IFC’s – What are they?

BIM i not new, it’s been waiting in the wings for over 2 decades now and a glimpse into its past may throw some light on what BIM is really all about..

The organisation that defines and manages BIM is as most will know called “BuildingSmart“. The roots of this organisation was changed in an attempt to render it more humanly interpret-able, but perhaps that effort may have caused dilution; the original organisation title was “IAI” or “International Alliance for Interoperability”.

Interoperability is both the essence and the heart of what BIM is; it is central to its function and should be the principle message conveyed whenever an explanation of BIM is requested or delivered.

The term acronym “BIM” was invented as an alternative to “IFC”, where “IFC” describes in a technical sense the structuring of information “Industry Foundation Classes”. This change in my opinion has been helpful in creating and conveying the central purpose of information and was starting to necessary if only to stop the myriad of alternate interpretations of the acronym such as “Information for construction”. The only negative of the term “BIM” is in my opinion the non-universality of its application to the world of construction; what i suggest is that “B” for “Building” excludes for many of those involved in infrastructure projects. Perhaps therefore we should opt for the alternate “Construction Information Management”..

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