Why COBie is so easy with BIMXtra

Are your COBie data drops giving you a headache? If you are struggling to get the right data for each of the handovers then have you considered how a data centric approach from the start of the project may make your life much easier at the end of it?

Whether or not COBie is the right format for handing over asset information is a long and complex argument, but it’s here for the foreseeable future so we need to make it work for us. More importantly it is only a schema, a layout of data that can be recognised by other tools, so if COBie doesn’t work for you because of its limitations or the complexity of producing the information, the reality is another schema might have similar challenges, so it’s probably best to address these upfront and then whichever you require can be produced with ease.

The data included in a COBie file ranges from general information about the project and the suppliers involved, to the specifics of the asset, its details (design through to as-installed/commissioned) and its performance. On a large project, that’s a huge amount of information that continuously grows throughout the project lifecycle. Indeed, we find that over 70% of the core data at handover has arrived in the project space post the design phase, i.e. this is information that needs to be added as the project develops and more detail is available.  

The Client will specify what they need in the Asset Information Requirement but the level of detail they want will depend on the Client (although to reach the Holy Grail of digital transformation this should probably include all of the information required for ongoing asset management on every object so that it can all be accessed in the future).

So, throughout a project, care needs to be given to the collection of information, what stage in the process that information needs to be collected, by whom and how many times? What is it going to be used for? Then, how are you going to record it – via the model, into Excel, or directly into a database? Who owns and manages that information to ensure it is correct and fit for purpose? Are there any security considerations surrounding specific information?

It’s a minefield when you think about it – especially on a large project.

So, at the outset you need to think about the most effective way of gathering the information you need to on your project...and we think we’ve come up with a pretty effective way to help you here at Clearbox.

At the start of the project, we enable you to manage all of the data out of your model into a database, so that you can update and edit it as you go along straight into that database. While this happens without touching the model files, the data remains connected to the objects so you get a purpose built data management environment connected to your models and this also allows you to connect other information such as documents and forms from the field.

Then, when it comes to doing your COBie drop at the end of your project, all you need to do is to select the components you want to include (either based on your component schedules or other coding that you’ve defined and specified), click a button and your export will generate – depending on the size of your project this can take anywhere between five minutes to two and a half hours (we’ve even had projects so large that they’ve had too many rows of information for Excel to cope with, and so they’ve had to split their data drops up into smaller chunks!). Our system is preconfigured to drop a COBie UK format, based on the Uniclass 2015 (release January 2018) classification.

So, while the above is a very simplified overview of what we do, we think we make it a lot less painful for you to deliver information at the end of your project, which allows you to repeat the process time and time again.