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buildingSMART alliance The COBIE Challenge: ArchiCAD

The COBIE Challenge

MARCH 11, 2009

COBIE Implementation Testing: ArchiCAD
Direct IFC Export to XML Spreadsheet

by E. William East, PhD, PE - Engineer Research and Development Center, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The following table provides the analysis conducted to evaluate software manufacturer compliance with the Construction Operations Building Information Exchange (COBIE) conducted for the 11 Mar 09 COBIE Challenge.

Evaluation of directly submitted IFC files into the COBIE spreadsheet format requires translation from IFCExpress to ifcXML and transformation of ifcXML to MS Excel 2003 XML Spreadsheet. This translation is automatically accomplished using a set of free command line utilities collectively called the bimServices program. The bimServices program is upgraded version of the ifcCOBIE program used for the first Challenge held in July 2008. The bimServices program is available free of charge through the IFC-BIM forum noted in the Reference section of this page.

As with the Designer Challenges held in July 2008 the vendor was allowed to select their own model. The native version of this sample file, its IFC export, and COBIE XML spreadsheet are provided below. Following the general description of the sample model, the model was updated during the Challenge and exported again. The initial model file and the updated model file include the native BIM model, the IFC 2x3 Coordination View file exported directly from the software, and the extracted COBIE XML spreadsheet created using bimServices.

ArchiCAD COBIE File via IFC 2x3 Coordination View

Software Name ArchiCAD
Software Version Version 12
Optional configuration(s) Configuration information not provided by vendor. Given missing data noted below, the user will require model setup instructions to fully comply with COBIE requirements.
Initial Files ZIP 6.1 MB
Updated Files ZIP 6.1 MB
Quantitative Results:
     Checker Report File PDF 60 KB
     Result PASS (updates needed)
The error identified in the automated checker is that columns are not listed within spaces. This "error" in the automated checker is outside the scope of construction operations handover since columns are not typically tracked by maintenance and asset management software.
Qualitative Evaluations Conducted
Values provided for all required worksheets? Yes
Values provided for all required fields? Yes
Adequate detail provided for contacts No Required fields are filled, however, there is insufficient information provided on contact listed to allow information to be practically used.
Spatial decomposition appears consistent (spaces have floor)? Yes
Spaces classified according to space function category The required field is filled, however, the value provided, 'n/a' is not qualitatively correct. To pass the next COBIE Challenge the required classification scheme must be used.
System decomposition appears reasonable for building type? Yes, but since the model was relatively light on MEP.
Systems classified according to functional capabilitiy category The required field is filled, however, the value provided, 'n/a' is not qualitatively correct. To pass the next COBIE Challenge the required classification scheme must be used.
Types exported from the model are identified as "product data" Yes
Min of one of each type Yes
All components uniquely named No, not all components uniquely named.
Component to type ratio appears reasonable for building type? Type=15, Component=350. This appears reasonable.
All components in named spaces In addition to the discussion of the 'n/a' value noted previously, there are several qualitative issues here some good some bad. First, doors are listed in both connecting rooms. This is good. Next, some elements are listed to be in multiple rooms, sometimes twice in the same space. Since components are by definition individual items, components may not be listed in the same space twice. To pass the next COBIE Challenge the required classification scheme must be used.

Implementation Support

This vendor has identified the following COBIE Point of Contact to assist your efforts:

Monte J Chapin
Graphisoft North America
Phone: 801-243-0508

In addition to the direct representative of the vendor, the representative from the consultancy firm conducting the COBIE Challenge with ArchiCAD may also provide support:

Mr. Henry Berger
AEC Infosystems
Phone: 410-435-3600

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