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Part 1: COBie Offers Easier Way To Manage Asset Data
By Angela Lewis
May 2013 -
In the facilities industry, quickly finding asset data or the location of an asset can be difficult. As the industry continues to embrace the use of technology and adopt new standards and processes, finding very specific information — such as that pump P-5 is in room 302 and that the warranty on pump P-5 expires on Dec. 7, 2014 — can be made much easier with COBie, the Construction Operations Building Information Exchange. COBie is a standard to support the collection of asset data, such as building names, room numbers and names, and equipment information.
Much of the data used by facility teams is created during design and construction of the facility. Current practice is generally to turn this information over to facility managers as paper or electronic documents. This format makes it difficult for the information to be populated into facility management software, such as CMMS, IWMS, and CAFM. Thus, much of the information that could be available to facility managers is unused, so it's harder to make effective, data-driven decisions. When open information exchange standards are used, it is possible to import data from the design and construction process into facility management software.
At its core, the purpose of COBie is to help decision makers know where assets are located and for the information they need to be available. For example, COBie can help a maintenance manager know that Pump P-5 is in room 302, when the warranty expires, what tools and parts are necessary to maintain the pump, the manufacturer, model number, installation date, and that the pump is part of the chilled water system. COBie also provides a structure to help manage documents associated with assets, such as product data and operations and maintenance manuals. Stated simply, COBie can help facility managers to answer two questions about their assets: What? Where?
More than a dozen facility management software tools have demonstrated they are capable of using the standard. Another 13 software tools within the architecture, engineering and construction industry have demonstrated they are capable of proper use of the standard. As more tools adopt COBie, it is important that facility management, architecture, engineering, and construction teams have processes in place to effectively use the tools available.
BIM: Big Opportunity For Improved Organizational Efficiency
Part 2: COBie-capable Software Provides Standardized Asset Management For Project Teams
Part 3: BIM, COBie Make A Powerful Team
Part 4: Resources For Learning About COBie In Depth