BCF Manager Issue Management
- To establish a common workflow for issue management with BCF
- User can navigate Revit files.
- User has basic skills in BIM modelling with Revit Software, and understand the language used.
- User has basic knowledge about architecture, construction and engineering
- User has worked in AEC projects and knows what is a Request For Information RFI
BCF basic ideas
- BCF is an acronym of BIM Collaboration Format, is an open standard format for transmit issues in BIM. (https://github.com/BuildingSMART/BCF-XML)
- The BIM Collaboration Format (BCF) is an open file XML format that supports workflow communication in BIM processes. "bcfXML v2" which became released in October 2014 replaces the earlier "bcfXML v1".
- It allows shared viewing and review issues from BIM models of different disciplines (Revit, Tekla, Solibri, Navisworks, Allplan, ArchiCAD).
- We can manage BCF files with standalone applications such as BCFier or Tekla BIMsight cloud based ones like BIMcollab or inside BIM software like Revit and Solibri.
- Basically a BCF file is a point of view in a coordinate system with metadata.
- When you open a BCF inside a model the point of view and the metadata are displayed on screen. If you have opened the correct model then the BCF will send you to the point of view where it was created.
- Issue Management: It allows us to save data from model and to add metadata, we can track when, how and who opened the issue and when, how and who closed it.
- Project communication: We can assign the issues to people, and this issues can be referred to modeled or non modeled elements in order to transmit coordination fails or management tasks. You can assign issues to people in the project and even to set dates for complete them.
- Request for information: It is an efficient way for requiring information to others in order to avoid tons of mails.
- BCFier is an Open Source BCF client, it has a plugin for Revit and a standalone version
- BIMcollab is a powerful cloud based application with several plugins for different BIM applications
- Tekla BIMSight allows you to create edit and open BCF files OOTB
- Plugins for BIM applications like Solibri BCF connector
- .bcf is the main structure from a bcf file, from it we call elements which are at the same folder: viewpoints and snapshots.
- .bcfv is the bcf viewpoint format, it has data from the camera, it can be an orthogonal/perspective/Sheet camera and also can contain components in order to hide or highlight them in our application
- .bcfp is the bcf project structural file
- .bcfzip also known as bcf report, this extension is basically a file in which are compressed all project bcf folders with a .version file and the .bcfp file, These are the files we open by default in our BCF programs. We can extract all the files with our compression software, compress them again and changing the extension to .bcfzip
RFI workflow Revit-Navisworks-BIMcollab offline
Step by step procedure
Solibri Model Checker/Navisworks
Check and export
After running the desired Rulesets/Clash detections, export to a BCF file.
BIM authoring tool
Solve and create
Open the BCF file with KUBUS BCF Manager. A click on an issue takes you to the view in the model. This shows the objects involved in the same way as they were selected in first software.
Fix issues, document your changes and set the status to ‘Solved’. If someone else is responsible just assign the issue to that person. We can request more information by creating new issues. Current 3D view is turned into an issue with image, viewpoint, selected objects and metadata. Add your comment and assign it to the responsible.
Save your changes and additions
Save back to BCF files
When you are done with the issues, save them again as a BCF file and inform the BIM manager. You probably need to provide a new federated version of your model as well.
For the next revision
All information is actual and complete so provides a great audit trail of who did what and when. Traceability.
1 Prepare a RFI folder in our project development folder
This action must be done once in a project by a BIM Manager.
Inside a shared RFI folder there will be two things,the main .bcfzip file (named with the BCF standard file nomenclature) and an OLD folder, inside OLD folder there will be folders with companies codes
Inside these companies folders there will be .bcfzip backup files.
Standard main file nomenclature:
Standardd backup file nomenclature:
Project code and company codes are always previously defined on BEP
2 Install BIMcollab BCF managers from the web
- Installer for standalone and BIM apps addin version must be downloaded from:
- Also you have to get an activation key from KUBUS from here:
Don’t worry about pricing because BCF managers are totally free, however, this is not the case for BCF cloud management of projects.
We’re going to work strictly offline.
See image below for a quick view of the different BCF managers interfaces
3 Create a new .bcfzip file in BIMcollab and save it on RFI folder
- Open a BCF manager usually they’re placed on the addins tab or the standalone version
- Click on New project offline
- Save it with file standard nomenclature and revision R0.1
Statuses: Use the following statuses: Open, Closed, In Progress, Resolved, Critical
This is how they must be used:
- Open: This is the status when the issue has not been reviewed by anyone
- Closed: When the issue is totally resolved, the only person who can close Issues is the BIM Manager
- In Progress: This status is for Issues under review, it’s like say “Roger that, I’m on it”
- Resolved: This is the closed status for non-BIM Managers
- Critical: This is for Open Issues that implies work stops
5 BCF editing
Standalone / Revit / Navis
UIs are pretty similar. Section boxes for Revit and Navis, Navis also has clashes.
Autodesk Revit Addin
BCF Manager for Autodesk Revit is accessible via the Add-Ins Ribbon Tab. It has some problems constructing bounding boxes if there are BCF elements from links but viewpoints.
Adding images to an issue
Autodesk Navisworks Addin
Main thing we can do in Navisworks Manage is to convert our clash reports to issues with the BCF manager plugin.
How to turn Navisworks clashes into BCF issues
Of course we can navigate through issues in order to validate them inside Navis. You can isolate elements involved. See images below for isolating an unhiding elements
Isolate elements from issue
Solibri addin is fully integrated in Solibri Communication module. Solibri is the best application so far for issue management. This is because we have lot of BCF “By default” information from every single model Checking.
First of all, to convert checking results to BCF issues we have create a presentation by adding them as slides.
Adding slides to presentation
Exporting to BCF and Excel
Opening a BCF report in Solibri
Here we can manage the metadata we want to add to our issue, but title comes by default, also description, location, components, viewpoint, also BCF status, author and date.
- Please, try to have the fewest statuses as possible, never create new ones.
- Check that your file’s BCF version that you are editing is only one number under before save your file, otherwise some Issues will be lost.
BCF format is growing and you have to stay tuned in order to get the most out of your BCF workflows.