CodeBook Room Finish Reporting

CodeBook can schedule the system families for ceilings and floors and apportion them to the appropriate CodeBook room in the project database, this allows for direct and easy comparison that your Revit model matches the original sheduel.

we have attached an overview to show this function, if you have any questions please contact

CodeBook Room Finishes from CodeBook International on Vimeo.





CodeBook Pro Releases New Room Finishes Module

News release


October 1, 2014


CodeBook Pro Releases New Room Finishes Module


 Helping architects, designers and engineers to streamline information workflow and increase productivity

October 1, 2014, London, UK: CodeBook Pro releases Room Finishes Module for ceilings, floors and walls, underlining CodeBook’s commitment to developing functionality users need to improve workflow and increase productivity

CodeBook Pro Room Finishes Module

Ceilings and Floorsfinishesimage

CodeBook can schedule the system families for ceilings and floors and apportion them to the appropriate CodeBook room in the project database.

The level and extent of each system family will be retrieved from Revit and this will be compared to the room extents.

If the system family spans multiple rooms, only the part covering the room will be assigned.

If more than one floor or ceiling system family overlaps with the room, each will be assigned to the room, with the calculated overlap areas.

To schedule the floor and ceiling families, it is not necessary for the Revit Room to exist in the Revit model, because CodeBook uses the room extent stored in the database during the room sync.


At present surface finishes are not being scheduled in their own right, but CodeBook will schedule the system wall families that form the boundary of the Revit room. These will be listed under the Finishes > Structure tab of the Room Editor.

Finishes Reporting

There are reports of ‘Finishes By Room’ and ‘Finishes By Project’ that report to Excel xls files.

The Word document Room Data Sheet reports, also provide the option to include the Design finishes.

Report Settings provides the option to include the Required finishes, Design Finishes or both.


For more information, contact:

Andy Hamer, CEO CodeBook Solutions Inc – tel: +1 858 605 1522 / + 44 (0) 1276 537 282, mob: +44 (0) 7912 869 976, email: andy.hamer@codebookinternational .com

Editor’s notes

Codebook International ( developed its first software application in the early 1990s and has been providing software solutions to design teams, contractors and building owners worldwide ever since. CodeBook International combines software development expertise and the experience of construction industry professionals. The CodeBookPro database application manages information from project inception through to facility management after project completion. Interoperable with industry standard CAD and BIM tools, CodeBookPro links to models, shares data and gives detailed reports and validations throughout the design and construction phases of a project. On completion the building owner takes possession of a detailed room information database linked to the 3D building model.

CodeBook Solutions Inc is a US-based business set up to provide a single source of sales, consultancy and support for North American architecture, engineering and construction and operation (AECO) customers.

Introduction to Building Data Management (BDM) Concept and Workflow

Introduction to Building Data Management (BDM) Concept and Workflow



This document looks to discuss what professionals are using today to manage data then offer an alternative which will revolutionise workflow from inception through construction to operation.

Data                              What are we specifically talking about?

Scale                             How much and what are the volumes?

Capture                         How and when do we collect the data?

Management                Having collected the data what do we do with it?

Validation                      How do verify what’s in the brief is in the drawing and actually physically in the room, space or zone?

Interoperability              How do we ensure the data easily available in the different places users want to access it?


BIM has been a hot topic in the AEC sector now for over 10 years and much has happened over that period and progress has been patchy depending on the type of building and its location.

Many Software solutions have come to market claiming to be the single answer to successful implementing BIM.   Let’s be clear BIM isn’t just software nor is it delivery using software from single software vendor.  It’s a process which requires a number of different interlocking software solutions to manage all the graphical and non-graphical data along with its associated Meta Data.

Governments around the world have become involved in BIM because they see as way to control their massive Capex and Opex budgets. Consequently there have been many Government led BIM initiatives launched such as the GSA in the US, BCA in Singapore and UK BIM Task Group in the UK

Credit has to be given to the work of the UK Government’s BIM Task Group who’s been instrumental in developing and formalising a clear, structured and workable BIM process.  There process has outlined what needs to be achieved and what order but it hasn’t stated what tools need to be used to achieve BIM. Detailed below is a Dutch take on the UK Government’s BIM Strategy which makes the process even more straightforward and clear.



