C+S September 2020 Vol. 6 Issue 9 (web)

The Divergence UniFormat™has two independent versions, which confused many people. Even Graphisoft® which developed a BIM software, had a combination of the two version for a long time. The origin of Uniformat™ came from the American Institute of Architecture (AIA) and the U.S. General Ser- vicesAdministration (GSA) merging the two systems in 1973. The former system (Uniformat 2010) is for architectural practices and the later one (Uniformat II) is for governmental investment and procurement. The advent of UniFormat™ was significant as MasterFormat® can- not serve both above mentioned tasks well. In addition to the original version of UniFormat™, two UniFormat™ standards have been de- veloped: UniFormat II (2015) from ASTM, and UniFormat 2010 from CSI and CSC. Both standards are top-down 4-level structured, mostly identical but with minor differences, particularly naming conventions and hierarchy arrangements. As the developer of MasterFormat®, CSI can incorporate MasterFormat® into UniFormat 2010 and provide an optional Level 5 in this system, called MF code (or their own choice of coding) in order to make the classification include specific items (from an AM/FM perspective: asset or component). Therefore, UniFormat 2010 is adopted nowadays by some facilities to frame their asset data dictionaries. As an example, Table 1 below presents a portion of the asset data dictionary spreadsheet. The light yellow color-coded rows are directly adopted from the UniFormat 2010 structure (D3030.10 & D3030.70), while the pale green cells indicate the company’s revisions to Level 5. The Evolution to Faceted System Evolving from the developments of MasterFormat® and UniFormat™, the OmniClass® Construction Classification System (OCCS) intends to expand the classification scope to cover the full project lifecycle. It includes but is not limited to sorting and retrieving information for use in preparing project information, and cost and specification. Adhering to the framework of ISO 12006-2 and ISO 12006-3, OmniClass® inte- grates various domain-specific systems as its tables, such as the afore- Table 1: Example of UniFormat 2010 being used to frame Asset Data Dictionary

mentioned MasterFormat® for work results table, and UniFormat™ for elements table, as well as EPIC (Electronic Product Information Cooperation) for structuring products. Compared to its predecessor mostly hierarchical systems, OmniClass® is a faceted classification system with 15 tables, each representing a different aspect of construction information. In a future article, we will dissect the issues of this transition from linear hierarchy to facet system, which solves problems but creates another. OmniClass® is still not a popular standard with facility management, which does not ben- efit much from its PIM to AIM transition, mainly due to its complexity to use, read, and maintain. Meanwhile, its level of detail overfits asset management’s data requirement. The Chosen One Despite the prior standardization efforts, a method to smooth the hand- off transition was still absent, and that led to the development of the Construction Operations Building Information Exchange (COBie). COBie is a widely-used performance-based information exchange specification developed to mitigate the tedious, time-consuming handover process during facility asset information delivery. It was initiated in late 2006 under the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) Facility Maintenance and Operation Committee and led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. COBie has been further developed and maintained by the buildingSMART alliance and included as part of the United States National Building Information Model Standard (NBIMS-US) since 2012. COBie intends to digitize documentation from all channels. In other words, COBie provides a standardized format, i.e., IFC, ifcXML, and Excel spreadsheets, for everyone to collect, populate, and exchange data. It enables data handoff among different software and maintains its interoperability and integrity. The conventional spreadsheet format is the most convenient and straightforward. COBie establishes a set of predefined spreadsheet templates that build an imaginary sharable

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