Guide establishes framework for implementing COBie into building projects

Natl Inst of Building ScienceThe National Institute of Building Sciences buildingSMART alliance™ (bSa) is calling for public comment on a draft guide that establishes the framework for implementing the Construction Operations Building information exchange (COBie) standard.

As with any contract deliverable, information deliverables require specifications to set the expectations of quality that need to be met. All bSa information exchange standards are specifically designed to be contractible standards for use with building information models (BIMs). One of the first bSa information exchange standards to be included in the National BIM Standard-United States™ (NBIMS-US™), COBie identifies the minimum requirements for what digital data should be collected during design and construction so that the information is available later to manage assets throughout the life of the building.

Providing owners with a minimum national standard for capturing, updating and exchanging asset information digitally is the first step to ensuring such information is delivered by the project team. The COBie Guide sets the framework for project owners and teams to develop a practical COBie implementation strategy. Once a given owner customizes the document to meet the needs of the project, that owner’s version of the Guide becomes the reference point for the project team’s design and construction specifications. For those owners who have not previously required COBie, the basic COBie standard can be used without customization.

The basic COBie standard requires all scheduled or tagged equipment to be identified by type and location. It requires the project team to capture the make, model and serial numbers, tag, installation date, warranty and scheduled maintenance requirements (which reflects current practice in most construction contracts).

The COBie Guide results from years of developing and pilot testing the standard. Beginning July 2, the Guide will be available for a three-month review by interested buildingSMART alliance members and then updated based on consensus feedback. Once finalized, The COBie Guidewill be submitted as a “best practice” ballot to NBIMS Version 3.

The comment period closes Tuesday, October 2. Download the COBie Guide and provide comments.

About the National Institute of Building Sciences
The National Institute of Building Sciences, authorized by public law 93-383 in 1974, is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that brings together representatives of government, the professions, industry, labor and consumer interests to identify and resolve building process and facility performance problems. The Institute serves as an authoritative source of advice for both the private and public sectors with respect to the use of building science and technology.

Project-management training needs support

When business is slow it’s often wise to focus resources on putting your company in a position to take advantage of new business when the market recovers. Two areas that should receive the lion’s share of resources, but rarely do, are promotion/marketing and training. Training is often a frustration because, when business is slow the bean counters don’t want to spend the money and when business is moving quickly there’s never any time for training. The result is that people end up getting trial-by-fire training, which involves mistakes and unnecessary expense.
   Project management is one area in which training is needed  and, according to a new report from ZweigWhite, Wayland, MA, doesn’t get much support, at least from A/E firms. According to the company’s 2010 Project Management Survey, only 51% of project managers report that they received any job-specific training before being promoted to the position of project manager. Moreover, less than a third of firms reported that they always provide project-management training to new project managers.
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   For more information about the report, click here.—Gary L. Parr