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21 September 2023
Shalini John

How Does COBie Support BIM Technology?

‘Cobie’ Smulders regularly lit up the small screen as an integral part of ‘How I Met Your Mother’, but that’s not the only COBie that can make a difference. Construction Operations Building Information Exchange (COBie) is a standardized data format, where specific data can be put in a Revit family as part of a BIM Level 2 deliverable, which is required by contractors for installation drawings.

Well, what is COBie all about and why is it a good idea to consider using it?

Firstly, it’s government approved. The UK government prefers this information exchange format for improved data management. The data managed by COBie also:

  • Provides details of project component and equipment locations
  • Highlights equipment maintenance
  • Can be exported from BIM authoring software to facility management software
  • Can be delivered during the design and construction phases of projects
  • Can be delivered in a text-based file format for seamless information exchange
  • Helps collate important project data during design, construction and commissioning stages, which can be useful for facilities management
COBie Worksheets

COBie worksheets separate assets into manageable sections, which help to categorise information during a project’s stages. They consist of:

  • Zones
  • Floors
  • Types
  • Systems
  • Spaces
  • Components

COBie Excel spreadsheets generally contain:

  • Early Design Worksheets
  • Detailed Design Worksheets
  • Construction Worksheets

Client specifications for COBie include:

  • Classification system to be used
  • Linking information from the digital model
  • Required coordination for external documents

COBie has proven to be useful for gathering the correct data during project design and construction. Once construction is complete, this information can be handed over to the facilities management team for efficient and cost-effective building use and maintenance.

Now, how is BIM involved with COBie?

Typically, a BIM manager manages and supervises the collection and coordination of COBie data. COBie is a data format for the publication of a subset of BIM models and focuses on the dissemination of precise asset data, not just geometric information.

Using COBie, project teams can organise submittals accepted through the design and construction stages and easily create a consolidated electronic operations and maintenance manual. Facility managers usually require scores of documents to be created, reviewed and validated with human data entry, taking years. COBie can ease this process.

All building projects must incorporate 3D BIM modelling, BIM MEP services and 3D BIM collaboration, according to the UK government. Data and software requirements for reports are found in COBie. One of the main functions of COBie is to reduce or eliminate construction handover documentation costs.

COBie BIM Models

A COBie BIM construction model can effectively transfer data through:

  • Categorisation – COBie’s categorisation system helps owners find relevant information.
  • Data models – COBie’s alignment with BIM enables the integration of construction and design technologies.
  • Setup – COBie offers spreadsheet data transmission, allowing project stakeholders to participate in an open BIM project without needing to know IFC data model details.
Advantages of COBie in Construction

Improved Data Management
COBie facilitates the organisation and management of BOQs, RFIs, safety licenses, planning department data in a standard format, administering data efficiently using BIM services.

Enhanced Data Sharing

COBie enables efficient information exchange across BIM authoring tools, construction management systems,and CAFM (Computer-Aided Facility Management) packages, so that errors and the need to recollect data are reduced.

Data Compilation

Data can be collected using COBie standards before moving to new building maintenance software. Data collected in COBie is in a widely accepted industry format.

Data Transfer

COBie helps effectively transfer construction data between sites. It exports data from BIM authoring tools and imports it into a COBie-enabled CMMS system.

To know more about COBie BIM models . . .

Thus, it can be seen that COBie is an effective tool to support BIM, and with the right BIM services partner who can provide accurate architectural BIM services, Revit BIM services and BIM for sustainable construction, firms using the COBie format will see great success.

XS CAD has valuable experience providing BIM services and 3D BIM modelling for general contractors and consultants. Our range of services for global consultants include BIM MEP services, architectural BIM services, Revit BIM services, BIM for sustainable construction and creating BIM construction models and drawings by using Revit BIM, AutoCAD and BIM Collaborate Pro for cloud collaboration.