COBie -Construction Operations Building Information Exchange

A significant roll for contractors in the construction industry today is to prepare and produce documents such as; equipment lists, product data sheets, warranties, spare part lists, preventive maintenance schedules, and other information. This information is essential to support the operations, maintenance, and the management of the facilities assets by the owner and/or property manager.

This information must be handed over at the project and using standard practice, is expensive, since most of the information has to be recreated from information created earlier and thus usually delivered a long time after the building was handed over. COBie simplifies the work required to capture and record project handover data through certain phases of the project.

The COBie methodology is to enter the data as it is created during design, construction, and commissioning. Designers provide floor, space, equipment and all neccessary layouts. Contractors provide make, model, and serial numbers of installed equipment. Much of the data provided by contractors comes directly from product manufacturers who can also participate in COBie.

COBie is interoperable. It can be viewed in many different formats, and can be viewed by all members of the construction team, no matter which discipline they are involved with. As I have talked about in a previous blog post, IFC are one of the possible formats to save the COBie data. For contractors and managers, spreadsheets and building data can be added as a database file in excel.

“Between 2005 and 2009 COBie has grown from an initial idea to an internationally recognized standard implemented in commercial software across the globe. The COBie project has been led by the Engineer Research and Development Center, Construction Engineering Research Laboratory — a laboratory of the U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers.”

Relevant Codes and Standards

Requirements Analysis Report (PDF 1.1 MB)
COBie 2.26 Ballot (PDF 442 KB)
COBie 2.4 Updates
Draft COBie Contract Specificationl (DOC 36 KB)
Templates and additional resources

COBie Frequently Asked Questions
Examples Models
COBie Means and Methods
COBie YouTube Videos

Class 1. Overview
Class 2. How To
Class 3.01 Instruction Worksheet
Class 3.02 Sheet Layout
Class 3.03 Contact Worksheet
Class 3.05 Facility Worksheet
All of the information and more can be found on the Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG) website The above videos are a continuation from the video posted in this blog, I would recommend watching all of these to get a good understanding of the topic. There is also some content provided by buildingSMART which is useful, and can be found on this link here.

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About Ben Malone

Information Manager for BIM.Technologies in London

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