What is a bc3 file? [2023]

A BC3 file is a file that allows information to be exchanged between different programmes. This type of file stores budget databases.
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A BC3 file is a compressed data file, which can be used to reduce the size of files and improve the speed of data transfer. This form of compression was created to improve the efficiency of data transfer over the network, i.e. to make files transfer faster from one computer to another. In this article, we will detail what a BC3 file is, how it works, its advantages and disadvantages, and how it can be used to optimize file transmission.

1. What is a bc3 file?

A BC3 file is a file format used for the management of unit price bases. This tool allows us to work with databases of materials, labor and prices, so that we can create a catalog with all the products of our company.

A BC3 file (also known as FIE-BDC format) is a file that allows the exchange of information between different budgeting programmes and construction databases. With this type of file, communication with different professional channels is streamlined.

The BC3 format enables the exchange of information between product manufacturers, quotation experts, construction companies, manufacturers and other parties involved in a construction project. 

What are the versions of a BC3 file?

It is a computer medium that is updated periodically, so it is important to take into account the validity of the current version. As of today, the current version is FIEBDC-3/2020.

Depending on the information you are working with, the BC3 file will support different activities:

- Budgeting: This is normally the activity for which it is most commonly used. It consists of a header, to whom it is addressed and a series of chapters detailing the materials needed for the project.

- Database: They can be either of products, either from the manufacturer's own catalog, unit price information is added and work items are represented.

- Certification: Project progress is confirmed.

There are two versions of the BC3 file: a version for professional use, and a simplified version for home use. These versions differ in the number of records available, the structure of the fields and the amount of information that can be stored.

What is the structure of a BC3 file?

The structure of a BC3 file is very simple. This type of file is composed of what we call "records", which are blocks of information to be filled in:

. It uses the characters \ or | as classifiers. Within a record, we use: the character "|" to separate fields and the backslash "\" to separate subfields.

. A maximum length of 20 characters is allowed.

. Blanks are not allowed in the concept codes.

. 64 characters must be used in the summary.

. At the beginning of each record there is a tilde (~), followed by a letter.

. A different type of information is processed in each registry.

In the unit price databases, we will need 7 of the 19 records available:

- "~V", the "property and version" record.

- "~K" is used to report "coefficients".

- "~C" is the most important record type.

- "~D" is the "decomposition" register.

- "~T" corresponds to "text".

- "~G" is used for "graphical information".

- "~F" is the entry for "accompanying documentation".

How can I work with a bc3 file?

Several specialized tools are available for working with BC3 files. These programs allow us to create and edit unit price databases in a simple way, as well as to export the files to another format for later use.

This file allows compatibility between specialized software such as Tribboo, Go!Manage, Cype or Presto, facilitating communication between agents, manufacturers and construction companies that work with different software, allowing them to work without the need to transform their catalog to a universal BC3 file.

5.What are the advantages of a BC3 file?

It is easy to exchange information between the different channels of site management.

Its format is compatible with the main site ERPs on the market (here is a link to what is a site ERP).

✔ The products will be very well informed, enabling the best materials to be made available. 

✔ Products and materials may be included in the work items of the budget.

✔ It falls within the framework of the European public procurement directive 2014/24/EU.

✔ Allows you to prepare for the most demanding requirements such as BIM formats.

How to open bc3 file with Tribboo?

If you want to open bc3 file, you can refer to our next article How to open bc3 file?

You can also watch the following video where we tell you how you can do it easily through our platform:

7. Example :

Here is an example of a bc3 file. You can download it by clicking here.

In short, a BC3 file is a file format specially designed for the management of unit price databases. This tool allows us to create catalogs with complete information, and its use is very simple thanks to the specific programs available.

Eva Degardin - March 2023.