For example, this data can be required for identification, calculations, or operation.
Data normally supplied by manufacturers is usually available but in as many formats as there are manufacturers. This can go from values in an Excel spreadsheet to a full PDF catalogue, they provide all the information but without enough structure to be usable by an application..
Standardisation is essential so that all players in BIM, anywhere in the world, can have access to structured and homogeneous data. For years, many movements have tried to meet this requirement and the work of the international organisation BuildingSmart with IFC is probably the most accomplished. However, it is not complete, and in all countries, some associations, manufacturers syndicates, public or standardisation bodies are still working on the standardisation of the properties of objects.
The arrival of BIM has accelerated the need for structured exchanges and solutions evolved from BIM processes such as COBie have arisen in various countries.
Construction Operations Building Information Exchange (COBie)
COBie is a data format for the publication of a subset of building model information focused on delivering building information not geometric modeling. It is closely associated withbuilding information modeling (BIM) approaches to design, construction and management of built assets, and was devised by Bill East of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, who authored a pilot standard in June 2007.
COBie helps capture and record important project data at the point of origin, including equipment lists, product data sheets, warranties, spare parts lists, and preventive maintenance schedules. This information is essential to support operations, maintenance and asset management once the built asset is in service (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COBie.
Beyond these organisations, software editors were also a driving force and a vector of structure, often they realised their own manufacturer database or asked manufacturers for data formatted according to their specifications.
BIM objects must have information that meet the many requirements and is available in several languages. Data comes from various non-compatible sources.This very complex set gives the feeling to many players and manufacturers to be at a loss in teh face of these challenges.