buildingSMART alliance March 2010 COBie Challenge: Bentley System, Inc.

March 2010 COBie Challenge: Bentley System, Inc.

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.

Product Information

Based on conversations with Bentley Army account representatives and members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Spring of 2011, the version of Bentley software used in the COBie Challenge listed below is not commercial available. The following report provides independent insight into the use of Bentley software for the production of COBie information: Using COBie Data in Bentley Systems (Sep 2009) (PDF 3.4 MB).

Product Bentley Architecture V8i
Logo 2010-03-17 Logo (JPG 92 KB)
Overview 2010-03-17 Presentation (PDF 3.9 MB)
Demonstration 2010-03-17 Video Demo (ZIP 42 MB)
COBie Configuration 2010-03-17 Configuration (PDF 728 KB)
2010-03-17 Workspace Extensions (ZIP 854 KB)
Contact 2010-03-17 Contact Information (DOCX 58 KB)
COBie Producer? Yes
COBie Consumer? No

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
Yes Early Design Blocking and Stacking Floors and Spaces
Yes Design Construction Documents Final design deliverables with Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing objects
Yes Construction Construction Product Selection and Installation Construction deliverables with manufacturer information
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.

Design - Construction Documents Deliverable

Original File (.dgn) ZIP 13.8 MB
Exported File (.ifc) ZIP 6.7 MB
Transformed File (.xml) IFC 6.7 MB
Self Assessment XHTML 10 KB 1
Simple Deviation Count 16 items * 30 seconds 2
Complex Deviation Count 6 items * 120 seconds 3
Deviation adjustment Time 20 minutes

Assessment Note(s):

1 While the spreadsheet xml file tested with few deviations requiring manual adjustment, however, the 3rd party, bimServices tool needed to transform the IFC file to COBie did not function efficiently. The problem appears to be in the way that COBie. Attribute data is processed in bimServices. It is recommended that when transforming IFC files into COBie files users of Bentley software either: (a) work with Bentley to ensure that a streamlined set of FM Handover MVD information is provided or (b) use other commercially available tools to create the COBie export format.

2 The file contained incorrectly formatted data in the Space. UsableHeight column. All values contained an additional decimal point that would need to be manually removed.

3 The produced file did not contain "system" worksheet data. This data would need to be created by hand.

Back to the COBie Challenge

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