The first four products to receive the new-style buildingSMART certification 2.0 were recognized at the international meetings of buildingSMART in Waltham, Mass., March 12, 2013. The certification acknowledges that the products have been tested and shown to comply with the IFC open standards for the functions specified within the testing environment.
The four successful products are Autodesk Revit Architecture, GRAPHISOFT ArchiCAD, Nemetschek Allplan and Nemetschek Scia Engineer, which received certification for their export functionality. Other products are still in the process of being tested and audited. Certified products can display the buildingSMART certification logo on their packaging.
Rasso Steinmann, who leads buildingSMART’s Implementer Support Group, said: “Our certification is a stringent process and buildingSMART congratulates the successful vendors. The number of test actions to date is over 1,400 – an indication of how seriously we take the process.”
Jim Lynch, vice president, building and collaboration products of Autodesk, said: “We have many customers worldwide that mandate a neutral IFC file format and rely on it to ease the design, construction and maintenance of new and existing buildings. BuildingSMART’s IFC certification will allow our customers to facilitate more efficient, collaborative workflows; increase project team collaboration; and encourage data exchange and interoperability within a BIM workflow.”
Akos Rechtorisz, Open BIM program manager at GRAPHISOFT, said: “GRAPHISOFT, an IFC pioneer, has been involved in developing the IFC interface since 1996. We are proud to be among the very first to achieve certification for IFC 2×3 Coordination View Version 2.0 export, using ArchiCAD. The open-source IFC format allows our users to exchange data with the engineering disciplines using Open BIM workflows. Structural and MEP engineers worldwide connect to ArchiCAD using a variety of globally and locally used software programs.”
Aleš Široký, technical director from Nemetschek Allplan, said: “This certification is an important step towards improving Open BIM collaboration among our customers and their partners. Nemetschek Allplan is committed to IFC as the industry standard, and our developers co-operate with other industry players so that we stay at the leading edge of Open BIM exchange.”
And Herman Oogink, CTO from Nemetschek Scia, added: “We are proud to belong to the first companies succeeded to pass the certification. It proves our commitment to open standards and Open BIM. We are convinced that open standards like IFC are a huge benefit for our clients who can choose to work with the best software that fits to their needs without worrying about exchanging of data.”
In 2010, buildingSMART launched its certification scheme, introducing a clear distinction between import and export functions and improving quality checks. The scheme uses a web application, the Global Testing and Documentation Server (GTDS), which provides automated online testing of IFC files, tools for documentation of manual tests and is a place where candidates for certification can run tests to ascertain compliance. The database of GTDS stores all test results and provides test reports.
“No vendor-independent testing framework for a standard data format has attempted such an ambitious scope until now,” said Rasso. “The auditing process was especially demanding and this first round of certification for exports has earned the respect of the industry.” The next round of certifications will be for imports.