The advantages of OpenBIM can be extended through open data formats allowing professionals to use their preferred software without constraint

BIM is nowadays a highly widespread reality, but still too often linked to the use of specific software and therefore to the use of proprietary file formats. This kind of workflow leads to a closed and restrictive process that makes it difficult to collaborate with other professionals who use different tools, applications and software.

On the other hand, we can now extend the advantages of BIM through OpenBIM and the use of open data formats. With OpenBIM, each professional is free to use the software they prefer without any type of technological constraint, while still guaranteeing high standards of collaboration and coordination throughout the entire BIM process and building lifecycle.

There are several companies that embrace this approach, in particular ACCA software, which has chosen “transforming BIM into OpenBIM” as its corporate mission.

ACCA software’s CEO, Guido Cianciulli, declared: “We believe that BIM can’t exist without OpenBIM and transforming BIM into OpenBIM is our mission. We are working to substantially change the BIM process. We want to make BIM more democratic with open collaboration spaces, tools that work on standard formats, ease of use and costs which can be accessible to everyone in all countries.”

ACCA shows its intentions by boasting the largest number of IFC-certified software in the world, two victories and one final at the buildingSMART International Awards, actively participating in several buildingSMART International standardisation tables and a series of very advanced tools for working on BIM models in the IFC format.

ACCA software is the first collaborative BIM platform certified by buildingSMART, equipped with all the functions to manage the BIM process (clash detection, code checking, IFC editing etc) completely in open formats (BCF, IFC etc).

In order to promote the spread of the openBIM approach, ACCA software offers a free BIM viewer with which to manage different aspects of the BIM process.

Open BIM vs closed BIM

Closed BIM is a working approach based on the use of proprietary formats (files produced by a BIM authoring software). This supposes that in a work team, all stakeholders need to agree on a single BIM software (and sometimes even on the same version of that software), which must be used by all professionals involved in a project.

In contrast, OpenBIM is based on a workflow methodology in which all participants collaborate and exchange information relating to the project using open, non-proprietary and neutral formats, independent of the BIM tools and applications used.

The excellence of open formats for OpenBIM is the IFC format (Industry Foundation Classes), a particular format that aims to allow the interchange of an information model of a construction without loss or distortion of data or information.

IFC is an open, neutral, file format controlled by buildingSmart, (an open, neutral and international not-for-profit organisation) and not run or controlled by individual software vendors.

IFC has been designed to process all the information of a construction, throughout its entire lifecycle, from the feasibility analysis to its final construction and maintenance, passing through the various design and planning phases.

The advantages of openBIM

Among the most important advantages of an openBIM approach we have:

  • Freedom of choice: Each team member can work using the best software solutions for their specific discipline without any risk of incompatibility or data loss.
  • Common language: The data of the different models can be aggregated with each other to coordinate the different disciplines and have a complete vision of the project.
  • Data ownership: Access to data is guaranteed over time without being obliged to always maintain the same software solution.
  • Increase in productivity: The freedom of choice between the different solutions on the market increases the quality of the software solutions produced.
  • Decrease in costs: Greater competition determines a decrease in costs.

OpenBIM with usBIM

BIM can only be a success by centralising data and transforming it into an information medium accessible to all stakeholders in the construction sector.

In a BIM process, you have to deal with many file formats (proprietary and otherwise), so the first step to transform BIM into OpenBIM is to have a BIM file viewer.

To ensure maximum interoperability, ACCA software has developed a BIM viewer and an open platform, certified by buildingSmart International, which is accessible completely online, usBIM. With usBIM you can open and manage numerous 3D file formats including IFC, BCF, DWG, point cloud, RVT, EDF, OBJ, 3DS and many more.

usBIM allows you to aggregate BIM models created by different specialists and by different software. Collaboration and coordination between construction professionals are enhanced by specific communication tools for AEC professionals.

The online platform is multilingual and has a very interesting distribution model. It’s completely free with up to 10Gb of storage space and comes with a free package of 12 specific tools to deal with the fundamental tasks of the BIM process.

It is a tool and a distribution system that can certainly increase the knowledge of BIM technology among all AEC operators on the international scenario.

In addition to the free functions, each professional can choose from the online store,, other usBIM applications to tailor their integrated solution based on the different needs that arise in their work.

*Please note: This is a commercial profile.


ACCA Software

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