IFC for Site, Landscape, and Urban Planning – call for participation

International Project, “IFC for Site, Landscape, and Urban Planning”

Would you like to participate in the creation of open standard-based data modeling, workflows, and data exchanges for Site, Landscape, and Urban Planning design, procurement, construction, and operations?

buildingSMART International would like to invite a variety of industry domain experts from around the globe to participate in this new standards project. Both members and non-members of buildingSMART can participate in the project.

Register your interest here.

What is the project aiming to achieve?

To date, the development of the IFC schema and associated workflows has concentrated primarily on the explicit description of a building from its exterior skin, as well outside elements attached directly to itself, to all parts inside. The site is an abstract concept primarily for uses of identification and location, with a nominal geometric representation. Many site and landscape related elements – such as trees, understory plants/ground cover, sidewalks/paths, site furnishings, drainage structures, geotechnical layers and forms, and water bodies – have no explicit semantic or geometric representation within the schema and rely on the use of IfcBuildingElementProxy with custom naming rules and property sets to define them. Currently, a great deal of work is being undertaken by many parties in the buildingSMART International community to address how the IFC schema can be extended to express built infrastructure – roads, railways, bridges, tunnels, and more, as well as their constituent objects – thereby enabling a broader description of the built environment and building on the legacy of building-centric, IFC-enabled workflows, data exchanges, and resulting efficiencies for infrastructure design, procurement, construction, and operations. However, there is still a lack of knowledge or application of expertise in the area of site, landscape, and urban planning/design to create expressions in the IFC schema and practical standardized workflows to do the same.

The project is aimed at broadening the scope of the IFC schema, as well as standardized workflows, addressing the interstitial realm between the building and the rest of the built and natural environment, based on existing expertise and evolving practices in these significant domains. As BIM increases in adoption and complexity, more stakeholders in the process are being asked to contribute in a meaningful way, connecting and exchanging an ever-increasing variety of data sources.

More specifically, the objectives of the project include:

  • To bring openBIM® stronger into the Site, Landscape, and Urban Planning domains;
  • Establish and document the business cases, workflows, and needed information exchanges;
  • Identify the elements and attributes of elements required to execute previously determined workflows and complete the duties of such domains;
  • Compare and analyze existing data creation and exchange solutions within the domains;
  • Identify existing gaps and propose new schema (IFC) and data exchange (MVD) solutions;

More details for the project can be found in the Activity Proposal which can be downloaded from this link or copy/paste the following: https://drive.google.com/file/d/194CwV2JLzdVga-QdpoqJmRTL1oSQXgs5/view?usp=sharing

The project is supported by the buildingSMART International community and is also seeking further financial sponsorship to support the effort of the project management and participants. The Call for Project Sponsors will be conducted as a separate, parallel process.

Timeline and Deliverables

The project will deliver a number of work products spelt out in the Activity Proposal referenced above. In general, the project is divided into three phases, with a series of deliverables over the course of 14 to 16 months. The goal is to have any schema recommendations ready for “IFC5”, tentatively scheduled to be finalized in 2020 and submitted to ISO for approval.

  • Phase 1 – Determining Needs: January 2019 to June 2019
  • Phase 2 – Proposed Schema Enhancements: June 2019 to December 2019
  • Phase 3 – Proposed Model View Definitions: January 2020 to April 2020

Who are we looking for?

For a broad international consensus and high quality of the final product, we want to engage a wide variety of domain experts with experience and knowledge. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to:

  • Owners
  • Landscape architect
  • Civil engineer
  • Storm water management engineer
  • Utilities (Gas, Water, Sewer, Communications)
  • Geotechnical engineer
  • Surveyor
  • Urban planner
  • Governmental / regulatory authorities
  • Material supplier
  • General Contractor / Trades (stone, earthwork, utilities, etc.)
  • Electrical Engineer / Lighting Designer
  • Arborist

This may also include participation and/or support from professional associations and government agencies.

For those interested in participating, please following this link, or copy/paste the following in your preferred browser: https://share.hsforms.com/1WYVM-UPFScesbE4oPcBUGw2wx5h, to the Participant Registration & Survey to formally enlist your involvement, providing contact information and explaining general requirements. If you have any further questions, they may be asked at the end of the Survey. Questions will be reviewed prior to the meeting and answered prior to, or during, the online Participation Orientation calls.

Participation Orientation Conference Call

Currently, there are two scheduled Participation Orientation online calls scheduled. Please attend for your desired call with one of the respective links:

US & Europe

18 December 2018 (Tuesday)

UTC – 14.00

CST (Austin) – 08.00

EST (New York) – 09.00

GMT (London) – 14.00

CET (Berlin) – 15.00

EET (Sofia) – 16.00


US & Asia/Pacific

18/19 December 2018 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

UTC – 01.00

CST (Austin) – 19.00 (Tuesday)

PST (Los Angeles) – 17.00 (Tuesday)

NZDT (Auckland) – 14.00

AEDT (Sydney) – 12.00

JST (Tokyo) – 10.00

CST (Beijing) – 09.00