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Customised IFC Data Exchange

Customised IFC Data Exchange
Effective BIM workflow and project collaboration not only depends on the accessibility and integrity of shared design data, it also requires consideration of the responsibilities of project participants. Where design information is shared as part of a planned design process, the recipient will require project data that is fit for purpose and sufficient for the task to which he or she is assigned. Sharing an entire design model, or irrelevant and unnecessary design information may hinder workflow efficiency.

Civil Designer allows shared IFC data to be customised according to the requirements of the recipient. Prior to export the engineer can set up custom IFC files, assigning the appropriate northern or southern coordinate system and specifying the extents of the shared data. Data can be allocated to a single, or multiple IFC files, and may incorporate all or a selection of the proposed infrastructure services associated with the project.

A shared road design model, for example, may consist of an entire road, road segments or multiple roads. In addition, it may include road layerworks and other parameters as required (see dialog opposite).

Using a standard BIM viewer, the exported IFC files will be shown to contain 3D 'solid' model geometry representations of the project's objects, with various IFC properties and quantities attached to the 3D objects.
   IFC Export Options
Customising IFC files prior to export

BIM Model Viewer

A road design, as exported from CIVIL DESIGNER, shown in a BIM Model Viewer

IFC file naming conventions
Civil Designer boasts an integrated approach to infrastructure design. At all times a single, realistic, geo-referenced model of the project elements at hand is upheld on long sections, layout plans, sub-surface 3D fly-throughs as well as in the vertical alignment control panels.

IFC files (and other files) that are contributed by project stakeholders over a project's lifecycle need to conform to an agreed naming convention to facilitate the coordination process. The BS1192 BIM naming standard, for example, provides for the following fields which can be defined in a file name:
- Project
- Originator
- Zone/System
- Level
- Document type
- Role
- Document number
- Suitability status
- Revision number
- Document description

According to the convention the fields must be separated by dashes (-) to create the BIM standard name, for example: "Project01-KNB-Z1-L1-DR-C-0600-S0-P01-Tutor.IFC". Civil Designer Software implements the BS1192 naming convention for BIM file sharing.

Naming shared files according to their BIM zone, purpose, permissions, and revision introduces further value to their contribution within a project's workflow. Exchanging project information using the IFC format in this way contributes to the efficiency of a project's development and assigns ownership to the various project contributions.

When it comes to project collaboration, Civil Designer is versatile, allowing you to integrate into any BIM compliant workflow with advanced IFC BIM, LandXML and 3D DWG support.

Henk van der Watt, Civil Technologist at Harrison Grierson in New Zealand, and previously at NWE Consulting, has used Civil Designer for a number of large scale infrastructure design projects. He explains that "the design model is the project reference of the future. Workflow efficiency depends on design integrity so that accurate information can be extracted from the design model rather than from separate quantity and management documents".

Customised IFC Data Exchange
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