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buildingSMART allianceMarch 2010 COBie Challenge: VELA

March 2010 COBie Challenge: VELA

NATIONAL FACILITY MANAGEMENT & TECHNOLOGY TRADESHOW
BALTIMORE, MD
by E. William East, PhD, PE - Engineer Research and Development Center, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The Construction Operations Building information exchange (COBie) information exchange format is a non-proprietary platform for the exchange of facility life-cycle data needed by facility managers. This page provides links to information used to evaluate the product listed in the table below against the requirements of the Facility Handover Model View Definition (PDF 1.4 MB) and the COBie draft specification (DOCX 36 KB). COBie is based on an underlying Industry Foundation Class (IFC) Facility Management Model View Definition (MVD) format. The information content of the FM Handover MVD and COBie is the same, the format of the two models are interoperable using a freely published bimServices.

The specific version of COBie exercised in this challenge was COBie 2.26. Version 2.26 made slight modifications to the organization of warranty data to resolve issues related to the practical usage of warranty information identified in the Dec 2009 COBie Challenge.

In this challenge, design software vendors created and exported files for a two-story, duplex apartment building described in the March 2010 COBie Challenge. Construction and commissioning software systems imported and augmented this information. Finally, maintenance and asset management software consume this facility handover information. The sections below indicate the specific COBie produced and/or consumed by the designated software vendor.

General Product Information

Name Vela Systems Commissioning Software
Logo 2010-03-17 Logo (JPG 148 KB)
Version v4.6.1
Overview 2010-03-17 Presentation (PDF 1.3 MB)
COBie Configuration 2010-03-17 Configuration (PDF 749 KB)
Contact 2010-03-17 Contact Information (DOCX 84 KB)
COBie Producer? Yes
COBie Consumer? Yes

COBie Producer Challenge

During the project, COBie information may be produced following design, construction, or commissioning. The following table identifies which of the information exchanges were the subjects of the COBie Producer Challenge for the subject product.

Participant Project Phase Deliverable Contains
No Early Design Blocking and Stacking Floors and Spaces
No Design Construction Documents Final design deliverables with Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing objects
YES Construction Construction Product Selection and Installation Construction deliverables with manufacturer information1,2
No Construction Facility Handover Beneficial occupancy deliverables with project specific commissioning plans

To assess the quality of the COBie file produced by the subject free software, bimServices was used for compliance checking. To evaluate COBie export routines the number of deviations between the COBie requirement the vendor's file were identified and evaluated based on the total time to correct these deviations. "Simple" deviations are those such as the need to include authorship information for records within a COBie deliverable. The resolution of simple deviations is simple (estimated as 30 seconds each) since the information may be copy and pasted to solve the problem. "Complex" deviations require additional effort (estimated at 120 seconds) to resolve since a this type of deviation results from a COBie row not having specific referential information, such as type, space, zone, or system, needed to correctly identify the data row. For example, a component that does not identify the space in which the component is installed will result in a complex deviation.

Construction – Facility Handover Deliverable

Original File (.xls) XLS 639 KB
Self Assessment XHTML 37 KB
Simple Deviation Count 0 items
Complex Deviation Count 0 items
Deviation adjustment Time 15 minutes (see Note 2 and 3)

Additional Notes:

  1. Software does support linking of manufacturer documents. They have not been included in this COBie Challenge but are expected to be included for the next round of testing in Dec 2010.
  2. Export of VELA equipment sheet information would be pasted into a Component COBie tab containing the rest of the worksheet.
  3. Those creating files created using a copy and paste method will be required to verify that information in the system has not been changed during this process. Common mistakes such as a missing row or column could be expected for those new to the manual process.
  4. Future updates, based on user request for additional development work are expected to help VELA fully automated its export routines.

COBie Consumer Challenge

During the project COBie information may be consumed during design, construction, commissioning. The following table identifies which of the information exchanges were the subjects of the COBie Consumer Challenge for the subject product.

Participant Project Phase Deliverable Extent of Import
Yes Design Construction Documents Final design deliverables with Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing objects
No Commissioning Construction Product Selection and Installation Construction deliverables with manufacturer information
YES Operations Maintenance Management Equipment lists
No Operations Maintenance Management Equipment lists, warranties
No Operations Maintenance Management Equipment lists, warranties, parts
No Operations Maintenance Management Equipment lists, warranties, parts, documents
No Operations Maintenance Management Equipment lists, warranties, parts, scheduled jobs
No Operations Maintenance Management Equipment lists, warranties, parts, scheduled jobs, resources
No Operations Maintenance Management Equipment lists, warranties, parts, attributes
No Operations Asset Management Spaces, space areas, space function
No Operations Asset Management Fixed assets

During this COBie Challenge the vendor consumed the coordinated design stage COBie file (XLS 631 KB) for the reference project to begin the capture of construction information.

Currently the product requires the user to paste COBie spreadsheet data to pre-specified import templates used in VELA to import the COBie data. Future implementations of COBie import should eliminate this requirement. Please contact the software vendor directly to determine manual data manipulation requirements.

To assess the quality of COBie file import the author conducted a webinar with the vendor in the weeks leading up to the COBie Challenge. During this meeting the vendor was required to provide a live demonstration of their use of the COBie data and answer a battery of questions to determine if the project data was correctly loaded. The results for the consumption of COBie data for the sample product, as identified in the tables above, are listed in the table below:

Consumer Checklist Challenge Importing COBie for Use during Construction and Commissioning3
Verify building name was correctly imported. Out of Scope1
Verify that correct space names and numbers were imported. Out of Scope
Verify that space area measurement values were imported. Out of Scope
Verify that space function codes were imported or translated to local classification scheme. Out of Scope
Verify that equipment is identified as part of the designated building service. Out of Scope
Verify that the equipment is identified within a single room. Pass
Verify that equipment is classified as fixed or movable. Pass
Verify installed equipment is identified. Out of Scope
Verify that the equipment warranty information was loaded. Partial2
Verify replacement part information was loaded. Out of Scope
Verify that PM schedules were loaded. Out of Scope
Verify Safety plan information was loaded. Out of Scope
Verify that tools, materials, and training have been uploaded. Out of Scope

Notes:
1 Application requires user to identify project name prior to import.

2 The application has this information but has not exported it to COBie as part of the March 2010 challenge. It is expected that the warranty information will be demonstrated in a future COBie challenge.

Back to the COBie Challenge

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