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Thursday, March 28, 2013

bSa information exchanges - COBie approved software vendors

To my special friend at Autodesk who made reference to my Archicad post today, of course Autodesk also passed the COBie challenge is a listed software provider.

To provide a little more clarity, Autodesk is working on a newer version of the COBie data extractor and I was hoping that it would have been released already as it makes creating the COBie spreadsheet much easier.  Also, I was wondering how Revit 2014 would deal with COBie data.

So, to my friend who sent the email, I hope this is a better blog post and I'll try to never post about Graphisoft again.  PS.  I also presented a COBie workflow at the conference in January and I'm hoping to get my process approved as an alternative method for updating COBie field data.  If anyone's interested in that, ACAI Technologies is here to help you.

bSa information exchanges: Means and Methods | The National Institute of Building Sciences

buildingSMART alliance information exchanges: Means and Methods

by E. William East, PhD, PE - Engineer Research and Development Center, U.S Army, Corps of Engineers


This page answers the following questions:
Can my commercial software deliver bSa information exchanges?
What free software directly supports bSa information exchanges?
How do alternative file formats support the associated IFC Model Views?
Who can help me implement bSa standards?


Delivering and using buildingSMART alliance information exchange standards may be accomplished with existing software used for planning, design, construction, and facility management and operations activities. The first listed below have worked directly with the buildingSMART alliance, through a public process to test and demonstrate their capabilities.
The links below provide you with the most recent assessment of each products performance. Configuration guides and user manuals are also provided, based on the software at the time of the testing. You may also compare the results of testing these tools by opening each tool in a new tab and viewing their results side-by-side in separate browser windows.

Software for Planning

Planning software can now share information using a new bSa format developed through theBuilding Programming information exchange (BPie) project. An overview of this project from the 2013 BPie Demo may be seen here. The software below has demonstrated their ability to produce BPie information. Their most recent presentations and example files are provided here for your review.
CompanyProduct (click for demo)Event (click for submitted COBie file)
DRofusdRofus 1.5 (PPT)2013 BPie Demo
OnumaOnuma System (PDF)2013 BPie Demo

Software for Design

Software used by designers and consultants to produce construction contract documents is listed in this category. COBie Challenge events starting in 2013 checked software to determine (1) if the format of the COBie file is correct, and (2) if the content of the COBie file matches the content of the standard drawings. To see the specific results and criteria for the Challenge events, click through for a given product.
CompanyProduct (click for demo)Event (click for Results)
AutoDeskRevit 20132013 COBie Coordinated Design Challenge
Bentley SystemsAECOsim Building Designer (beta) PDF2013 COBie Coordinated Design Challenge
DDSDDS-CADD (PPT)2009 BIM Information Exchange Demo
GraphiSoftArchiCAD 17 (beta) (PDF)2013 COBie Architectural Design Challenge
NametscheckVectorworks2008 BIM Information Exchange Demo

Software for Construction

Software used by builders to produce as-built asset information in COBie format is provided below. To see the specific results and criteria for the Challenge events, click through for a given product.
CompanyProduct (click for demo)Event (click for Results)
4Projects4BIM (PPT)2013 COBie Construction Challenge
AsitecBIM (PDF)2013 COBie Construction Challenge
CxAlloyCxAlloy TQ (PDF)2013 COBie Construction Challenge
EcoDomusEcoDomus (PDF)2013 COBie Construction Challenge
LATISTALATISTA Field (PDF)2010 COBie Challenge
OnumaOnuma System (PDF)2013 COBie Construction Challenge
VELAVELA Software (PDF)2010 COBie Challenge
Construction HVAC fabrication software can now produce shop drawings in a new bSa format developed through the Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning information exchange (HVACie) project. The software below has demonstrated their ability to produce HVACie information and the associated COBie ready-for-fabrication HVAC information.
CompanyProduct (click for demo)Event (click for Results)
East Coast CADD/CAMFabrication for AutoCAD MEP 5.1 (PPT)2013 HVACie at Fabrication Demo

Software for Facility Management

Software supporting the operations and maintenance of facilities and management of facility assets is the ultimate home for COBie data starting at beneficial occupancy. The following firms have demonstrated, over a series of public events, their ability to consume all or part of the COBie data set.
CompanyProduct (click for demo)Event (click for Results)
ARCHIBUSARCHIBUS 19.3 (PDF)2011 COBie FM Challenge
AssetWORKSAiM 4.0 (PDF)2010 COBie FM Challenge
EagleCMMSProteus MMX (PPT)2012 COBie FM Challenge
FaMEFaME (PDF)2009 BIM Information Exchange Demo
FM: SystemsFM: Interact 8.0.2 (PPT)2012 COBie FM Challenge
GranlundRYHTI (PPT)2009 BIM Information Exchange Demo
IBMMAXIMO EAM (PDF)2011 COBie FM Challenge
MicroMainMicroMain (PDF)2009 COBie FM Challenge
Project BluePrintCode Book & Room Data (PDF)2008 BIM Information Exchange Demo
SMBMorada (PPT)2009 BIM Information Exchange Demo
TMA SystemsWeb TMA 4.3.5 (PPT)2011 COBie FM Challenge
VizeliaFacility Online (PPT)2009 BIM Information Exchange Demo


In addition to paid software and services there are free products that support buildingSMART alliance information exchange projects. Open source tools provide access to both the application and full source code. Free tools provided by commercial providers typically do not provide source code access.
ProductTypeDescriptionbSa information exchange Scope
bimServer.orgOpen SourceAn IFC-based model server for life-cycle BIM applicationAny
COBie Tool KitOpen SourceModel transformation, checking, and reporting a custom build of the bimserver.org product used in COBie Challenge events.COBie
bimServicesCommercialModel transformation, checking, and reporting.COBie
Google DocsCommercialWeb-based spreadsheet for updating COBie dataCOBie
EcoDomus PMCommercialHelps validate design information and deliver construction handover informationCOBie
Onuma SystemCommercialCOBie file checkerCOBie


The COBie Responsibility Matrix provides several tools to assist your team to define how COBie is produced. This information will be of great value to BIM managers, company system integrators, and software providers.
  1. Team Responsibility. May be used by project teams to assign responsibility for different elements of the COBie data set to different stakeholders.
  2. Deliverable Requirements. Provides a very detailed, life-cycle view, of what COBie information should be delivered when.
  3. Spreadsheet Schema. Provides the schema for the spreadsheet and IFC 2x3 versions of the same COBie data allowing the mapping between these formats.
  4. Type Assets. Identifies those IFC "type" entities that, for the purpose of COBie are not considered to be "managed assets". This allows the filtering of IFC files when software companies fail to provide their own filters.
  5. Component Assets. Identifies those IFC "component" entities that, for the purpose of COBie are not considered to be "managed assets". This allows the filtering of IFC files when software companies fail to provide their own filters.
  6. Property Sets. Identifies IFC property sets that should be provided as part of the COBie data set. This allows filtering of IFC files when software companies fail to provide their own filters.


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