BIM Collaboration Format (BCF) Reader/Writer

Licensing options for this format begin with FME Desktop Professional Edition.

The BIM Collaboration Format (BCF) is an open XML-based format that supports communication of BIM issues.

This chapter assumes familiarity with the BIM format. Further information on BIM can be found at buildingSMART Standard International's Technical Resources Hub.


FME supports reading and writing BCF v2.0 files.


A BCF dataset is a zip file containing folders with XML and PNG files. One BCF topic, which is an issue related to BIM design, is represented in a single folder within the zip archive. A topic folder contains:

  • One markup file: markup.bcf.
  • One or more viewpoint files: The first, default, viewpoint file is named viewpoint.bcfv.
  • One or more snapshot files: The first, default, snapshot file is named snapshot.png.

Subsequent viewpoints and related snapshots files are GUID based, e.g., CA112492-BB80-4FEC-BD78-FF36124CA979.bcfv and CA112492-BB80-4FEC-BD78-FF36124CA979.png.

Reader Overview

The BCF reader interpret contents of the BCF zip file into various feature types representing the issue/topic markup, viewpoints, and snapshots. See Feature Representation for details.

Writer Overview

The BCF writer accepts a fixed number of BCF feature types. Except for the Version and ProjectExtension, each feature type is either a representing a topic markup or a topic viewpoint. See Feature Representation for details.

The Markup and VisualizationInfo are features representing the root elements of their corresponding XML files. If these are not supplied by the user then they will be automatically created by the writer.

The xml_topic_guid and xml_viewpoint_id must be set up properly so that the writer may group the markup, viewpoint and Snapshot features into XML and PNG files in their appropriate topic directory. See Feature Representation for details.