Thursday, 19 July 2012

COBie In The Cloud

I wrote a blog post last month on cloud based BIM collaboration and now the race for cloud based Facility Management seems to accelerate!

FM:Systems launches FM:BIM, a cloud based FM data management system.
Key Capabilities
  • Create live, bi-directional links between Revit models and the FM:BIM Cloud-based application
  • Connect BIM data from design, construction and renovation to facility management and operations
  • Manage FM:BIM room and space information both in Revit and in a Web browser
  • Synchronise type and instance properties for assets in Revit models with building equipment data in FM:BIM
  • Plan maintenance for building equipment
  • Track asset history and warranty requirements
  • Publish views from Revit models to FM:BIM — enabling anyone on the project team to visualize and manage model information.

Image Courtesy: FM:BIM

This is definitely a step forward in collaborative BIM. Other tools like Onuma, Artra etc are already making big strides in this direction (or dare I say setting direction for the industry) but what caught my attention to FM:BIM is their headline:

"With FM:BIM, anyone on the project can capture building information whether they're BIM gurus or have never touched Revit. Free up your Revit modelers to model buildings - not enter data! With FM:BIM's unique integration an engineer can specify a certain model of equipment, the sub-contractor can enter the specific serial number and date installed and the facility manager can enter maintenance schedules - all from a standard Web browser!"

Really? Do we really want to free up designers from "I" in BIM? Personally, I don't think so. If anything we should have more engagement of designers in "I" of BIM.

Last week, I was at NBS BIM Library Focus group meeting and majority of the time was spent on "I" in BIM. How do we get that "I" in our BIM, collaboratively? Who does this? When? and How?

From UK perspective COBie seems to be one of the most important deliverables as per current government's BIM strategy, for publicly procured projects.

For further reading on COBie:

 It is important to note that the requirement of contractors to provide equipment and valve tag lists is already a requirement in virtually all construction contracts. COBie requires nothing new, simply a change of format in existing contract requirements. The Contractor is free to use COBie as part of their traditional process or take the COBie Challenge to eliminate the end of project "job crawl" in lieu of simply typing in the serial numbers of equipment and tags as they are installed.
Designers and contractors facing a COBie specification for the first time may think that they have a lot to swallow, however, the information required in COBie is no different from the information already required by design and construction contracts.
The objective of COBie is not to change the type of information that is required, just to standardize the format of that information to save you, and the buildings' owners and occupants, having to rekey this information multiple times.

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