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IFC information and freewares

Find out more about IFC information sharing and free software tools

What is an IFC file? How to view, edit its properties and how to work with IFC data in an openBIM process? Find out more about IFC information sharing and the relating free software tools

What is an IFC file, how is it structured and can be viewed?

The IFC format is commonly referred to as an open, non-proprietary format that complies with the international standard ISO 16739. It was designed by buildingSMART International to ensure interoperability between the various players in the AEC sector.

It’s more accurate to think of the IFC file as a means to exchange information and share data throughout the design, construction, operation and maintenance phases.

In fact, this format enables the production of files that include:

  • Geometric IFC information of the various entities of “simple” building components and all associated data;
  • Alphanumeric IFC information specifying parameters, physical properties and information of the entire construction.

All the information belonging to the file is organised by means of classification systems that divide and distribute the objects into categories and subcategories.

Specifically, with usBIM you can manage the file structure and viewing filters, analyse the properties of individual model entities and share the file with those involved in the design process.

What is an IFC classification system?

The IFC classification is a process defined by buildingSMART International that ensures the correct import and export of your data in the IFC format, guaranteeing standards compliance.

ACCA software is the company with the highest number of IFC certified software by buildingSMART international.

The most common classification systems are:

  1. MasterFormat to organise construction work results, requirements, products and activities.
  2. UniFormat to organise construction information structured around known physical parts of the asset or functional elements.
  3. UniClass to organise all aspects of the design and construction process.
  4. OmniClass to organise, sort and retrieve product information for all objects in the built environment during the project life cycle.

More about IFC classification systems can be found HERE.

IFC information sharing and free software tools


IFC information: How is an IFC file structured? How can it be opened, viewed and edited?

The IFC file format was developed by BuildingSMART international not only as an exchange format, but also as a standard. The data structure of the IFC format can be regarded as an archiving system for organising and carrying digital data.

Data organisation in an IFC file is based on 3 fundamental classes that represent the structure of the file itself:

  • IfcObjectDefinition class is the generalisation of any element handled within the IFC model;
  • IfcRelationship class is the generalisation of all relations between objects in the IFC file;
  • IfcPropertyDefinition class is the generalisation of all characteristics and properties assigned to objects.

ACCA software provides you with all the tools to view, edit and share your IFC files:

  • with the freeware usBIM.viewer+ you can assign IFC properties and modify existing ones, create groups and selection filters, use the most common classifications (Uniformat, Uniclass, Omniclass, etc.) for your projects in IFC format. » Download usBIM.viewer+ immediately
  • with usBIM.editor you can make changes to elements geometry, insert new blocks, assign materials, print and render IFC models without needing to have a BIM authoring software. Download the free version of the IFC editor
  • with the integrated usBIM system you can view, analyse and share your IFC files directly online with your colleagues. » Go to the usBIM webpage.

How can I manage the digitisation of linear infrastructures such as IFC Rail, IFC Road and IFC Tunnel all online and in a completely innovative way?

With usBIM.platform you can manage the construction lifecycle from the design phase through to construction and subsequent construction maintenance.

The great advantage of usBIM.platform is that it allows you to manage and view complex models in an easy way from any device and completely online.

In addition, the platform complies with the ISO 19650 standard for the creation of a Common Data Environment (CDE) to manage the digitisation of infrastructures with the possibility of recreating real simulations that allow you to carry out a whole series of preventive assessments on the digital model (digital twin).


Click here to see an example of IFC Rail project consisting of a federation of 50 IFC models