Information exchange and open standards are fundamental to the future of the building design and construction environment.

Taking the sharing of information one step further, software developer Autodesk Inc. and data exchange specialist G.E.M. Team Solutions have announced the availability of a translator that aims to allow building industry professionals to freely share intelligent data created in Autodesk Architectural Desktop 3.3 and 2004 with all project team members. Translations are facilitated by an IFC open data standard developed by the International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI), a coalition of construction and facilities management organizations dedicated to process improvement through information sharing.

According to Autodesk Africa MD, Errol Ashwell, as the design and construction industry moves from traditional (computer-aided design) CAD to building information modelling, software interoperability is becoming increasingly important. He says that Autodesk is committed to supporting industry standards for integration and interoperability as demonstrated by its active participation in the IAI and long-time support for IFC as a data exchange mechanism.

A founding member of, and long-time contributor to, the IAI, Autodesk supports the IFC data exchange mechanism as part of its comprehensive strategy to promote openness and facilitate industry adoption of building industry modelling — an approach to building design, construction, and management first introduced by Autodesk in 2002.

The IFC2.x plug-in utility for Autodesk Architectural Desktop is currently available for download from the Web site of Inopso GmbH (the distribution partner of G.E.M. Team Solutions) at

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