ISO 16739:2013
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Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) for data sharing in the construction and facility management industries

(Only available in English)


ISO 16739:2013 specifies a conceptual data schema and an exchange file format for Building Information Model (BIM) data. The conceptual schema is defined in EXPRESS data specification language. The standard exchange file format for exchanging and sharing data according to the conceptual schema is using the Clear text encoding of the exchange structure. Alternative exchange file formats can be used if they conform to the conceptual schema.

ISO 16739:2013 represents an open international standard for BIM data that is exchanged and shared among software applications used by the various participants in a building construction or facility management project.

ISO 16739:2013 consists of the data schema, represented as an EXPRESS schema specification, and reference data, represented as definitions of property and quantity names and descriptions.

A subset of the data schema and referenced data is referred to as a model view definition. A particular model view definition is defined to support one or many recognized workflows in the building construction and facility management industry sector. Each workflow identifies data exchange requirements for software applications. Conforming software applications need to identity the model view definition they conform to.

The following are within the scope of ISO 16739:2013:

  • BIM exchange format definitions that are required during the life cycle phases of buildings:
    • demonstrating the need;
    • conception of need;
    • outline feasibility;
    • substantive feasibility study and outline financial authority;
    • outline conceptual design;
    • full conceptual design;
    • coordinated design;
    • procurement and full financial authority;
    • production information;
    • construction;
    • operation and maintenance;
  • BIM exchange format definitions that are required by the various disciplines involved within the life cycle phases:
    • architecture;
    • building service;
    • structural engineering;
    • procurement;
    • construction planning;
    • facility management;
    • project management;
    • client requirement management;
    • building authority for permits and approval;
  • BIM exchange format definitions including:
    • project structure;
    • physical components;
    • spatial components;
    • analysis items;
    • processes;
    • resources;
    • controls;
    • actors;
    • context definition.

The following are outside the scope of ISO 16739:2013:

  • exchange format definitions outside of the domain of construction and facility maintenance;
  • project structure and component breakdown structures outside of building engineering;
  • behavioral aspects of components and other information items.


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