The question is where are you on this road map, how do you move forward to the next stage and part of this is clearly understanding and recognising the importance of defining your data management strategy?


Without structure, rationalization and management anarchy prevails which ensures you’re unable to verify or validate leading to mistakes, poor quality, low productivity and increased cost.  This is true whatever sector you’re working in and building design, construction and operations is no different.

Building Data Management is bringing order to data and information captured from inception to handover and into operations and which should be captured once wherever possible.  This is achieved by centralising the captured data in database where it’s structured and rationalised allowing the data to be verified, validated, analysis and reported on.  Managing building data significantly reduces mistakes and rework, improves and increases quality and improves productivity and profitability whilst reducing costs.


When we are talking about data we need to be very specific about what aspect of data within design, construction and operations is being referred to.  In this case we are talking about the non-graphical data associated with the room, space or zone at its highest level such as room name, description, area, volume etc. and again with equipment such as name, description, size etc.  It needs to be emphasised the meta data goes well beyond those just highlighted is only the almost minimum meta data need to clearly identify the room, space or zone or piece of equipment.



The purpose of this exercise is not to scare you more to ensure you understand the challenges faced when embracing the BIM process and grasp the volume of data need to be captured, managed and reported on – “just to show you there’s an elephant in the room”

We have taken this from typical office type room rather a more complex building such as a hospital.

Room, Zone or Space


We estimate this room, space or zone contains at least 3,000 pieces of Meta data to describe the room and the equipment it contains.  It would probably be at least double this if the MEP equipment was included.

These are just some of the Meta data:2b

  • Room Name
  • Room Number
  • Room Description
  • Room Function
  • Department Name
  • Department Number
  • Floor Number
  • Building Number
  • Required Area
  • Volume
  • Height – Floor to Floor
  • Height – Floor to ceiling
  • Wall Type – North, South, East , West3b
  • Wall Colour – North, South, East , West
  • Floor Covering
  • Ceiling Type
  • Circulation Heat
  • Lighting Lux
  • Occupancy
  • Fire
  • Adjacencies
  • Doors
  • Windows

Equipment (FFE)


Now shifting our attention to the equipment contained in this room, space or zone. It contains a about 20 pieces of equipment including tables, chairs etc.

Using the AIA’s LOD system which LOD schema what is the right level Meta data required? Being honest each is right depending on the whether you are in the design, engineering, construction or operations because data is added incrementally at each stage.4b

We can quite confidentially advise LOD 500 is only the basic data we are seeing being captured and it’s much more.

  • Manufacturer
  • Manufacturer Model Number
  • Equipment Code
  • Fix Height
  • Location
  • Group
  • Classification
  • Services Required
  • Purchase Information
  • Facilities Information
  • O&M Information5b

And this is again only high level

Let’s place what we have discussed into a practical and on-going project we are working on in North America.  It’s an Uber hospital called the CHUM 3.5 SqFt in Montreal with 15,000 rooms and over 500,000 pieces of equipment, 27,000 doors, 100,000 electrical wall sockets spread across a multiple building campus and the data is spread across multiple Revit models for architecture, FFE and MEP.

Equals at least 50 million pieces of data!  Try managing this volume in Excel!

What you need to manage could be less or more depending on the type and scale of project your working and what the owners demands as a requirement to be captured.




This is the typical workflow we find in place where Excel is being used in almost electronic paper way where the information contained in the spreadsheet is given as a Schedule of Accommodation (SoA) along with the assocated Schedule of Equipment (SoE) to the archirect and interior designer to be place into Revit.

