Nemetschek today says Vectorworks Architect software has achieved certification from BuildingSmart International for the building information model (BIM) data exchange standard IFC 2×3 Coordination View 2.0. The IFC Certification 2.0 procedure requires BIM software vendors to pass new, more comprehensive and rigorous tests with the intent of promoting consistent and reliable interoperability across all the participating certified BIM programs.
Industry Foundation Classes (IFC), managed by BuildingSmart International, is a neutral exchange format not controlled by any single software vendor. As such, it provides a way to exchange BIM models between various software programs.
Certification means Vectorworks Architect has demonstrated support for IFC Export, based on the Coordination View 2.0 and supporting the Architecture Exchange Requirements. IFC Interfaces are delivered with Vectorworks Architect and automatically installed, as they are fully integrated into the software. The certified Coordination View 2.0 IFC Export will be available with Vectorworks Architect 2013 Service Pack 4, which will be released this month.
There are currently 26 software products listed at the BuildingSmart website which are working on IFC 2.0 certification. Vectorworks Architect becomes only the sixth one on the list to move their status from “In progress” to “Certified: Export.” The other five are Autodesk Revit Architecture and Revit Structure, Graphisoft ArchiCAD, Nemetschek Allplan and Scia Engineer.
Not one of the 26 is yet qualified as “Certified: Import,” which points out a flaw in how software companies view interoperability. They all expect users to be primarily on their platform for data creation, but oblige their users with the ability to send their data elsewhere in a neutral format. Eventually most of them get around to supporting import, but it is of secondary importance to most developers.