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Monday, July 9, 2012

bSa - HVAC information exchange (HVACie)

I'm sure you're all familiar with HCACie, but if you're not, you'd better join the bSa or else. 

A group of United States and international experts have completed the technical documentation for the open information exchange of Heating, Ventilating and Cooling systems (HVAC). This report has now been released by the Engineer Research and Development Center for public review.  Accompanying the technical documentation are instructions for creating the HVACie files using commercial design software.  Example files in native and open-standard format are provided.

HVACie extends the existing Industry Foundation Class Coordination View including equipment and system information streamlining construction shop drawing and fabrication.  That portion of HVACie content pertaining to managed assets is 100% compatible with the NBIS-US COBie standard.


Bill East
(217) 373-6710


HVACie is an information exchange specification for the life-cycle capture and delivery of information needed to describe Heating, Cooling, Ventillating (and Refrigeration) systems. At this intial stage of the project we are working on defining the requirements for design deliverables at the Construction Documents Statge of Design (100% Design) and at the Construction, Ready For Fabrication stage. 

From a technical point of view HVACie is an extention of the IFC Coordination Model View Definition.  Extentions are required to ensure that product properties, building systems, and connections between pipes, ducts, and equipment are properly represented, 


The COBie project was initiated in 2010 by the Engineer Research and Development Center, Construction Engineering Research Laboratory -- a laboratory of the U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers.   The team of international designers and experts leading the development of HVACie are listed below:

  • Robert J. Hitchcock, Hitchcock Consulting (Team Leader )
  • Nicholas Nisbet, AEC3 UK LtdK
  • Christopher Wilkins and Matthew Tanis, Hallam ICS
  • Reijo Hänninen and Tuomas Laine Olof, Granlund


The Information Delivery Manual and Model View Definition technical report and example files have now been published and are provided below.  Along with the published test files a Challenge Event is cheduled in January 2013 at the buildingSMART alliance National Conference to reivew software systems' implementation of the MVD requirements.  

Two Software vendors are currently considering demonstration implementations of HVACie: Revit at the MEP design phase (producing HVACie) and East Coast CADD/CAM at the construciton fabrication phase (consuming HVACie from design and producing HVACie at fabrication-ready stage).


1. Robert J. Hitchcock, Christopher Wilkins, Matthew Tanis, Reijo Hänninen, Tuomas Laine, and Nicholas Nisbet (2012) "Ontology for Life-Cycle Modeling of Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems: Model View Definition," ERDC/CERL CR-12-2, March 2012 

2. Robert J. Hitchcock, Christopher Wilkins, Matthew Tanis, Reijo Hänninen, Tuomas Laine, and Nicholas Nisbet (2012) "Ontology for Life-Cycle Modeling of Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems:Experimental Applications Using Revit," ERDC/CERL CR-12-4, March 2012 

3. Example files were developed for the standard Clinic model using Revit 2011.  The creation of these files is described in the "Applications Using Revit" report listed above. Note that the Revit 2013 files were created by importing the 2011 files and then exporting the files out of 2013, these files were not regourously tested.  



Creative Commons License
The HVAC information exchange by buildingSMART alliance is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


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