PLQ2.4 – Ask for all the Components!

Hello BIMfans,
After a short diversion last week to consider the importance of Soft Landings; this week it is time to finish populating my Architectural model to answer our currently Plain Language Question, PLQ2.4.

Now as you would expect,  even without any equipment or loose furniture my Architectural model has the most component (individual objects) out of my three models.   However,  it is important to understand that just because it is in my model and I want to capture information about it doesn’t mean that I plan to manage it, so much of it will not be appearing on my COBie sheets.

As stated by NIBSCOBie is :

COBie is an information exchange specification for the life-cycle capture and delivery of information needed by facility managers. COBie can be viewed in design, construction, and maintenance software as well as in simple spreadsheets. This versatility allows COBie to be used all projects regardless of size and technological sophistication.

What’s important here is that the information is for ‘Facility Management’, this means that I need to consider which of these components that I (as the facility manager) need to manage my home.

Currently between my three graphical models I have hundreds of components (including the kitchen sink!).  These graphical models are intended to hold *all* of my components, but my COBie sheet is meant to exchange those components I maintain.  Note: Depending on when you have visited my house you may believe that it doesn’t get maintained at all!

For a component to be considered ‘maintained’ is quite subjective, and to be honest can often depend on the component itself.  Luckily as a starter for 10 the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) in the US have provided a schedule of components typically to be excluded from COBie within their Information Exchange standard under table 102. When compared against my Architectural model a number of components are on the exclusion list such as: Roofs (3), Slabs (5), Stairs (1), and Walls (59).  That’s over two thirds of my components that I don’t need to include as they are not maintained.

Not having to consider over two thirds of my Architectural Model makes management of this data much easier.

To be honest that is a pretty good fit.  If I replaced my carpet in the living room, I haven’t maintained the floor, I’ve maintained a finish I’ve placed onto of the floor; the floor itself hasn’t been modified.  The same can be said for wallpapering my walls or painting my ceilings.  Which means that now only have to consider a third of my architectural model when it comes to answering my next PLQ.  This makes the process of creating and managing this information leaner meaning a much more manageable data set being exchanged.

Margaret Hamilton
While Margaret Hamilton was adept at writing code,  she didn’t limit the scope of her COBie export and ended up with a lot of unneeded data!

This being said, these elements still need to be modelled and filled with the correct data as while they might not appear in my COBie, they will be needed when any works are undertaken at the house.  So for now I have made sure that even if they appear within the NIBS exclusion table I have included them within my information model, but in a future post I will need to ensure any information exchanges exclude the right content.

Please remember that they are like *VERY* work in progress, but if you are interested to see my populated models without correct fully formatted attribute, they can be found here:

7001-BBH-XX-ZZ-M3-A-0001 (Architectural Model)
7001-BBH-XX-ZZ-M3-E-0001 (Electrical Model)
7001-BBH-XX-ZZ-M3-M-0001 (Mechanical Model)

Out of interest, I federating my models together I am very pleased with how well it represents the physical assets, and how the geometry has been kept to a minimum.  At the time of writing this post, my Architectural model is just over 12 megabytes (Note: less than 8 megabytes when exported into IFC!); the equivalent of two or three MP3 songs; yet has enough information to represent all of the fixed components within my house.

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Fantastic, this means that I have now fully populated my architectural, electrical and mechanical models; therefore Plain Language Question PLQ2.4 is now complete!

Model Generation:
2.1 What existing information is available?
2.2 Is there sufficient information to produce a BEP?
2.3 What is the layout of the house?
2.4 What assets are contained within?
2.5 What asset information can be linked to the graphical model?

Now that I have my components, it’s time make sure the right data is included within each of them so let’s see what data is currently being exchanged and work out where the effort is required…

Note:  If you have any comments regarding my information model or how I have resolved these issues, then please let me know either on Twitter, or by commenting below.

3 thoughts on “PLQ2.4 – Ask for all the Components!

  1. For future you might note that BS 1192:4 references the US National BIM Standard COBie MVD that can be found as part of the standard or here: in ifcDocs format. The buildingSMART international FM Handover MVD is an MVD that the US Army paid bSi consultants to produce in 2010. That MVD is now 6 years, 2 major updates old and is actually not the MVD currently implemented in commercial software. bSi has been asked to take it down on multiple occasions but has not done so.


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