The BIM Collaboration Format (BCF) is a standard tool in the buildingSMART toolkit and is acclaimed for its simplicity and usefulness. The purpose of BCF is to track issues that are identified, reported on, and resolved during the Building Information Modelling (BIM) process. In BIM, there are two realms: the native modelling environment and the collaborative environment; major issues are typically identified in the collaborative environment during BIM coordination meetings. However, as changes cannot be made on IFC model copies, previous practices, such as taking screenshots and creating PDF reports, were often uncoordinated and inefficient. BCF acts as the “WhatsApp of BIM”, allowing users to send model mark-ups, clash reports, and general comments to all project members. Each BCF issue is registered with a unique ID, making it easier to track the number of open issues, who is responsible for what issues, and when they are resolved. BCF also allows users to obtain analytics on generated issues and their resolution time. BCF can communicate between IFC tools and native modelling software, identifying objects involved in an issue and recording screen views. Modelling software users are directed to the exact view in their model when they open a BCF issue, making it easier to navigate and resolve the issue. When a problem has been solved in the modelling software, the BCF is updated, and the project manager is notified. Additional resources to explore BCF are available at buildingsmart.org/bim-collaboration-format-explained and buildingsmart-tech.org/specifications/bcf-releases.
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