We call this the “many to many” workflow where the brief is created in Excel and comprises Room, FFE, Door and MEP data.6b

In this situation every piece of data for the room, equipment, door or MEP is managed in isolation.  Any amendment or additional information such adding a change a wall outlet from a single outlet to a double or adding or removing a chair from a number of rooms would manually changed at room level. This is a massive undetaking across even a small project nevermind a large campus with 15,000 rooms. Manually manipulating the data in this manner is not efficient and is a task which could lead to errors creeping into the project which might not be spotted until a much later stage where the cost implication potentially could be very high.

Examing this workflow methodologly in more detail you can see the worflow like this with the Excel being the reference point for what needs to be placed in the model.

The only practical way to verify and validate what’s in the brief has been placed in the model(s) is by the “old fashioned” way of sitting around a table and completing manually and visual check and marking up the differences.

Now image doing this across multiple models!



Capturing Data


It will also come apparent as we step through the Building Data Management workflow data once captured is knowledge it can be used again and again.  A really significant advantage to those involved in the process from inception to operations, the ability to analysis design and performance from past projects to include accumulated learnings into new projects making them better designed and optimised operations.8b

Data is captured throughout the design, construction and operational phases.  In many cases the same piece of data is recaptured many times over as the parties don’t trust the accuracy of the data captured by the other parties.  And worst data which could be quite easily captured by one party, without much additional cost, for use by another is not.

Not the optimal way to work


This way of working is highly inefficient, leads to costly mistakes and to the loss of large amounts of useful data and knowledge across the program as this diagram below from buildingSMART illustrate.


Now taking pausing for a moment to think about one common and / or standard item used across a whole campus in every room, zone or space?  Now consider the number of these items in one of your projects.  How do you manage it?


CodeBook Building Data Management


Putting CodeBook into context with the development of Building Data Management, we have been developing software to manage this process for over 20 years.  Starting from the digitisation of room data sheets (RDS) to where we are today with intelligent room data management (iRDM) where we are well beyond the production of simple Room Data Sheets (RDS) of the past.

In terms of the UK Government BIM strategy CodeBook provides the data management capabilities from Level 0 to Level 3 today.


CodeBook is about linking data from inception to operations.   From the data contained in the brief i.e. what you want to be designed and built, verifying and validating brief and design whilst capturing the incremental data generated during engineering and construction and then finally verifying and validation the design against what’s in the rooms for post occupancy compliance and handing this over to operators of the building as the starting point for their FM system.


Our Workflow


Our workflow is based on the concept a “few to many” relationship where data is captured, structured, sanitized and rationalised into a centralised project database.11b

Briefing data whether it’s held in Excel, Access, SQL or imported directly from a briefing package for your sector or extracting data from an existing Revit Model all these can be simply and quickly imported.  Where the import process for equipment recognises duplicate items and rationalises them into an equipment library where the individual items are linked to thousands of rooms.

Once the room and equipment data is stored in CodeBook Pro it’s linked to the rooms and equipment in Revit and allowing the data to be verify and validate between brief with the design and then between design and what’s physically in the room.

Data can be bi directionally synchronised from and across all the major CAD / BIM platforms across multiple models.

Captured data stored in the database allows deliverables to be quickly and easily produced such room data sheets (RDS), c-sheets, quantity and costs reports by room, department, building or whole campus and there’s report for everybody with almost 90 standard reports available within CodeBook.

Using an external Building Data Management solution with Revit ensures the data content is kept light, should users store significant amounts of data inside Revit users will experience performance degradation.  Given CodeBook Pro’s bi directionally capabilities data can be imported from CodeBook Pro into Revit to run reports and removed when not required.


Initial Program Workflow


Taking what has been described above many users start the workflow like this illustrated below:



In Program Workflow


The workflow illustrated below where in reality you will with a number of Revit Models CodeBook Pro manages all the information across all models from one single CodeBook Pro project database.   In addition data can be extracted from CodeBook Pro into Excel for those professionals who don’t have or need CodeBook that will provide new and amended data.  This can be easily imported and blended into the existing information.



