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From Grasshopper to IFC -- or parametric control on BIM?

In line with some of my wishes on this blog, there is a nice plugin for Grasshopper to enable IFC export.

Let me rephrase that, as I think it is quite significant.

  • On the one hand, parametric and visual control over a design is increasingly being used in advanced design exploration.
  • On the other hand, Building Information Modeling promises integrated management of information in a building project, beyond mere 3D geometry or drawing synchronization.
And to be able to combine this into a single workflow is something big. This is indeed the beginning of exploring the full potential of IFC. Analysis tools focusing on getting the most out of IFC, while "parametricism" or generative/procedural/parametric/programmatic design can be used to embed design intentions and to enable design variations.

Would this lead to architects creating series of designs? And to automatically connect them to both the full design documentation and design analysis? I do hope so.

I assume the focus should lie on the analysis for the early design phase (check energy performance, cost, accessibility, ecological footprint), to make better informed design decisions. And then being able to smoothly transition to ArchiCAD or Revit or similar BIM software to fully elaborate the design.


  1. Great! I'm also beginning to plan adding IFC import/export to FreeCAD. Maybe this is the first time we have a real standard file format adapted to architecture which is as close as possible to "open"... And as you say the interaction possibilities are huge.


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