Merve Ozdemir discusses implementing COBie on mega-projects

As an expert in large-scale projects and a specialist in BIM at Tekfen Engineering, Merve Ozdemir is also the only COBie Certified Professional™ in Turkey. Having passed the COBie Certified Professional™ Examination, we invited Merve to join our series of interviews with COBie experts, discussing the importance of COBie in large and global projects.

What’s your experience with COBie?

Merve Ozdemir

Merve Ozdemir

I originally heard about COBie a long time ago, but I didn’t know that much about it until around three years ago. In 2018 my clients began to request COBie deliverables in their briefs, so I began to research it. I wanted to know more about what it was, and how I could find reliable and accurate information and guidance on how to best implement it.

But at the time, there wasn’t that much information around! So my research led me to COBie inventor, Bill East. Bill was more than happy to answer my questions and point me in the right direction, advising me to begin studying with the COBie Academy™ at the University of Florida. I then spent the following 18 months completing the needed COBie Technical Manager courses. After that, I felt ready to sit for the COBie Certified Professional™ Exam.

How important is it to study COBie?

In my opinion, COBie will soon be a necessity in reaching the required information in the digital built environment. Before we began with BIM, the handover of project information was a paper-based affair, which was time-consuming and prone to human error. I’ve been following the transition to digital closely, as a BIM specialist, and I believe that COBie is necessary for this process to be as accurate and useful as possible.

Using COBie, we can track and maintain assets easily and systematically throughout the life cycle of a project - particularly replaceable and maintainable assets, making facility management simpler and more efficient.

What was your experience like taking the exam?

I had the background from the COBie Academy, so I perhaps found it easier than most! After some additional personal preparation, I passed the exam the first time - but it was still tough, largely due to the time limit. There are selective questions that can be tricky, but if you have the knowledge of COBie specification and best-practice applications, then you have the knowledge you need.

How do you use COBie in large scale mega-projects?

I’m currently working on one of the World Cup 2022 stadiums in Qatar - and for all of the World Cup stadia projects, COBie is an absolute must. Our team is producing COBie internally for the project, using Autodesk Revit. I am in the production team coordinating the use of COBie and passing on the information to the Facility Management (FM) team. FM is a key team in this process. They want to track all of the maintainable and replaceable assets, for all eight of the world cup stadiums. This will allow them to see who is responsible for each asset, what company supplies it, what maintenance is needed and when, and so on. To see all of this information in one place, digitally, they need to be using COBie. Implementing it from the beginning of the project will streamline facilities management moving forward.

Would you recommend taking the COBie exam?

I recommend the exam for most of the AEC community! Anyone who’s interested in BIM, FM, Asset Information Model, IFC - all of them should be learning COBie in depth and taking the exam. It’ll broaden their perspective. Being a specialist in COBie is really valuable to your work, it gives you the confidence in your own knowledge as well as showing your clients that you have the capability.

Merve wishes to continue focussing on COBie in her current role in Turkey, preparing mega-projects. She plans on proposing COBie on all of her projects moving forward, until it becomes a standard requirement.

To find out more about the buildingSMART COBie Certified Professional™ examination and understand if it’s right for you, visit the Examination Structure page on our website.