About BCF

BCF

Building Collaboration Format

Construction projects usually involve team members from different companies. During design reviews issues arise, which need to be addressed by one of those team members. In most cases this means working on one project using different software. That's where IFC comes in; exchanging the actual models via an ‘open standard’.

But how do you transmit the issues found? IFC contains data (GUID’s) linked to the building objects, and is therefore not suitable for documenting issues or workflows. BCF (BIM Collaboration Format) is an open file format that allows the addition of textual comments, screenshots and more on top of the IFC model layer for better communication between coordinating parties. It separates the communication from the actual model. 

Communication = Control

Models are checked to identify problems or actions that need to be addressed and within what timeframe. Model checking software finds those issues. When saved into an ‘Open’ file format like BCF, viewpoints, selected objects, snapshots, and comments can be used in any modeling software.

Origin of BCF

The BCF concept was introduced by Solibri, Inc., and Tekla Corporation in 2009. They introduced the idea of using open standards enabling workflow communications between BIM software tools. An XML schema, called Building Collaboration Format (BCF), was developed. It encodes messages that inform one BIM tool of issues found by another. Separating communication from the model, enabling a powerful and open collaboration between parties in any construction project.


BCF as open standard

Initial experience shows that the use of BCF improves the workflow and eliminates the need to transfer large BIM files over the Internet. BCF focuses on the process and how to cooperate with different BIM software instead of just addressing the features of one specific tool.

The BIM Collaboration Format has been submitted to BuildingSMART under the new “Affiliation Scheme” to become an official buildingSMART specification. Solibri Model Checker, MagiCAD, Tekla Structures, Tekla BIMsight, DDS, and many other BIM tools support BCF.

BCF goes everywhere

With BCF Managers for Revit, ARCHICAD, Tekla, Navisworks, Solibri and simplebim you can easily view issues found in the BIM model within these BIM tools. Our BCF Managers enables an efficient collaboration workflow for model quality assurance. It is supported by Solibri, BIMsight, Tekla Structures and DDS-CAD. 
 

BCF in the cloud

KUBUS takes BIM collaboration to the next level with BIMcollab; BCF based issue tracking in the cloud. Structure your workflow for storing, sharing and managing issues. Combine it with the BCF Managers or use our API to make a direct connection from your own BIM tool to BIMcollab.