In a previous post, (Building Information Modeling),I described Building Modeling, the Building Information Model, and the difference between them. I later (NBIMS during Building Design and Construction) described why the owner is benefits from the use of BIM during building acquisition. Here I will describe how the use of BIM affects maintenance and operations of the new facility.
It is difficult to make effective use of the shelf of binders handed over with each building as an operating manual. Recently services have arisen that offer to put these documents in electronic form. All documents are placed in Acrobat (PDF) format and delivered on a DVD. It is not clear to me that a DVD with several hundred PDF files is much more useful than that old shelf of binders.
NASA attacked this problem by extending NBIMS into maintenance and operations. The Common Operations Building Information Exchange (COBIE) is an initiative to codify the electronic handover of information from NBIMS to operations. COBIE defines formats for transmission of maintenance schedules, spare parts information, and system schematics. COBIE defines a standard for direct import of this information into Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS).
The part of COBIE that I like best is that it defines metadata to link system commissioning reports to the original design in NBIMS. Commissioning is the process whereby operations verifies that they have gotten what the design promised. For now, COBIE lets commissioning reports be linked directly to the CMMS. Even if they are only hand written, they can be scanned and be linked automatically to work orders on that equipment using that metadata. For the first time, maintenance personnel can have direct access to information on how each system performed originally.