Future Program Workflow


Having used CodeBook on previous similar projects a new workflow where the brief could come from Excel, an existing CodeBook project and / or a Revit Model (s).






We have worked through the topics listed below:

Data                               We have clearly defined data as Meta Data associated with Non Graphical items

Scale                              We have illustrated the volumes of data likely to be encounter

Capture                          We have shown capturing data once is the most efficient workflow

Management                   We have illustrated the power of managing data from a centralised database is much more efficient and improves quality control

Validation                       We have clearly shown how to automate the validation process ensuring mistakes don’t creep into the design

Interoperability                We have shown data can be easily used by all parties irrespective of what BIM or CAD Solution utilized on the project


CodeBook’s Andy Hamer discussing BIM Data Management

Andy will be discussion BIM Data management at the Construction Industry Council on the 16th of September:

We welcome all Codebook users and none CodeBook users top pop in and say hello.


Is technology available to deliver BIM Level 2 or Level 3 today?

A few weeks ago I attended a presentation where the speaker representing the UK BIM TASK Group suggested technology wasn’t available today to delivery BIM Level 3 because the Task Group hasn’t yet defined its requirements; therefore products with this capability don’t exist.



BIM Organisation Struggles

Many organisations will struggle to implement Level 2 in the short and mid-term and long term Level 3 for a variety of reasons in no particular order:

  • No need to change current processes to manage data
  • Fear of the new, unknown and change
  • Management and workforce inertia
  • Lack of data management knowledge, skills and resources
  • BIM scepticism  – it’s a fad
  • Capturing BIM data is a cost which we aren’t being paid for
  • Failing to see data is a valuable commodity which can generate higher fees
  • Investing only when contractually forced too
  • Concerns over IP ownership and the liabilities of sharing graphical data working in federated models


It’s really NOT because the technology aka software and services don’t exist, they do!


We know data inside out and back to front!

Partner with the team who have beenat the cutting edge ofdelivering centralised data management solutions to aid collaboration and integration for nearly 20 years.  You can have confidence we know what we are talking about designing a solution to meet the practical needs of users today and the future and we’re happy to share our experience.

Forward thinking organisations designing, constructing and operating other building types catching up fast recognizing the benefits of BIM and centralized data management with CodeBook Pro.  CodeBook Pro is in use across the globe on projects large and small and on many different building types from education, healthcare, hospitality, entertainment, transport, justice, defence to name but a few.

CodeBook Pro delivers an intelligent, structured database solution to meet the ever expanding data management to capture, manage, and validate non-graphical building data across all sizes of project from small to large in every type of building and has been used by AEC professionals in architecture, engineering, construction and FM across the globe.


Time Saving Tips & Feature Updates

Time Saving Tips & Feature Update

Today’s blog covers a selection of really useful time saving functions and some new ones we have added

Rebuilding thumbnails

As the library develops it’s a fact that graphics are going to change, CodeBook Pro stores graphics against textual information in the CodeBook library for easy identification. When items are added a graphic is generated that a representative of that item.

To update the thumbnail select the “Output” option and select “legend” from the ribbon.

Next select the “Rebuild Thumbnails” option and then click apply:


CodeBook will now regenerate the graphics.

FF+E Collections

This is a new feature that has been snuck in and not really talked about. I have been involved in quite a few projects where the requirement for the project has changed but the ability to go back and re-load the original lists for comparison has been important, it’s also useful to see what’s changed from revision to revision. CodeBook FF+E collections allows the project required equipment list to be saved and recalled at any point, allowing for multiple revisions and even the importing from one project to another.

Once the equipment list has been loaded using the FF+E collections tool reporting can be used in the normal way for comparison reports or even as a back up procedure.



Feature Updates

We tend not to make a song and dance about our additions, for anyone who does not read the change log we tend to add in quite a few enhancements, speed improvements and new features in the new builds which go live at least once a month.

