How BIMcollab can help deliver COBie data on your project

When considering a new construction project, owners and end-users of a building are increasingly involved in defining BIM data requirements. To that extent, one of the most used formats for O&M data is Construction Operations Building Information Exchange (COBie), focused on collecting asset data from BIM models. COBie provides a system-to-system exchange of space and equipment information. It helps project teams to organize and deliver assets in a consolidated format.  

Verify, communicate, and deliver COBie data with BIMcollab 

Despite COBie being a widely accepted format, the task of collecting and delivering complete COBie data remains an obstacle. While COBie aims to simplify the delivery of O&M data, teams often require assistance delivering the COBie itself. Checking the quality of the final deliverable is a challenging task. Even the most organized project teams need assistance with automating this process. That is where BIMcollab can be of assistance. Let us look at five ways in which BIMcollab can help verify, communicate about, and deliver COBie data for your project: 

1) Check for accuracy and consistency against model data

A finalized COBie spreadsheet contains multiple tabs and potentially thousands of line items. Undeniably, this amount of information is very time-consuming to check manually. BIMcollab can help you simplify this process by automating data validation. 

Using BIMcollab Zoom’s Smart Views (available in the Viewer version), you can create dynamic and color-coded view filters to visually check your model. Smart View filters verify if the correct COBie data has been assigned to elements by using the Value field to check for elements with specific property values. Moreover, the rules you have created once can be reused for any future projects and shared with other team members through the Shared Folder, to obtain direct insight into the model quality. 

Check for accuracy and consistency against model data

2) Check for missing COBie data 

The COBie spreadsheet, which is the result of the coordination of several disciplines and team members, can sometimes be incomplete. Some values may be added to the wrong fields, or properties might not be assigned. In addition, with a spreadsheet this size, finding the missing data is not so easy.

With Smart Views, you can easily create filters that verify if COBie data has been added to elements by using the Is defined/Is undefined operators. This can be checked for any element and any property of your IFC model. In the example below, a filter for checking if the Manufacturer property has been filled in is applied to the view, leaving only the components where the property Value is undefined. 

Check for missing data

3) Easily communicate issues with the design teams 

When the results of a Smart View identify a problem with incorrect values or information missing, you can use BIMcollab Nexus for effective issue coordination. Nexus can help you communicate efficiently about any needed changes. With BCF coordination you can create issues directly in the model and communicate them with the rest of the team, who can open the corresponding viewpoints in their modeling tools. 

Easily communicate issues with the design teams

4) Customize existing data to obtain correct outputs and export them directly in Lists 

While having the ability to check for data quality, and assign issues to modelers, sometimes you just have to work with the data at hand. Zoom’s Smart Properties enable you to organize and restructure data according to your need. Besides, you can create your own properties and classifications based on existing object attributes. There is no need to constantly ask modelers to create new models with correct values. You can either map existing properties to a new property or define a new property value for an element, based on certain criteria. 

5) Create COBie spreadsheets in an Excel format  

A COBie spreadsheet contains multiple worksheets which need to be filled in during various stages of the project lifecycle. With BIMcollab Zoom’s Lists, you can directly export IFC data to an Excel spreadsheet and apply color coding based on requirements.  

In the Source Set field, you can select the IFC elements that will be listed as the rows in your COBie spreadsheet. In the Properties field, you can select the required properties (tip: enter “COBie” in the search bar to quickly locate Cobie property sets) for the columns of your spreadsheet. Select Run, and you have the first page of your Cobie spreadsheet ready. Simply repeat the process for all the needed sheets, merge, and format as needed in Excel. 

Create COBie spreadsheets in Excel format

BONUS USE – Specify COBie requirements at the start of the project with IDS 

Before any BIM requirements (including COBie assets) can be delivered, they first need to be specified. Information Delivery Specification (IDS) from buildingSMART is a computer-readable file that defines Data Exchange Requirements for your BIM project.

This means you can start your project by defining model requirements in BIMcollab Nexus, share these requirements with your design and construction teams through the BCF Managers, and verify if these requirements have been met with BIMcollab Zoom.  

Although delivered at the end of a project, COBie data can be a part of the IDS requirements defined at the beginning of a project and can be referenced in the BIM application throughout all project phases.

Improved Operation & Maintenance (O&M) information

Given these points, BIMcollab can assist in delivering the COBie data for your project. In turn, this will help you improve the quality of the delivered Operation and Maintenance (O&M) information, resulting in increased efficiency of facility staff, improved operational practices, and reduced utility costs during the life cycle of the building. 

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