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IFC Workflow Between ARCHICAD and Revit MEP

Follow the steps below when collaborating with someone using Revit MEP. ARCHICAD 15 and Revit MEP 2012 were used in the examples below but the process remains the same for current versions of ARCHICAD.

1) Set Element Parameters

  • Open the selection settings dialogue box for elements to adjust their IFC parameters.
  • Define the Structural Function of the element.
  • Set the Position of the element within your project.
Setting the Structural Function and Position of the element will help the translators to filter out unnecessary data from your project when saving to IFC.
  • Set the IFC Classification of your element.
  • Enable the necessary IFC properties for the element.
Setting the Element Classification (or IFC classification) and IFC Properties of an element ensures that it and all corresponding data will be included in your IFC.

2) Organize Elements

  • Make sure all project elements are assigned to proper layers.
    • This will enable you to easily hide elements that you do not wish to include in the IFC.
  • Hide all layers that do not contain elements relevant to your structural consultant.
    • For example: signage, furniture, vegetation, etc.
  • Create a layer combination from the step above.
  • Save a 3D view of your project that uses the previously created layer combination.
    • This will allow you to easily switch to a view from which you can save your IFC.

3) Export an IFC for Revit MEP

  • From the 3D view you just created, go to File/Save As.
  • Change the Format to IFC 2x3 file.
  • For Export, select Visible elements (on all stories).
  • Select Data Exchange with Autodesk Revit MEP for the Translator.
  • Save the file.

4) Verifying IFC Integrity

Before sending your IFC file to a consultant it is recommended that you double check it in an IFC viewer. Links to several free IFC viewers can be found here.
  • Check to see that the geometry within your file is correctly represented.
  • Select an element to verify that it has been classified correctly and that it includes your custom properties.

5) Open in Revit MEP

Prior to opening the IFC, make sure that the Revit MEP user has downloaded and installed Graphisoft's Improved ARCHICAD Connection Add-in located here.
  • Open Revit MEP and under the Add-ins tab, click the Improved IFC Exchange button.
  • Select the IFC file and open it.

6) Export an IFC from Revit MEP

This step demonstrates how your consultant can export only the MEP data from Revit to an IFC. If you or the consultant require the entire contents of the model in IFC then refer to the corresponding step in the Revit Structure exportation process found here.
  • While in the project file, under the Add-ins tab, click the Export MEP Elements button.
    • This option will only export the MEP data convert it into ARCHICAD MEP objects that can be used for collision detection.
  • Save the IFC file.
  • The prompt will appear below after a successful save.
  • If the consultant wishes to verify that only the MEP data was exported they can open the file in a viewer.

7) Importing the IFC for Collision Detection

To assure that the elements within the IFC maintain their MEP identity you will need to have both an enabled MEP license and the MEP library loaded in your project. If one or both of the prior conditions are not met then the IFC elements will not be converted into MEP components. Any elements that are not recognized by ARCHICAD as MEP components cannot be used for collision detection.
  • From plan view in your project, go to File/File Special/Merge.
  • For Enable, select IFC File.
  • Change the Translator to Data Exchange with Autodesk Revit MEP.
  • In the Model Filter for Merge dialogue box make sure that all elements listed are checked.
  • In the Additional Element Filtering tab make sure that By IFC Domain is set to All and that By Structural Function is set to All elements.
    • By using the Export MEP Elements function in Revit, all unnecessary IFC data has already been purged from the file. In cases where the add-in isn't used, you can set the options above to limit which data is imported.
  • Click OK.
  • In the Match Stories window set which IFC story corresponds to the current story within your project and how much to offset the elements.
  • Click OK.
  • A prompt will appear letting you know how many of the IFC elements were converted to MEP components.
  • Navigate to your 3D window to verify that the IFC elements have imported properly
  • Select one of the imported IFC elements and open the settings to verify that it has been converted into an MEP component.

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