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FM aquarium COBie2 description

The FM HandOver Aquarium includes the refinement of COBie as COBie2 (with the major goal of internationalize and consolidate COBie as the receiving handover format) as defined by the buildingSMART alliance North America, the US Chapter of buildingSMART. It also involves the development and distribution of COBie2 tools, including bimServices to transform the FM Handover data sets between IFC and COBie2 xml spreadsheet. Background information on the overall COBie effort may be found on the U.S. National Institute of Building Sciences, Whole Building Design Guide COBie page.


COBie2 Examples

Example files to introduce the new COBie2 xml spreadsheet format:

More examples include the COBie2 import file of the FM Handover aquarium reference files.


Checking COBie2 files

Rules are developed to verify that COBie2 xml spreadsheets have correct data sets (either by automatic transformation from IFC files, following the FM Handover view definition, or by entering the data manually). The rules used for checking compliance to COBie2 are available here. Users can use the spreadsheet (.xml) as a reference.


COBie2 transformation tools

The ifc (STEP), ifcXML (XML) and COBie2 spreadsheet (XML) formats for the IFC Basic IFC HandOver View do capture the same information content and can be transformed forth and back across the different formats.

Different tools can be used to execute the transformations, including:

  • IFC toolboxes for the ifc (STEP) files, see overview
  • General XML/XSLT engines for the ifcXML (XML) files, examples include Saxon (open source) or Altova (commercial)
  • Dedicated tools, like the AEC3 bimServices (see below)

AEC3 bimServices, developed for the COBie FM Handover project, includes the transforms tool and the configurations to map IFC data to COBie2 and map COBie2 to IFC. The bimServices accept for the IFC-to-COBie transformation both, .ifc and .ifcXML files, and generates also for the COBie-to-IFC transformation .ifc and .ifcXML files.

Therefore IFC Express, ifcXML, and COBie2 XML spreadsheet formats are interchangeable from the point of view of the COBie2 perspective. All express the same handover data with the same logic.

The AEC3 bimService tool was created by AEC3 at the request of the Engineer Research and Development Center ERDC of the US Army Corp of Engineers USACE who has authorized the release of bimServices and associated COBie2 transformations at no cost.

The AEC3 bimServices package can be downloaded from the AEC3 website. No warranty or support is offered with these tools, but comments to the AEC3 developer are welcomed.

For example to map COBie2 to IFC the command is (depending on your installation)
"C:\program files\aec3\bimservices\transform1.exe" _fromCOBIE2.ifcxml.xsl MyCobieSpreadsheet.xml
For example to map IFC to COBie2 the command is (depending on your installation)
"C:\program files\aec3\bimservices\transform1.exe" _asCOBIE2.xml.xsl MyFacilityModel.ifc


A COBie2 training course.

COBie is designed to help designers, builders, commissioning agents, facility managers, facility owners, and federal agency representatives understand how COBie2 can reduce the cost of doing business today. To achieve this goal, the rational for the COBie2 project and the contents of COBie2 deliverables are described in detail.

There are no prerequisites for this course. Those new to COBie2 should take the course in order. Once you have taken the course, or are familiar with COBie2, you can jump directly to the specific section of interest. This training does not describe or require specific software. While commercial software systems can and do support COBie2, the specific requirements

  1. Introduction
  2. Information Delivery Specifications
  3. COBie2 Specification
  4. How to use COBie2
  5. Organization of COBie2 spreadsheet
  6. Contact Worksheet
  7. Facility Worksheet
  8. Floor Worksheet
  9. Space Worksheet
  10. Zone Worksheet
  11. Type Worksheet
  12. Component Worksheet
  13. System
  14. Spare
  15. Resource Worksheet
  16. Job Worksheet
  17. Document
  18. Coordinate