COBie, the Construction-Operations Building information exchange, is the United States standard for the exchange of information related to manage building assets. There are over twenty commercial off the shelf software products that support COBie. These products cover the entire facility life-cycle from planning, design, construction, commissioning all the way to operations, maintenance, and space management.
While COBie provides the format for asset information, it does not provide details on what information is to be provided when, and by whom. This guide provides best-practice guidelines for these requirements. By referencing this Guide in design and construction contracts owners are now about to specify both the format and content of COBie deliverables.
COBie does not add new requirements to contracts; it simply changes the required deliverables from paper documents, or proprietary electronic formats, to an open, United States standard format. COBie and this Guide may be thought of as a performance-based specification for the delivery of building information.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology has demonstrated its ability to reduce overall project cost through the identification of physical conflicts between building components prior to construction. Resolving such issues during design eliminates expensive tear-out and rework during that would have otherwise occurred during construction. The use of BIM for geometric collision detection has been the starting point to understand the potential use of building information.
The buildingSMART alliance has begun to unlock the non-geometric information content in BIM through the standardization of contracted information exchanges that will eventually replace the paper-based document exchanges currently specified by contracts. The goal of these standards is to provide the required information content when created, and securely share and update specified portions of that information with authorized team members as the project proceeds.
Rather than producing wasteful paper documents whose content is impractical to extract, these standard information exchanges streamline current process to eliminate waste and increase profitability. The first of these standards, the Construction-Operations Building information exchange, or COBie4, delivers facility asset information. These assets are scheduled equipment, products, and spaces. Readers unfamiliar with COBie should begin by watching the following two on-line presentations:
Class 1. Overview
Class 2. How To
It is assumed that readers of this document have viewed these two on-line presentations.
2 PURPOSE OF THIS COBie GUIDE
The objective of this document is to identify the specific requirements of COBie deliverables for design and construction contracts. This document is not a software user manual. There are two parts to this document. First are common requirements to be met regardless of client. The second part is the set of client-specific requirements that must be met in addition to the general requirements. Client-specific requirements may be found in “Appendix A – Owner’s Requirements.”
There are over twenty commercial off the shelf software products that support the production and/or consumption of building asset information through COBie. The results of software testing conducted by the National Institute of Building Sciences are documented on the COBie Means and Methods web page7. Given the differences in software configuration and version, those producing or consuming COBie deliverables using commercial software solutions should conduct their own test using any one of three common test models8.
Instructions on using these systems to produce or consume COBie data must be obtained directly from the software
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