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COBie for Facility Management

Facility Management had significant improvements and huge changes during the last hundred years thankful to BIM comunity

Published: 16/02/2018

Country: United Kingdom
Evolution, information technology are essential components in the labour market and all sectors are involved in the goal of achieving the best results by spending little time. Facility Management is not excluded from that, in fact, it has had significant improvements and huge changes during the period from ninety years to today and like others jobs the computers helped to get it.

Computerized Maintenance Management System and Computer-Aided Facility Management paved the way at a new Facility Management approach with which the quick access and check of maintainable items was no longer impossible. Despite this, the clear separation between Construction Phase and Management Phase was still evident, creating a waste of time for all stakeholders.

Obviously, the lost time combined with Construction Industry means losing a large amount of money and competitiveness with other companies of the same sector. The problem concerned the handover moment, when the building is finished, and all drawings and files passed to owner or who takes cares of maintenance. Because, one of the first activities of the facility manager is to import all data or information into its software and it is not difficult to understand that, especially for large buildings or large infrastructures, this task becomes too long with enormous possibilities of making mistakes.

All this happened before the development of Building Information Modelling and therefore, before the use of COBie (Construction Operation of Building information exchange).

The improvements with the use of this open format for the creation of maintainable items database are significantly, but not enough to claim that all is resolved.

The waste of time on the construction drawings in order to take information and insert them into the facility management software is replaced by the compilation of the COBie. With the use of BIM Authoring Software each engineering company can export all information of maintainable items just filling the parameters created previously, not by chance we talk about of Parametric Model. Different stakeholders benefit from the use of COBie besides the owner, the “maintenance worker” by reducing cost for repairs and providing faster response times to emergency work orders, the “engineering company” by giving additional service and consequently new way to take profit, the “occupants” by increasing satisfaction from quicker resolutions to unscheduled work orders.

The only disadvantage of using the COBie consist in missing exportation of IFC/MVD file with the current BIM Authoring Software on the market, in effect the current workflow is the exportation in .xlsx file for converting in .xml during next step. The road of interoperability is still long but not impossible. The Countries and Standards are moving into a data-rich era, where COBie/IFC will be increasingly important and effective for FM and all Construction Industry.


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