COBie & its Relation to BIM

A BIM Manager in experienced BIM companies is responsible for managing and supervising the collation and coordination of COBie data. But what is COBie & its Relation to BIM and how it is associated with BIM (Building Information Modeling)?
COBie, a non-proprietary data format for the publication of a subset of building information models (BIM), focuses on delivery of precise asset data as distinct from geometric information.

What is Cobie in BIM?


Construction Operations Building Information Exchange (COBie) is a non-proprietary international standard related to managed asset information including space and equipment. With the help of COBie, the project team may organize electronic submittals accepted throughout design and construction and deliver a consolidated electronic Operations and Maintenance manual with little or no additional effort. A Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) or asset management software can then input COBie data directly.

👉🏻 Why Was COBie Developed? What Problems Can COBie Solve? 

“Much valuable data associated with the design, construction, and operation of a facility are lost during its life span” 

National Research Council (1983) A report from the 1983 workshop on ‘Advanced Technology for Building Design and Engineering. National Academy Press, Washington, DC. 1984. 

Traditionally, to start facility management and operations the facility manager begins by unpacking boxes of paper documents and retyping asset information and maintenance schedules into Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS). Facility managers have stated that this process could need hundreds of pages of documents to be created, reviewed, and transcribed, as well as the validation of the transcriptions and the human entry of data, resulting in many years of effort. COBie can solve this effort. 

By 2016, all building projects shall be completed in 3D BIM collaboration, as established by the UK government’s BIM Working Party Strategy, which was released in 2011. Data and software requirements for this report are referred to as COBie. 

5.5 Improved Information Handover 

In order to improve the measurement and management of public assets, it is recommended that public clients request that specific information be delivered by the supply chain. The specified information set, called COBie, delivers consistent and structured asset information useful to the owner-operator for post-occupancy decision-making. 

COBie can be defined as a specification for all of the spaces and equipment in a building. COBie is an information exchange format. There is a specification for the assets and the equipment. As well as the way that the information should be exchanged. Specific owners may have specific requirements. Then the main function of COBie can be said as is to reduce or eliminate the cost of construction handover documentation.

Use BIM Automation to Automate Modeling and Design Activities

👉🏻 What Does A COBie Sheet Contain? 

What is COBie & How it Streamlines Data Collaboration

COBie Excel spreadsheet should contain the following sheets in general: 

  1. Instructions: This sheet provides instructions about how to use the COBie sheet. This sheet is divided into different phases like Early Design Worksheets, Detailed Design Worksheets, Construction Worksheets, Operations and Maintenance Worksheets, All Phases, and Legend. 
  2. Contact: This sheet contains all the contact related to all the stakeholders of the projects including Architects, Engineers, Contractors, Subcontractors, and Manufactures. 
  3. Facility: This sheet includes all the project information. 
  4. Floor: Provides information regarding the number of levels in the project, elevation, and description. 
  5. Space: Spaces like the hallway, stairs, foyer, etc are defined under this sheet. 
  6. Zone: Buildings can be divided into different zones, depending upon the specific attributes they share. For example, a hospital building can be divided into different zones like Administration, Optometry, Pathology, Paediatrics, Pharmacy, etc. 
  7. Type: This sheet contains types of equipment, products, and materials like door types, window types, and different types of furniture. 
  8. Component: Individually named or scheduled items come under this sheet. 
  9. System: Contains information regarding sets of components providing a service. For example, those related to Mechanical, HVAC, Electrical, Plumbing, and Firefighting services. 
  10. Attribute: This sheet consists of properties of referenced items.  
  11. Coordinate: Spatial locations with respect to X, Y, and Z coordinates. 
  12. Picklists: Any other information not provided in other sheets could be referenced to the picklist.

How COBie Is Helping Different Stakeholders Of The AEC Industry?

The COBie specification helps different stakeholders of the AEC industry as below: 

👉🏻 Architects and Engineers 

  • COBie provides a compiled list of scheduled assets. 
  • Easier to design with COBie data of assets in hand. 
  • Helps in faster design and engineering decision making. 

👉🏻 Contractors 

  • Effective construction data submission.  
  • Easy information gathering and organization. 
  • Reduce time and effort on equipment surveys. 

👉🏻 Facility Managers 

  • Easy access to documentation related to equipment and spaces. 
  • Easy operations and maintenance with an accurate COBie sheet. 
  • Free from manual documentation and unorganized format. 

Fundamental Values of COBie

COBie is considered to be a great stepping stone in the process of transferring construction information from paper to online. This is because the prime objective of COBie lies in substituting the home-based exchange templates, and points at the solutions with additional building information management. 

A COBie BIM model includes the following for effectively transferring the information:    

  • Categorization – COBie uses a categorization system, albeit no specifics are given. The project owner decides on the categorization scheme. Using a categorization system aids users in finding information that aids project owners.    
  • Data Model – COBie is aligned with the Smart Building data model, indicating industry best practices. The COBie IFC data model facilitates the integration of construction and design technologies.    
  • Setup — COBie offers customers a variety of distribution methods, including spreadsheet data transmission. The beauty of this format is that it allows you to participate in an open BIM project without knowing anything about the IFC data model or a specific BIM program. 

🔖 Advantages of implementing COBie in Construction Projects

  1. Improved Data Management

During a building project, a great amount of data is generated and exchanged between the many stakeholders. Documents such as BOQs, RFIs, various safety licenses, papers from the planning department, and so on are included. The data management system of COBie lets you organize and manage your data in a standard format. Thus, COBie data collaboration has the most crucial advantage of making data administration more efficient. 

  1. Enhanced Data Sharing

COBie facilitates the efficient exchange of information across facility management tools such as BIM authoring tools, construction management systems, and CAFM (Computer-Aided Facility Management) packages. Using the standard, facility management organizations can reduce the need to recollect data. This will reduce the number of errors across relevant data sets utilized for various purposes. 

  1. Compilation of Information

Managers may collect data using COBie standards before switching to new building maintenance software to help them plan their operations. It is not necessary to obtain a proprietary vendor spreadsheet to ease data collection. Furthermore, it is not necessary to pay the CMMS provider to map the in-house spreadsheet software. Instead, data is collected in COBie in a format that is widely accepted in the industry. 

  1. Transfer of Information  

COBie is the most effective method of exchanging construction data from one site to another in the current state of the construction industry. It exports construction information from BIM authoring tools and imports it into a COBie-enabled CMMS system. 

🔖 COBie as a Requirement 

The COBie standards are created as a reference for construction, design, and product delivery. However, a simple reference to the COBie standard is not enough. Few specifications need to be given. Further, the objects essential for maintenance should be included. 

🔖 Some of the COBie specifications include: 

  • A classification system to be used. 
  • Custom properties for every building item. 
  • Process of tracking relations to BIM models. 
  • Type of delivery process – continuous, data drop for each phase, change, or as a part of the handover. 
  • Collection and coordination process. 
  • Stakeholders to be involved in the coordination process – be it owner, main contractor, BIM manager, Architect, etc. 

🔖 Why choose Tejjy for COBie BIM services?

Tejjy-BIM Inc is a premier design-build for and a construction management firm, located in the USA. We are serving the AEC industry since the last 15 years. Our team of experts strives to facilitate the construction professionals with the best in class COBie services. To ease the delivery of BIM COBie Data Drops in line with customer requirements, Tejjy’s skilled team offers a comprehensive range of services to manage, validate and distribute COBie on your project, among other services.   

Our quality assured COBie services includes: 

  • Integrating and implementing COBie parameters in the BIM model. 
  • Effective project data management and data transfer.