Construction Operations Building Information Exchange (COBie) is an international standard for building data exchange. It’s most commonly used for product data handover at the end of a construction project, from the building team to the operations team.
COBie allows us to structure and align data, so different groups can communicate on a project while getting all the information they need for their individual requirements. Overall, COBie has been very beneficial. However, today, many organizations are misusing this standard and relying on spreadsheets for its application.
Many people in the construction industry believe COBie is an Excel spreadsheet. Herein lies the issue. Since many people are familiar with Excel, they’re comfortable manually inputting data, opening up room for tremendous errors when human effort is involved.
While the spreadsheet provides the structure and format of the data it is not meant to be utilized for data capture. Some common mistakes include incorrectly filtering a sheet, breaking links and references, and updating a spreadsheet without considering the impact on the related data model. So, why is the industry still hooked on COBie as a data collection tool when it was designed for data exchange?
COBie is being misused as a data capture tool
The construction industry is very attached to their Excel spreadsheets, but aren’t taking the time to consider if this is the most efficient route of FM data collection and verification. The biggest challenge is ensuring the spreadsheet is accurate and up-to-date at all times. When there are multiple versions floating around with different stakeholders, this gets very messy, very fast. Copying and pasting data from spreadsheet to spreadsheet causes even more data integrity issues.
Time to ditch the spreadsheet
The COBie spreadsheet’s biggest problem comes from human input. When we minimize human input and opt for a digital application, errors are reduced, time spent is minimized and handover is streamlined. With digital applications used to assemble and verify data COBie’s use as a data exchange is quite valuable.
The issue is owners specifying COBie data as a delivery requirement for FM Handover the owner and the contractors not having a reasonable method to capture the data in a tool other than the models or a spreadsheet. Therefore, the spreadsheet is used to capture the data and that is by no means the intended use of COBie.
Interested in streamlining your data collection and verification processes? KTrack is the BIM to FM Management tool built specifically to assemble and verify FM data during construction. Schedule a demo.