1)      FF+E collections (as above)

2)      Library thumbnails -These can now be stored in the database using SQL server rather than using a network drive as a storage location

3)      SQL library location – In the past we have specified that the library even using SQL server must path back to a physical drive location. With the current version we have removed this necessity.  As the library thumbnails can now be stored in the database there is no need to set a path and have this shared.

This allows for a truly “cloud” based storage solution for the CodeBook Project Database

4)      Last one – promise! We have tested and integrated with in the Microsoft Azure platform and can now provide a fully managed hosted cloud database solution for project that requires collaboration. This solution is scalable as well as allowing us to create servers in any regional location to insure the best service possible.

The Importance of Validation

You see BIM software vendors using the terms validation and checking interchangeably.  When in fact they are really don’t complete the same function.  There is a great difference in the actual level of accuracy between the two methodologies with validation the only way to ensure your data is truly accurate and really correct.

Validation goes hand In hand with BIM! Or so you may think. Truth is there are many, many sides to the validation notion.

Validation is not simply checking if an item of FF&E is in a room, Revit will indeed create an equipment schedule giving a count of what items are located in which particular space. Validation requires more than this however, what good is validation if you have nothing to validate that information against?

That Chair-CHA004 may well be in the on call room… but is it supposed to be?

  • Was it swapped out for a different unit?
  • Did the client decide that a different item be used for cost savings?
  • At what stage of mark-up’s was this item removed?
  • Who did this?
  • When did they do it?
  • What was it swapped for?

This of course scales up when dealing with multiple FF&E models in Revit

  • How do you produce a validated report across multiple models with all of this information?
  • How deep does the rabbit hole go?

The truth is, currently it’s not possible to do this using “just” Revit!

And that’s where CodeBook Pro comes in finding solutions to problems you never knew you were going to have…yet.

These are not new issues to BIM these are historic issues to the industry. With BIM now – it’s becoming a contractual responsibility to be able to audit and document this information.   In a world of federated working this becomes even more important as knowing who changed what is almost as important as why and when.

CodeBook Pro’s Validation Solution

I’m going to try and avoid getting to “techy” with this but there are a number of ways this can be easily dealt with by CodeBook Pro.

1)      Image databases – often overlooked in CodeBook but at its core, it allows a snapshot of a project to be compared to any other snapshot, any changes are reported on whether it’s an item which has been moved, been omitted or even a wall finish that has been changed. CodeBook Pro provides an audit which can report on this information as well as date of change, and who performed this.



Designed Equipment:



2)      Required Equipment List – There is more to this list than meets the eye, clicking “Show Properties” it loads a sub form in which audit information can be entered such as reason for update, notes, omit option, dates, as well as condition, size and asset data.



3)      Multiple Required Equipment Lists – This is a relatively new feature which you may not be aware of.  CodeBook Pro now has the ability to store multiple required equipment lists. This makes it possible to have a brief equipment list and a multiple stages of mark-up lists and switch and report against the difference at any point in time.




4)      Multiple Model Reporting – Because all data is linked back to a central database even if you have FF&E and Rooms spaced across multiple models, CodeBook Pro can validate, and report all of the above using the reporting tool. This is even true if the FF&E does not exist in the same model as the Room.

5)      MEP – Here we can get a little clever, because CodeBook stores the room boundary in the database and checks against the model rather than simply reading the Revit schedule we can use Navisworks as an intermediary between none Revit platforms. As long as the models are aligned CodeBook Pro can read in the “as is” equipment and perform a comparison against the requirement for that room/space.

If you have any questions or would like clarification or a demo of the above, please contact

Thanks for reading

Sam Oliver, VP Global Operations


Key to BIM’s success is shared data in a collaborative workflow

Key to BIM’s success is shared data in a collaborative workflow

I read the intriguing titled “BIM for the terrified” guide from the NBS today. It gives a potted history of development of BIM, a clear rationale why it’s essential in the design, construction and operations and its key features:

  1. Collaboration across the industry
  2. Engagement through the entire life-cycle of the building
  3. Collation and exchange of information in common format
  4. Shared three-dimensional models
  5. Intelligent, structured databases

It points out “structured data is perhaps the single most important feature of BIM”.  I would argue it’s not “perhaps” it’s essential”.

