Building Information Modelling (BIM) software has become an essential tool for construction professionals because it allows them to create detailed virtual models of buildings and complex structures. As digital technologies have evolved, so has BIM, and one of the latest trends is the use of IFC.js.

IFC.js is an open source JavaScript library that allows developers to create web applications for the visualisation and analysis of BIM models. In this article, we will explore how the use of this technology can improve efficiency in construction and how builders can take full advantage of its features.

Open Source Libraries: What are they?

Open Source libraries are sets of source code designed for a specific functionality that are distributed under a licence that allows users to freely view, modify and distribute the source code. This means that anyone can use, modify and share the library without having to pay for it or obtain special permission from the copyright owners.

These libraries are increasingly popular in the software industry because they allow developers to leverage work already done by others and contribute to the open source community. They can also help speed up the software development process, reduce costs and improve the quality of the resulting software.

What is IFC.js?

IFC.js is a free software library that allows web developers to work with BIM files in the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) format in web-based applications.

IFC files contain detailed information about a building project, including geometry, structure, physical properties and data related to the materials used. These files are used throughout the life cycle of a building project, from planning and design to construction and building management.

IFC.js allows reading, editing and creating IFC files in web-based applications. In addition, it provides 3D visualisation tools to render building models in a web browser. Developers can use these tools to create detailed views of the building model and to allow users to explore and manipulate it in real time.

IFC.js functions

At CHECKTOBUILD we are committed to innovation and the use of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, to improve the efficiency and quality of projects. In addition, we use IFC.js in our 3D Viewer, which is implemented in both C2B Platform and C2B Viewer.

With IFC.js we read IFC files, extract their properties and metadata, and generate the 3D geometry of that IFC to then display it in our viewer through Three.js, which is another WebGL library and engine.

IFC.js functionalities:

  1. IFC model loading: IFC.js provides a function to load IFC models into the web application. This allows to read the model data and visualise it in a graphical user interface.
  1. Model visualisation: Once the IFC model has been loaded, IFC.js allows you to visualise it in the web application. This library offers several options for the visualisation of models, including the possibility to show or hide certain elements of the model, such as walls, windows, doors, etc.
  1. Element selection: IFC.js provides a function to select elements of the model. This function can identify specific elements in the model and perform actions on them, such as changing their position, modifying their properties, etc.
  1. Model interaction: IFC.js allows users to interact with the model through the use of mouse and keyboard events. These functions create an intuitive and easy-to-use user interface for the visualisation of IFC models.
  1. Easy integration with other libraries and tools such as ThreeJS.

In conclusion, the adoption of technologies such as IFC.js helps to improve the efficiency and quality of construction projects and contributes to updating a sector where there was some aversion towards the use of these technologies.