BIM are you ready Part 3: COBie

COBie is one of the elements of BS 1192-4:2014, which defines the methodology for the transfer of structured information between parties relating to both building and infrastructure assets. It lays down rules for the design and construction phases prior to handover that can be utilised effectively by clients’ portfolio managers, asset and facility managers. It helps them to specify their expectations, and to provide the architects with the information they need to commence their design with concise, unambiguous and accessible information.

It will replace the impractical extraction of information from a 2D drawing – i.e., maintenance engineers selecting pre-printed drawings from a shelf  full of files – and deliver asset information, such as spaces (the  location of equipment), the scheduled equipment and products that appear in them, in a simpler, more efficient manner.

cobie spreadsheet

Based on national standards, BS 1192  -2 and PAS 91, COBie allows  asset information to be captured and compiled in digital  format that can  be subsequently updated and exchanged as the design evolves – and construction proceeds. To ensure that the architect is meeting the clients brief, the COBie file is submitted during the process – in an incomplete format – until the final complete file is submitted upon completion of the building part of the project.

The first Data Drop is consistent with RIBA Stage B – The Brief, providing checks that enable the client  to see if the proposed design and specifications are in line with the brief  in terms of function, cost  and carbon efficiency – and should contain all of the client’s requirements and constraints information.

The second Data Drop resembles RIBA Stage D. This is an outline solution, providing enough information to enable the client to select a main contractor and supply chain, being satisfied that they possess the capability to deliver the asset. This data drop consists of two elements – 2a relates to the model and information delivered to the client’s technical team, and 2b, the model returned by the contracting supply chain.

Data Drop 3 is broadly consistent with RIBA Stage F, and it is used to provide construction information, enabling clients to approve the Agreed Maximum Price, or Works Order. Throughout all three drops, checks will continue to be made to ensure the developed design and specifications are still consistent with the client brief. At this drop accuracy is expected to increase to around 85-90%.

Data Drop 4 is RIBA Stage K. This provides Operations and Management information – and includes detailed functional information provided by the product manufacturers. As this is the detailed information that the facility manager requires to maintain his asset, accuracy for this  drop, therefore, is expected to be 100%.

Data Drop 5, and further drops, represent post occupancy validation information and ongoing Operations and Maintenance information.

BIM are you ready?

Part 1: What, and why is BIM?
Part 2: BIM Level 2
Part 3: COBie
Part 4: Preparing for BIM
Part 5: Perparing an ARCHICAD model for COBie

Excerpts from BIM Are you Ready? a CAD User publication, in association with Graphisoft.

  • David

    While reading this article I found it distracting that the RIBA stages referred to, (i.e. A, B C, etc.), have been outdated since 2013

  • jjallen

    Many large practices still use the old RIBA work stages, even for major projects. The prescriptive nature of the BIM stages of the new version appears to be OTT for some.