DesignSeries00001.pngWorkflow: IFC export

Generally, IFC-compatible applications are set up to work with an entire project (sites with buildings consisting of stories) in a single file. When you select the Export IFC Project command, you assign design layers to building stories for meaningful export (Vectorworks Architect required). For a project initially set up with stories, mapping is done automatically so that the layers assigned to the building stories are automatically included in the Mapped Layers list and are mapped to an appropriately named IFC Story. Mapping can also be controlled manually, allowing you to override or edit the automated process or make any subsequent changes.

To make Vectorworks building models easy to export to IFC, the following guidelines may be useful:

        Set up the project initially with stories as described in Setting up the building structure with stories (Vectorworks Architect required).

        Design layers for the building model should correspond to building stories (Vectorworks Architect required), not categories of information. (Use classes for categorization.)

        Take care to set up the elevation values of layers correctly, and verify that all the objects in the drawing are correctly aligned vertically. Examining the project in Unified View mode makes this much easier.

        Use the Data Manager command to attach IFC entities and property sets to those object types that don’t have them by default (such as standard symbol definitions you use or objects assigned to specific classes); the IFC fields are automatically attached as objects are created. You can also create mapping formulas to map other data (such as Vectorworks parameters or record format fields) to IFC fields as needed. Also set up data sheets as needed to make IFC data entry in the Object Info palette more user-friendly, accurate, and efficient. See Using the Data Manager.

        Use standard Vectorworks plug-in objects listed in IFC format interoperability wherever possible; the IFC data are already attached to these objects.

        Use the IFC Data command or the Data tab of the Object Info palette to attach IFC data to individual custom user-defined hybrid or 3D symbols, custom 3D elements, or auto-hybrid objects, and to enter missing IFC data as needed. If provided, use pre-defined data sheets to enter data on the Object Info palette.

        Set up project data in the IFC Export dialog box (see Exporting IFC projects), and save the settings for use when creating reports. No actual export is needed before running IFC and COBie reports based on the data.

        Use the Create Report command to generate default IFC or COBie schedules, or create your own schedules to verify and correct the IFC data attached to objects. See Creating IFC and COBie reports.

        Test the quality of the IFC export file by verifying it in an IFC model viewer. Almost all IFC viewers can traverse the IFC hierarchical “tree” structure to view and validate the model.

For information about available IFC viewers and other IFC-compatible applications, visit the buildingSMART IFC-Compatible Implementations Database website or

        If you receive comments or corrections for the project in BIM Collaboration Format (BCF), use the Open BCF Manager command to view the notes, and then correct the project file (see Managing BCF information).


Assigning IFC data to objects

Exporting IFC data for building grids

Assigning IFC data to zones, systems, and groups

Viewing and editing IFC data

Using custom IFC property sets

Using the Data Manager

Creating IFC and COBie reports

Importing IFC files

Exporting IFC projects

Setting up the building structure with stories

Managing BCF information


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