HVAC Component Data Modeling Using Industry Foundation Classes

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Conference Proceedings

Date Published




The Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) object data model of buildings is being developed by the International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI). The aim is to support data sharing and exchange in the building and construction industry across the life-cycle of a building.

This paper describes a number of aspects of a major extension of the HVAC part of the IFC data model. First is the introduction of a more generic approach for handling HVAC components. This includes type information, which corresponds to catalog data, occurrence information, which defines item-specific attributes such as location and connectivity, and performance history information, which documents the actual performance of the component instance over time. Other IFC model enhancements include an extension of the connectivity model used to specify how components forming a system can be traversed and the introduction of time-based data streams.

This paper includes examples of models of particular types of HVAC components, such as boilers and actuators, with all attributes included in the definitions. The paper concludes by describing the on-going process of model testing, implementation and integration into the complete IFC model and how the model can be used by software developers to support interoperability between HVAC-oriented design and analysis tools.


System Simulation in Buildings ’02

Year of Publication



Research Areas