2017 SP1: IFC4 - New version of IFC standard

Last updated August 26, 2017 by Tekla User Assistance tekla.documentation@trimble.com

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2017 SP1: IFC4 - New version of IFC standard

2017 SP1: IFC4 - New version of IFC standard

The new version of the IFCfile format commonly used in BIM that facilitates software interoperability

IFC is an open specification developed by the IAI (International Alliance for Interoperability).

Model can be exported into an IFC file.

standard, IFC4, will provide some advantages to the currently used IFC2x3 format when the new features are taken fully into use. While the IFC4 export and import functionalities are not certified yet, the IFC2x3 provides better quality data transfer functionality between different BIMprocess of modeling and communicating the structure of a building in detail to benefit the entire construction life cycle

BIM facilitates the exchange and use of building information in a digital format.


To start the IFC4 export, on the File menu, click Export > IFC4. This selection is only available after you have set XS_IFC4_EXPORT_PLEASE to TRUE in teklastructures.ini.

IFC4 contains the following new and improved features compared to the IFC2x3 export:

  • In the IFC4 export, there are two new export types available:

    • The Reference view is intended to support the referencing workflow, and exported files can be used as reference files, and viewed in a viewer. The Reference view is not meant to be used for conversion to native objects.

    • For conversion purpose there is another export type Design transfer view. Design transfer view is intended for the handover workflow, meaning import for further editing. This requires the conversion of the IFC entities into native objects. One example is the takeover of the structural engineering model (or part of it) into the basis of the structural detailing modeling . The IFC object conversion will be used to convert the IFC entities to Tekla Structures native objects. Typically this import and conversion are only needed to be done a couple of times, or even once only. The result may require some rework to accomplish a proper model.

  • After the export an info dialog box is displayed. In this dialog box, you can open the folder where the exported IFC model is stored, and view the log filefile that contains information related to changes, actions, and errors in the model or drawing

    Tekla Structures writes information in log files when the model is saved, numbered or checked for clashes, for example.

    in a browser. The log file gives detailed information of the export process, exported entities and the errors occurred during the export.

  • The dialog box has a new look and feel. All options are now on one page, not on several tabs.
  • The basic functionality is the same as that of the IFC2x3 export.

Limitations in IFC4 export

  • The export is not certified by buildingSMART and may therefore have syntax and content issues.
  • The user interface does not provide all the features included in the IFC2x3 export user interface.
  • Rebars created by using the rebar set commands are not exported to IFC4.
  • The Reference view is intended to be used for design coordination and for referencing workflow. Due to the API change, all the needed pieces of data may not be available, and therefore the resulting IFC model may be incomplete.
  • The Design transfer view supports only limited level of details, which means that cuts and openings are not exported.
  • Do not try to convert IFC4 model objects, this may result in a Tekla Structures applicationpart of Tekla Structures functionality that is developed in order to extend the capability of Tekla Structures but that is not included in the Tekla Structures installation

    error with all Tekla Structures versions.
  • At the moment, the IfcZip output format does not work.
  • We do not recommend using IFC4 in production projects yet.

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by David Lash

Hi, I believe that the LOD reference here doesn't make sense. Can we remove it?

Best regards,