IFC 2x3 coordination view 2.0

IFC 2×3 coordination view 2.0

IFC 2×3 Coordination View 2.0: what is it and how does it work. Practical examples and federated IFC models ready to use

In this article, I’ll be guiding you to better understand IFC and MVD (Model View Definition), particularly focusing on IFC 2×3 Coordination View 2.0 goals and characteristics. I’ll be addressing IFC, intended as a common schema to exchange all types of data, and illustrating a list of the most common and updated MVDs, a subset of the IFC schema. To get more info about this topic, you can also read this post: “IFC format and Open BIM, all you need to know“.

I’ll also show you an example with federated IFC models that will help you to analyze the differences between various disciplines involved.

IFC and Model View Definition (MVD)

IFC is basically a data schema that is used to digitally describe, share and exchange construction and facilities management information. The IFC hierarchical schema setting allows you to give a logical order to entities.

You can view how IFC-related information are arranged in a building file example using the ACCA software IFC viewer.

IFC schema versions and MVDs are best described by examples.

The spatial structure and physical components of a building are hierarchically modelled within the IFC standard. The order of the IFC hierarchy can be described as follows:

  • IfcProject: establishes the context for information to be exchanged or shared;
  • IfcSite: is the entity that represents the project site;
  • IfcBuilding: identifies the building or buildings on the site;
  • IfcBuildingStorey: represents the levels (or more commonly the floors) into which a building is split;
  • IfcSpace: is a collection of spaces included in a building storey;
  • IfcBuildingElement: identifies the construction elements of a building and are generally associated with a level.

Here is an example of the hierarchy structure modelled within the usBIM.viewer+ working space.

Ifc coordination view

Hierarchical organization and identification of elements

Simply open the file and read the information relating to each element as highlighted in the figure.

In a BIM workflow, we can predefine what information needs to be transferred. This is achieved by the MVD.

MVD, Model View Definition, describes the subset of a data schema that is required to exchange the data required in specific data exchange scenarios.

This methodology is adopted to avoid that redundant or non-functional information are conveyed during an information exchange and to facilitate the model reading process.

IFC schema and MVD

IFC schema and MVD

The MVD is practically a selection of classes of the overall IFC schema, to describe a data exchange for a specific use or workflow. buildingSMART International has listed a series of MVD releases, available on their website.

Some examples of MVDs include:

  • IFC 2×3 Coordination View 2.0
  • IFC 4 Reference View
  • IFC 4 Design TransferView

buildingSMART certifies software for specific MVD implementation which validates that a given design tool can correctly export the required MVD for correct IFC management. In fact, a certified software will be able to correctly manage all IFC schema classes inserted within the MVD specification.

Here is the complete list of buildingSMART International certified software for “Coordination View 2×3” MVD.

IFC 2×3 Coordination View 2.0

IFC 2×3 Coordination View 2.0 is an official buildingSMART International MVD that targets the coordination between the architectural, structural engineering, and building services (MEP) tasks during the design phase.

IFC 2x3 coordinate view

IFC 2×3 coordinate view

Various IFC schemas have been released in different versions:

  • IFC 1.0 in 1996
  • IFC 1.5 in 1998
  • IFC 2.0 in 1999
  • IFC 2x in 2000
  • IFC 2×2 in 2003
  • IFC 2×3 in 2005
  • IFC 4 in 2013 (simplified naming of the current version)

IFC 5 will be released soon as an upcoming version.

“Coordination View 2.0”“, the IFC subset for coordinating the architectural, building service and structural disciplines during the design phase of a construction project, on the other hand, it specifies which MVD we refer to and therefore identifies all (and only) the classes present in the schema.

Ifc coordination view

Federated Arch, Str e Mep models example

A federated model is a combined Building Information Model that assembles distinct discipline models into one to create a single complete model of a building. CV 2.0 clearly refers to 3 disciplines:

  • Architecture (Arch)
  • Structural Engineering (Str)
  • Installation systems (MEP).
Ifc coordination view

Architectural, Structural and MEP federated model

Here’s an example of a federation composed of 3 models combined using usBIM.viewer+. You can download this file, open it with the IFC viewer solution and then test it out to:

  • view the various models;
  • hide objects;
  • set transparency levels;
  • ..and much more.


IFC 4 schema

The IFC 4 version will now include new classes to provide further information, and 2 new MVDs (Reference View and Design Transfer View) for more specific view definitions and support the purpose of IFC data exchange.

IFC 4 Reference View

buildingSMART defines the Reference View as a view that represents simplified model geometries and relationships. This view was created to enable coordination between various project disciplines, such as architectural, structural and plant engineering.

The difference between this MVD and the Coordination View 2.0 depends on the IFC schema version we refer to and, therefore, a semantically rich building data content.

Immagine che raffigura il logo dell'IFC 4

IFC 4 Design Transfer View

The Design Transfer View is a view that has the function of representing geometries and relationships of construction elements and environments in more detail than the Reference View. This allows you to have a model with much more information, that is also transferable from one software to another and that is suitable for editing.


Download this example file with the federated architectural, structural and MEP system models