How to always work with up-to-date IFC files

  by Gerben Bouthoorn - BIMcollab productspecialist,  december, 2018  

Working with different disciplines on different BIM models can be challenging. You have to find an efficient way to share IFC files among team members and make sure everybody can use the most recent versions. One of our clients came up with an interesting solution we would like to share, using BIMcollab ZOOM as an effective tool to always have up-to-date IFC files in the federated model. This is how it works:


Effective organization of IFC files

The project involves several BIM modelers (from different disciplines) that work on their models in their own applications. At the end of every workday, the modelers upload their current model to the contractor’s FTP server. The server hosts a software tool that converts the different BIM models overnight into the IFC format (the open standard for file and data exchange between various BIM applications) and stores them in a .BCP folder (BIMcollab project file).

Every morning, all involved team members can open the .BCP file that automatically loads all IFC files that were generated that night. Now they can view the up-to-date models via BIMcollab ZOOM, take a look at the assigned issues in BIMcollab, discuss the work at hand, and continue with their part of the project. A very simple, yet effective way of working!


Organizing IFC files for BIM



What are the major advantages of this method? 

BIMcollab ZOOM loads the most recent IFC file from the server, connects to the related project in BIMcollab, logs in, and loads all issues. This means all team members always work with up-to-date information. By keeping the filenames identical, ZOOM loads the latest version of the IFC model. At the same time, the issues are also up-to-date via the live BIMcollab connection.
Another advantage is that you don’t need heavy BIM software to view the models. Even third parties and clients can view and comment directly on the models via BIMcollab ZOOM. In addition, ZOOM can be used as a starting point for BIM issue management. Issues on visually detected problems in the models can be created directly in ZOOM and are automatically collected in BIMcollab for future resolution.