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IFC4 Design Transfer View



IFC4 Design Transfer View

The IFC4 Design Transfer View targets all work flows based on models that are handed over to perform in next work flows, allowing modifications of its content. It is a buildingSMART Final Standard:

  • Name: IFC4 Design Transfer View Version 1.0
  • Abbreviation: IFC4 DTV V1.0

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Quick links for developers:


IFC4 Design Transfer View - Version 1.0

The IFC4 Design Transfer View V1.0 has been released as a buildingSMART Final Standard on 10.07.2015. The documentation is available at:


NOTE  The IFC4 Design Transfer View is based on the IFC4 Addendum 1release.


In order to support the ongoing improvement process, issues and comments, both technical and editorial shall be logged within the buildingSMART International "IFC4 Issue Database".

  • access to the "IFC4 Issue Database" is provided »here«
  • reading existing issues that have been logged under "IFC4 Issue Database" is open for all, in order to add your issue and comments, you need to be a registered user. For instructions, see »here«.
  • we recommend to you to subscribe to the ifc4 mailing list that is hosted »here« (use this link to subscribe and maintain your account), after subscription, you will receive an automatic notification with the mailing address and you will receive further announcements and information.


Purpose of the IFC4 Design Transfer View

The purpose of the Design Transfer View is to provide building information with support for editing of interconnected elements. Such applications enable inserting, deleting, moving, and modifying physical building elements and spaces. An example of a target scenario is an architect providing building design information to an engineer for a particular discipline, where geometric modifications may need to be made.

To enable such editing, higher-level design parameters must be preserved for those elements that affect multiple disciplines, and applications must generate downstream geometry consistently according to such parameters. The scope of parameters is limited to those that impact interconnected elements: for example, increasing window dimensions impacts composition of walls; moving walls impacts geometry of connected walls, adjoining spaces, coverings, and embedded elements; adjusting pipes or ducts may require resizing openings.

Examples of this design transfer workflow are:

  • Coordination planning and execution (combining different discipline specific IFC models for collaboration)
  • Integrated reference (loading an IFC model, usually from a different discipline) as an integrated model
    • Integrating and editing the spaces from an architectural IFC model into an MEP model
    • Integrating and editing the load bearing elements of an architectural IFC model into a structural model
  • Handover the complete discipline model for further work or archiving
  • Enhanced support for use cases already identified for the IFC4 Reference View
    • Clash detection and resolution (finding clashes between different discipline specific IFC models)
    • Quantity take-off (determine the quantities of the various model elements with the IFC model)
    • Construction sequencing (taking the IFC model and associating it to a construction schedule)

Common characteristics of the workflow using design transfer models are:

  • The source of the BIM information may be shared
  • The basic parametric behavior, and thereby the intellectual engineering property, can be transfered
    • The scope of parametric exchange is limited to dimension-driven standard case elements
  • The ownership of the model, and responsibility for its correctness, can be transfered
  • The original model that is published as IFC4 Design Transfer model reflects the as-is status
  • The receiver of the IFC4 Design Transfer View does not need to have access to the full model content
  • The receiver of the IFC4 Design Transfer View can analyze and extract the information of the model
  • The receiver of the IFC4 Design Transfer View may modify the model
  • If the receiver suggests or demands a change, it may be made to the model directly
    • Round-trip, i.e. making changes and send the full updated model back to continue, is out of scope
    • Use BCF-2 instead to communicate individual change requests and proposals back to the originator

The Level of Detail of the shape representation and the Level of Information for the property content of the actual reference models depends on the source model. The buildingSMART standard IDM (Information Delivery Manual) can be used to determine the minimum content for a particular workflow support. The IFC4 Design Transfer View allows rich content to be published. See next chapter Objective for more details.