IFC Schema versions

The IFC schema has had various versions released throughout the last 20 years and is still being actively developed.

The currently used IFC Schema versions are:


Released in 2005 and still in common use due to its wide integration across various software tools. However, it is outdated and does not include classes for infrastructure projects.


The most current official standard and the recommended version due to many improvements if compared to IFC2x3, such as:

  • IfcAlignment for better support of infrastructure projects

  • Major efficiency improvements, better consistency of the schema, and significantly smaller file sizes

  • Extended definitions for building service elements, structural and analysis models

  • GIS coordinate system transformation

  • Support for property set templates, multi-language references, and integration with the buildingSMART Data Dictionary

  • General geometry enhancements (tapering in extrusions, arbitrary sweeps, non-planar surfaces, better tessellation, textures, and lighting)

  • Support for non-uniform rational b-spline representation (NURBS) in the Design Transfer View


Includes further improvements for infrastructure, like additional classes for IfcBridge, IfcRailway, IfcRoad and IfcMarineFacility. It has been ISO-approved in January 2024 and officially published as ISO 16739 in April 2024.

As software certification and dedicated MVDs are not yet in place, the quality of IFC4.3 implementation varies across different software products and should be checked before using in active projects.

A full overview of all versions and direct links to the official documentation can be found here: https://technical.buildingsmart.org/standards/ifc/ifc-schema-specifications

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