US innovation helps software development based on IFC data

Researchers based in the US have created a new method for better understanding and use of industry foundation classes (IFC) – the term given to the data used to create BIM software.

The research team are based at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

“It normally requires a large amount of effort when manually interpreting IFC data due to its large number of entities and the complex connections between one entity and another,” said Jiansong Zhang, an assistant professor in Purdue’s Polytechnic Institute, who leads the research team.

“Our technology helps BIM software developers create IFC-based solutions for any task in the life-cycle of an AEC project.”

Zhang said the new technology allows for full software development based on IFC data.

“We created a visualisation algorithm and implemented it based on the new method we developed,” said Zhang, who also leads Purdue’s Automation and Intelligent Construction Lab. “The new method can help eliminate missing or inconsistent information during software development.”

The data covers all sectors, functions and life cycle phases of software development for construction projects.

Zhang and his team are working with the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialisation on patenting and licensing the technology. They are looking for partners interested in licensing it.

The work aligns with Purdue’s Giant Leaps celebration of the university’s global advancements made in artificial intelligence as part of Purdue’s 150th anniversary. It is one of the four themes of the year long celebration’s Ideas Festival, designed to showcase Purdue as an intellectual centre solving real-world issues.

The Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization operates one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among leading research universities in the US.

Image: Purdue’s AutoIC Lab develops and leverages advanced technologies to support construction engineering and management, construction automation, and sustainable infrastructure, including BIM.

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