting Building Information Modeling to the Bottom Line. McGraw Hill Construction SmartMarket Report, pp. 52
    • Zhao, K., Xia, M., & Shaw, M. (2005). Vertical e-business standards and standards developing organizations: A conceptual framework. Electronic Markets, Vol. 15 (4), 289-300
  • No related research data.
  • No similar publications.

Share - Bookmark

Cite this article