buildingSMART alliance BIM Information Exchange Demonstration

BIM Information Exchange Demonstration

JULY 23-25, 2008

COBIE Implementation Testing: Nemetschek
VectorWorks via IFC Coordination View

by Nicholas Nisbet MA (Cantab) DipArch (UNL) - AEC3 and William East, PE, PhD - 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 23-25 July 2008 Building Information Modeling Information Exchange Demonstration.

Evaluation of directly submitted IFC files into the specified COBIE spreadsheet format requires translation from IFCExpress to ifcXML and transformation of ifcXML to MS Excel 2003 XML Spreadsheet. This translation can be automatically accomplished using the ifcCOBIE program. ifcCOBIE is available free of charge through the IFC-BIM forum noted in the Reference section of this page. The translation and transformation routines in ifcCOBIE are freely distributed as part of the ifcCOBIE program.

The XML spreadsheet produced by the ifcCOBE creates default worksheet data for the required Warranty, Spare, and Installation worksheets that are required to be completed during facility construction.

Nemetschek COBIE File via IFC 2x3 Coordination View

Software Name VectorWorks
Software Version Not provided by vendor during the meeting.
Optional configuration(s) Not provided by vendor during the meeting although the information was explicitly requested prior to the meeting. Please contact the vendor directly for this information.
IFC file submitted
COBIE XLS spreadsheet
Checker file results 1
Qualitative Evaluation
   05-System Worksheet
  • None
   06-Register Worksheet
  • Same number of register and component entries. = 68 components / 68 register types
   07-Component Worksheet
  • Some doors and windows have no space
  • Some doors are allocated to three spaces
   Other sheets provided
  • 08-Attribute
  • 09-Coordinate
  • 14-Installation
  • 16-Warranty
  • 17-Spare
Additional Comments The sample file submitted included architecture spaces, and equipment, and was shown as commercially available.

1 The web-based XML spreadsheet checker tested required designer-side worksheets only. Optional worksheets contained in the file such as detailed building geometry and default worksheet data created by the ifcCOBIE program for use by construction contractors, may have been removed to ensure the checker operates without Java memory errors.

Implementation Support

Some local software manufacturer sales representatives may not be familiar with the performance-based, open-standard information exchange formats tested during the July 2008 meeting. As a result, these sales representatives may not be able to assist your use of this format. It is suggested that users contact vendor technical support and request "higher tier" technical support services.

There are also several third-party support contractors who have been involved in the development of these formats that could be of assistance. For information about these contractors, please post a request for assistance on the buildingSMART alliance list service. You will need to join the Alliance to use this service.

Another resource that might be helpful is a peer-to-peer forum supporting the Model Support Group of the International Alliance for Interoperability's ( The purpose of this forum is to help users find and share answers to their own questions regarding IFC-based information exchanges. This forum was used during the vendor communications leading to the July 2008 demonstration; as a result vendor technical staff may be reviewing forum postings to support their users. You must register, and be approved, for this forum however use of the forum is free of charge, at this time.


Back to the BIM Information Exchange Demonstration

Innovative Solutions for the Built Environment

Established by the United States Congress, the Institute’s mission is to unite the entire building community in advancing building science and technology.

Address 1090 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20005-4950

© 2019 National Institute of Building Sciences. All rights reserved.

Contact Us:
Phone: (202) 289-7800
Fax: (202) 289-1092

Follow us on