IFC-Bridge is an extension of the IFCs[1], specific to civil work structures, developed by the French transport research division SETRA, with the technical support of the CSTB (French Scientific and Technical Center for Building), as part of the official buildingSMART framework and through cooperation between its French-speaking, Japanese, Nordic and German chapters. This model, recognised as being fairly complete for bridges, has not yet been formally incorporated into the IFCs or implemented by software publishers.

As part of phase 1 of the MINnD project, in cooperation with the openINFRA initiative (with the backing of buildingSMART International), the current obstacles to the use of IFC-Bridge were identified and an action plan established to break down the barriers standing in the way of this extension being deployed.

MINND_phase1_results_uc3_01An assessment of the current state of applicability of IFC entities to the establishment of an information exchange model for bridge construction was carried out in phase 1. This study is based on understanding of the ISO 16739 (IFC) standard and the work to prepare for an IFC-Bridge extension. It is also based on the “use case” analysis that led to the production of IFC exchange files based on the IFC ISO standard, therefore with building-oriented entities.

Regarding civil work structures, there are two categories of deficiency in terms of the IFCs:

  • regarding the existing IFCs: incomplete implementation (extrusion, Boolean operations, etc.) or uses that are not really oriented towards the field of infrastructure (prestressing, etc.);
  • regarding the field of civil work structures and the environment in which they are based: a need for new entities to be developed.

These two categories are detailed in the deliverable entitled “IFC-Bridge State of the Art & Missing Concepts”, written in English and available as part of the project. The deliverable concludes by identifying the concepts that are currently not correctly supported and proposing how the missing entities could be developed. The proposals must now be taken up by an international development team so they can be integrated into future versions of the IFCs.

It is also important to tackle these issues in the broader framework of the full set of information and models/simulations vital to the design-construction of structures as part of a “lifecycle” approach.


Information Delivery Manual (IDM)

Implementation Methodology

[1] The IFC (Industry Foundation Class) format is an object-oriented file format used by the construction industry to exchange and share information between software packages.