COBie and IFC Services

What is COBie?

Contrary to popular belief, COBie is not a spreadsheet. Simply put, it is text based data containing required building handover information. The COBie standard is in some cases, unlikely to offer the complete Asset Information Requirements on a given project due to different asset owners having very different requirements.

COBie information really seeks to answer the following questions

1.  What rooms and equipment are delivered in a building?
2. Where does a technician go to work on that equipment?
3.  How is the equipment operated and maintained?

The way COBie information is formatted is not the most important part of the COBie story. It is the question of format versus content that seems to confuse those learning about COBie for the first time.

The Digital Handover

With the collaborative 3D environment becoming a requirement on more and more projects, it is important that we leverage the data and information that has been built up and stored alongside the 3D geometry.

With COBie being the nominated format for this digital and electronic delivery of asset data, it is important that we find a way of linking the two together, not as a one time export but as a useable central source of truth.

“The argument that drives the demand for COBie is the management of space usage, operations, cost and environmental impacts, repair and replacement. In short, better value, cost and carbon.”
Nick Nesbit

COBie and IFC

IFC is an intelligent file format that contains all information about a building. For the purposes of asset or facilities management, we are not be interested in all the data, only those parameters and data relating to the management of the maintainable building assets themselves. Used correctly, COBie is simply a subset of the all the IFC information for the management and operation of a building. This is called a Model View Definition and it works like a filter, selecting only the information the project requires. IFC 2×3 COBie 2.4 Design Deliverable is a Model View Definition (MVD) homologated by Building Smart for the use of COBie data against the 3D geometry of the assets. It leverages all of the intelligent relationships between components inside of the IFC, with the text based data that COBie requires.