What is COBie BIM services and how can it streamline collaboration among AEC professionals?

What is COBie BIM services and how can it streamline collaboration among AEC professionals?


COBie BIM Services is a modern data file format that is used to streamline the process of a building to the operators and stakeholders. It was originated in the USA by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in 2005. It helps in fetching and recording the relevant data regarding the project.

COBie in 2007 was developed by William East of the Army Corps of Engineers in the USA, who authored a pilot standard to improve the process of handling information to the building stakeholders and manage them efficiently. In 2008, COBie BIM got improvised to adhere to the standards created for the data and its classification.

UK government announced government construction strategy in 2011 to require Level 2 BIM on its projects by 2016. These are the keystones for the development of the projects to ensure it is validated and controlled for checking the data in terms of technical compliance with cost and information.

COBie BIM is usually a format of international standards for the exchange of essential data about facility assets. The format includes data about product sheets, equipment lists, warranties, and maintenance schedules. COBie BIM is becoming the need of the construction process phase and can be used well to support the operations, maintenance and asset management requirements once the building is in service. COBie is the subset of the IFC format and is explained using various worksheets or relational databases. It is also known for delivering asset data than the information of the 3D BIM Model.

COBie is part of the project data requirements that is enlisted in the BIM strategy in 2011, UK. In January 2019, UK National Annex made its format structure mandatory where non-geometric information exchange came in open format. It makes the COBie project ideal no matter of size, scale and complexity. COBie project allows you to evaluate the simple design, construction and maintenance manual in simple spreadsheets for the building in place.

Projects are getting COBie deliverables mandatory to make the process easier for AEC firms, Contractors and Owners to fulfill the COBie lifecycle information management requirement that includes setting up and structuring of COBie database. Establish the models for COBie compliance, produce the data drops at stages of the project throughout the design, construction and operation phases.

COBie is used for getting information in a structured and consistent form about an asset that can be beneficial for post-occupancy facility management and decision-making. Due to the specification of the COBie format, all information used at the time of completion of a project in a single format for sharing. It can be termed as a performance-based specification that consists of information about equipment and spaces. It makes easier for the teams to structure the data and provide operation and maintenance manual to the clients.

In a spreadsheet, all the entries are interconnected with another set of entries that adds value and makes information easier to access. It makes the exchange of such entries and the information streamline and productive for the stakeholders. This way, the facility managers can structure the data and use them during the maintenance of the project lifecycle.

How much is COBie important for Building Designers, Contractors and Facility Managers?

COBie improved the quality of data delivered during the handover process as it gets organized in the digital format which makes it easier for the owners and the other stakeholders to review the handover documents. COBie specifications benefit the designers, contractors and facility managers at large.


COBie project data which included the complied set of design schedules can be match with the designer’s drawings to better understanding. Designers can export COBie data related to their drawings from the design software. Any modern design software used can support COBie specifications to meet up with the requirements.


Contractors with the use of COBie can collate construction submission data effectively. It can gather information and organize the data that makes it easier to eliminate the rework of copying and re-organizing the data over and over again. Contractors by using COBie get ease in automating the task of operations and maintenance in the projects. It helps the contractors to reduce efforts and time required by the surveys on material and equipment.

Facility Managers

Facility Managers with the help of COBie can access documentation related to equipment and spaces. If the COBie spreadsheet is managed properly it can help the facility managers to take care of building operations and maintenance throughout the project lifecycle.

Advantages of COBie Modeling

·        COBie is good for the decision-makers to know from where the assets are managed and where the information could be captured.

·        COBie Documentation helps to manage structured data and documents related to assets that include product specification data and O/M manuals.

·        COBie eases the sharing of data among facility management tools such as BIM Modeling Servicestools, CMMS and CAFM softwares. By using such softwares can eliminate the need to collect the data again and reduces the number of inconsistencies between the data and the facility managers.

·        In data collection by using COBie, we need not obtain vendor spreadsheets to support data collection and population; instead, the data collected in COBie format deliverables is recognized industry standard.

·        The data that includes BOQs, RFIs and documents from the planning team being produced and exchanged in the construction project cycle must get organized and managed in standard form.


COBie Modeling boosts the collaboration which is the extension of BIM Technology. It can transform the paper-based data in the digital format that improves collaboration and smoothen the information exchange to all the world.

There is a need that is expressed by many construction organizations to collect structured data and management standards since the construction of projects is on a roll.

Written By:
Divya Dave
Divya Dave is a Senior Manager with Tesla Outsourcing Services. An engineer and management graduate, she has been working with the outsourcing industry now for more than a decade. With a passion for writing, she writes on topics that provide an insight into CAD, BIM, and 3D Visualization services for the Architectural, Structural, and MEP disciplines. Her focus is to enable architects and engineering professionals in the AEC industry to adopt the right technology so as to increase their efficiency and profitability.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.