buildingSMART and ODA Announce Strategic Partnership

Open Design Alliance

September 10, 2019

International BIM standards supported by professional development

Scottsdale, AZ: September 10th, 2019 – buildingSMART International (bSI) and Open Design Alliance (ODA) announced today a strategic partnership to strengthen open standards-based interoperability throughout the building and infrastructure value chain and lifecycle, and the broader application of digital product information.

bSI is a recognized world leader in developing core data interoperability standards. Their mission includes creating open standards, providing compliance programs for standards, and supporting users in the implementation of standards. While bSI has enjoyed strong success, it relies heavily on developers in the marketplace to provide technologies to support its open standards. This can cause delays between creation and implementation of a standard.

ODA is a not-for-profit technology consortium that supports open data standards by developing interoperability SDKs for popular file formats such as .dwg, .dgn, and various proprietary BIM formats. ODA has a strong and talented development team, with more than 20 years experience. ODA software is used by more than 1000 companies world wide, and its solutions are a recognized standard in the industry.

The focus of bSI on standards creation, and of ODA on standards implementation forms a natural synergy. The partnership between bSI and ODA is intended to develop and strengthen this synergy to the benefit of both organizations, and to the broader community.

As an initial step, ODA has implemented a new IFC SDK that fully supports the IFC 2x3 and 4 standards from bSI. IFC SDK supports full data access and creation, and also includes a professional-grade visualization engine for desktop, mobile and web.

“Aligning our efforts with the development experience of ODA will tighten the release cycle for future IFC versions,” commented Richard Petrie, CEO of buildingSMART International. “ODA will provide a professional implementation for early drafts of new IFC releases. This will give us critical feedback from real users much more quickly than we’ve had in the past.”

“A significant number of ODA members have been requesting IFC support,” commented Neil Peterson, President of Open Design Alliance. “Working with buildingSMART on IFC and other BIM technologies gives us a unique opportunity to serve a broader community, while at the same time meeting the needs of our members.”

The professional development resources of ODA will open up other areas of advancement for bSI initiatives. Future plans include streamlining the compliance process, and development of a high level IFC API to facilitate easier and more accurate integration of IFC support into applications.

buildingSMART International is a vendor neutral and not for profit body that leads the development of open digital information flows across the built asset economy. Its mission is to proactively support industry participants who want to develop open standards for planning, design, procurement, assembly and operation of buildings and infrastructure worldwide. It provides the international network plus the necessary technical and process support. Its members, who range from across the built environment spectrum, collaborate under the buildingSMART organization. buildingSMART is engaged with other international standards bodies such as ISO, the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) and the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). Its core Industry Foundation Class (IFC) standards achieved ISO approval in 2012. Further information is available on the Internet at

Open Design Alliance is a non-profit technology consortium that provides high-value SDKs for engineering applications. Our product portfolio includes solutions for interoperability, visualization, web development, facet modeling, publishing, and more, running on all common desktop, mobile and web platforms. More information is available at