COBie – Construction Operations Building information exchange – was developed in the US to collect information during design and construction, ready for handing over to the building operator. It is based on the buildingSMART IFC data model and derives from the FM handover model view definition.
The COBie standard can be used in three formats: IFC SPFF, ifcXML and SpreadsheetML. The spreadsheet option makes it particularly attractive to less experienced users along the supply chain. COBie is an internationally recognised data specification. It can be implemented in commercial software and then used in construction projects. It enables each stakeholder to do their job as specified in the contract, but information is captured as it is created, not by a retrospective trawl through the files, and duplication of effort is avoided. The need for high-quality integrated information at the point of handover has long been recognised as a priority, and COBie was developed to meetthis need. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been a prime mover in development and implementation, while over in the UK the government has approved the use of COBie in its fiveyear programme to secure full asset information in public projects.