COBie inventor develops open source improvements

23 August 2017 | By BIM+ staff

A team of English, Irish and US architects and engineers have published a set of models that are being made available to industry which will improve the reliability of BIM data handed over to clients and between project teams.

The new models help test the accuracy of how well data is being delivered in the government’s preferred standard format, known as COBie (Construction-Operations Building information exchange).

These sets of multidisciplinary open-source models, simulated contract drawings and files can be used to demonstrate the delivery of COBie and Coordination MVD in Revit as an integral part of the design process.

COBie is the standard format of asset data sets that project teams must use to comply with the government’s BIM Level 2 mandate when they hand over the BIM model.

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The idea behind COBie is that the key information is all pulled into one format and shared between the construction team at defined stages in a project. It delivers equipment lists, product data sheets, warranty information and maintenance in a simple, easy to understand database schema, often presented in a spreadsheet.

COBie was devised by Bill East of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, who authored a pilot standard in 2007 to improve the process of handing over information to building owners, occupiers and operators, enabling them to manage their asset more efficiently.

Now East, of Prairie Sky Consulting, has worked with Metz Architects, MLM group, Bond Bryan Digital and MMA Environmental to develop these new model sets, based on a test building, the East Dormitory, in Illinois.

BIM vendors are still trying to iron out their COBie export capabilities, mapping asset information from proprietary BIM models to the defined COBie schema.

In recent BuildingSmart industry tests, 8,000 errors within a COBie file was deemed to be quite normal. For a file in the range of 600,000-800,000 rows representing a typical building, that is said to equate to a 1%-1.3% error rate..

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Image: COBie is often presented in spreadsheets (