buildingSMART alliance COBie Help Desk

March 2011 COBie Help Desk

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

Executive Summary

The Construction-Operations Building Information Exchange (COBie) format facilitates the delivery of building information during planning, design, construction, and commissioning for delivery to facility owners and operators. Starting with initial demonstrations of COBie in 2008, the first four public demonstrations focused on the demonstration of commercial software that supports COBie. Starting at the end of 2010 and going forward into this conference COBie events demonstrate the value of open building information exchange on actual projects.

This page provides access to presentations delivered during the March 2011 COBie event held in conjunction with the National Facility Maintenance and Technologies (NFM&T) trade show. This event was called a "COBie HelpDesk" since the objective is to provide more concrete examples and direct assistance to audience members working to implement COBie-based processes on their own projects.

COBie Fact or Fiction

With any new innovation there are always misconceptions about the purpose of the effort, its intended targets, effectiveness, etc... The first presentation at the NFM&T show was a streamlined version of a presentation given by Dr. Bill East in Dec 2010 to a committee of the American Institute of Architects entitled "COBie Fact or Fiction." After discussing some of the rumors currently surrounding the COBie effort the presentation concludes as follows:

"COBie is an internationally recognized, flexible data specification used in commercial software. COBie replaces document-centric work flows enabling each stakeholder to do their job as specified and eliminate duplicated effort."

You may view the presentation here.

Delivering Life-Cycle Value

COBie is a critical specification for the delivery of open-standard building information models. The Life-Cycle information exchange project (LCie) describes each of the stages in the project where COBie data is exchanged. In this presentation Dr. Bill East describes the LCie process and shows how this process is being extended to create a framework for controlling building performance. Please, view the presentation here.

Making the Business Case

The Pennsylvania State University in conjunction with the National Institute of Building Sciences and the Engineer Research and Development Center, are working to develop and validate a "COBie Calculator." This tool will enable project team members to predict how implementing each of the LCie exchanges will result savings of direct and indirect costs, through the use of COBie. Mr. Craig Dubler presents three specific examples of the COBie Calculator for two types of information that can be collected either through traditional paper-based processes or COBie-based information-centric processes: Equipment Installation and Construction Inspection.

To view Mr. Dubler's presentation please click here.

The full COBie calculator is expected to be completed and ready for distribution at the December 2011 NIBS Annual Convention.

COBie Case Studies

To demonstrate the value of COBie to existing project teams three groups presented the current use of COBie on their projects using commercially available software.

Building Lifecycle Data Management Enabled by COBie and BIM
Igor Starkov, EcoDomus and Hyde Griffith, Broaddus & Associates

Commissioning and Handover BIM
Adam Omansky, Vela Systems

University Healthcare System and COBie
Dr. Kerry Joels, TMA Systems

COBie Help Desk

In addition to the presentations listed above, the speakers also participated in a "Help Desk" panel discussion where members of the audience were invited to provide questions and COBie files they were working on for review by the panel. This work was facilitated by two additional members of the Engineer Research and Development Center — Ms. Danielle Love and Ms. Mariangelica Carrasquillo-Mangual.

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