The use of COBie by Alberta Infrastructure (AI) introduces new terms that our industry may not be familiar, such as Asset Information Manager (AIM) and Asset Execution Plan (AEP). Practitioners in our industry will inevitably ask: what are these terms and why are they necessary? Perhaps more importantly, how much more work is involved?

The role of AIM refers to the professional on the design-build team charged with coordinating asset information collection, input and as-built updates to the Province. If the design and build teams are separate entities, we may find that each have a person in the role of AIM acting as the conductor for the digital asset information.

The Asset Execution Plan (AEP) is a process management document that outlines how asset information will be captured, managed and exchanged. It ensures that all bases are covered with regards to what strategy will be used to meet the COBie deliverable.

View the Alberta Infrastructure – Digital Project Delivery Asset Information Management Design Builder Requirements here.

Need a quick primer on COBie and AI? Read this blog post.

What does this mean on a project?
The underlying aim of COBie is to collect design and construction information for assets that need to be serviced, in a standardized and computer readable format. Doing this allows us to sort, view, slice and dice, and exchange the information in many useful ways.

This digital information begins life with the design team. The designers take on the responsibility of producing the model elements that will eventually result in a row inside the COBie table. Contractors then augment this base information with installed asset information such as warranty certificates and manufacturer information.

What does this look like?

Remembering that, in its simplest form, COBie is a spreadsheet that contains digital information, I’d invite you to review this COBie sample spreadsheet of a Medical Clinic.

To understand how powerful the standardized organization of COBie can be we have created a visualization of the data. As we look at the data in this format, we are able to easily explore another COBie spreadsheet and find deficiencies and perform data analysis without much additional effort.

Try it yourself by clicking on the image below.

Click on the image to interact with the visualization – component summaries, floor room assets and more

To produce a “compliant” COBie deliverable is inevitably complicated because there are multiple sources of information at different times within a project.

How will you know that you didn’t miss an object that was not modeled, or another that did not contain a correct categorization or is not within a modeled room?

This is where the Asset Information Manager comes to the fore. The AIM is tasked with:

  • Overseeing the generation and review of asset information
  • Managing and orchestrating project efforts to prevent tedious tasks, backtracking, unnecessary rework, manual entry and error prone processes.
  • A heavy component of QA/QC. As the old computer programming acronym of GIGO states: garbage in garbage out.
  • Responsibility for drafting, updating and enforcing the Asset Execution Plan (AEP) document.

Quite an undertaking!

Recognizing that BIM teams are made up of contributors of many abilities the AIM role provides a degree of quality control to ensure that information is correctly and efficiently generated for a specific project.

The adoption of COBie as a deliverable by Alberta Infrastructure (AI) represents a new direction for building owners: one where the old way of working is no longer acceptable. Building owners are tired of receiving piles of paper months after handover. We are fully committed to ensuring that organizations we work with are ready to respond to the Alberta Infrastructure requirements.

How Summit BIM can help
We can provide support by:

  • Training and helping to set up your model workflows to support the COBie requirement
  • Assuming the required Asset Information Management (AIM) role to manage and QA/QC COBie generation process
  • Providing access to our cloud interface to easily capture, review and manage the COBie data and document requirements during Construction

Contact us at 604 568 8325 to discuss how we can help you meet the Alberta Infrastructure COBie requirements.

Future blog posts will explore in more detail some of the nuances of COBie: what Tracked Assets are, where they come from, modeling strategy, and what does delivery look from the perspective of a Designer and a Contractor.