CoBuilder launches contractor trials of ‘as-built model’ solutions

Eight contractors, including Balfour Beatty and Carillion, have embarked on trials of data solutions offered by CoBuilder UK, the company has announced.

Headed by BuildingSmart UK board member [corrected] Nick Tune, CoBuilder UK is the first overseas operation for Norwegian parent company CoBuilder.

Its products, GoBIM and ProductXChange, allow contractors to easily access, import and export product-related data – including performance declarations and technical manuals – for components in the as-built building.

In a world of design management and changing specifications, products in the finished building often vary from what’s in the BIM design model and digital BIM objects.  

Tune explained that CoBuilder helps contractors with three kinds of data operation: assembling the necessary information in pdf format to create an O&M manual; exporting the data into a COBie spreadsheet; and formatting the data in IFC format to export it to the as-built BIM model.

To help achieve the third step, CoBuilder UK is also shortly due to launch a plug-in for Revit, which will allow contractors to attach the as-built data to a Revit BIM model. It hopes to roll out a Graphisoft plug-in in due course.

For contractors, the savings in using the technology could be considerable, said Tune: “It means contractors won’t have to pay someone to create O&M manuals, and creating COBie data is more straightforward.

“Then the client and the facilities manager receives actual accurate data – often FMs don’t trust what they’re given so sometimes they go and re-survey the building, but there’ll be no need to do that.”

In a CoBuilder press release, Neil Thompson, head of digital research and innovation at Balfour Beatty, said: “We are working with CoBuilder to see how we can improve the collection and sharing of data with our supply chain partners, so that we can validate that what we have built actually meets our design specifications.”

Alex Lubbock, BIM development manager at Carillion, said: “Carillion provide facilities management functions across the world and it is vital that the data we receive and distribute during construction is accurate and can easily be used by our teams and our customers to manage their assets.”

Tune added that “nearly every contractor in Norway and quite a few in Sweden” already use the system.

If the UK trials are successful, Tune is hopeful that the system would be green-lit for widespread adoption within the eight companies.

It means contractors won’t have to pay someone to create O&M manuals, and creating COBie data is more straightforward.– Nick Tune

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