The Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) can be considered the cornerstone of information exchange in the built environment, now that BIM is getting widely adopted. With more disciplines within the AEC industry adopting BIM, a vendor neutral exchange format becomes more and more essential. Now that these models begin to extend their use into the building operation phase, the longevity of these models becomes an ever growing concern. To be able to be understood well into the future a thoroughly documented open standard is instrumental. IFC is this open standard for the built environment.
IfcOpenShell is a free and open source software library that enables vendors and individuals to work with this rich file format. It has a permissive license that encourages its use in proprietary software. A selection of features include:
- Support for reading and writing IFC-SPF files (ISO 10303 part 21)
- Full support for IFC representation items beyond what is supported in many commercial application today
- A Python interface for intuitive and rapid prototyping of fully interactive IFC-compliant applications
- Detailed geometry analysis and reconstruction methods because of the integration with Open CASCADE (and pythonOCC)
- Efficient spatial querying
- Support for IFC2X3 and IFC4, and several IFC schema extensions