For BIM to be successful the above list needs to be reordered in order of importance and additional comments are required:

  1. Intelligent structured database containing non-graphical data for with rooms, zones, spaces, equipment, doors, MEP where the Meta data is centralised, sanitized, rationalized and validated allowing the linking all the 3-D models together using a common data set
  2. Clear understanding by all parties about what level of data is to be collected, when it should be collected, by whom, the level of accuracy required
  3. Take collective responsibility to check data if its felt its incorrect check back with the author correcting when necessary
  4. Collect and capture of data only once at the most appropriate time in the design to operation cycle

5.  Collate and exchange of information using existing industry standard common data formats such as Excel, Access and SQL

6.  Ensure data isn’t obscured or redacted

7.  Without the above 6 collaboration across the industry in practice can’t take place

8.  Not everybody working in the BIM process needs access to the shared 3-D models and there is a heavy workload completed outside the 3-D Models

The above highlights the importance of using the right tool to capture, manage and validate all the non-graphical data across all the rooms, zones and spaces, doors, equipment and MEP across all the 3-D Models in one central project database.

CodeBook Pro’s delivers an intelligent, structured, centralised database solution to meet the ever expanding data management to capture, manage and validate building data across all projects sizes from small to large in every building type by professionals in architecture, engineering, construction and owners across the globe.

CodeBook International Promotes Sam Oliver to VP Global Operations

June 25, 2014, London, UK: CodeBook International promoted Sam Oliver to VP Global Operations with immediate effect.

Sam will now manage all support, training, implementation staff, leading CodeBook implementation teams and overseeing all CodeBook desktop client, Access and SQL database,  Hosted and Cloud support activities.

Sam started working for CodeBook in 2007 starting on the support desk, prior to joining CodeBook he gained extensive practical experience using CodeBook on a number of complex building projects which he has put to good effect supporting clients across the globe.

Peter Mann, founder and CTO of CodeBook International, says:

“Sam delivers excellent customer service which regularly receives praise from clients for going the extra mile when they up against a project deadline, he’s an excellent addition to the senior management team”

CodeBook Pro manages information from project inception through to facilities management for all building types and sizes. Working with industry standard CAD and BIM tools, CodeBook links to models, shares data and gives detailed reports and validations throughout the design and construction phases of a project. On completion the building owner takes possession of a detailed room information database linked to the 3D building model.

CodeBook Pro Version 12 launched in Q1’ 14 interfaces with the latest releases of leading design and BIM applications including Revit and AutoCAD. It supports Word, Excel and XML for reporting; Windows XP, 7 and 8 64-bit operating systems, and CodeBook offers Access and SQL Server database options.


– ends –


Revit COBie interoperability – That’s the easy bit!

Revit COBie interoperability – That’s the easy bit!

Over the past few days I have been watching the praise heaped on Autodesk with its recent announcement on its progress improving COBie interoperability and its truly good news.

There’s a really big step for COBie to work being missedtree

COBie is data! – the data needs to be captured, collected and managed during the design and construction phases and to be truly efficient ideally it needs to be stored centrally.

Simple truth is Revit doesn’t do this very well! 

Praise where its due Revit is an amazing 3D graphics solution but not data management.  It’s seriously left wanting in its ability and capability to easily and efficiently manage data which is going to become increasing more apparent as data sets increase in size.

COBie outputted from a centrally managed data makes it really work

Capturing the data centrally enables the data to be rationalised. Rationalisation the data makes it really quick and easy to update, add new items, verify and validate between brief (program), what’s in the drawing and finally what really in the room, zone or space. This is important given COBie needs report what’s been constructed.

Once data is stored centrally in a database users can produce mounds of reports on any aspect of the data held in the database from simple Room Data Sheets (RDS) to ability to analysis the data creating advanced Room Data Information (RDI).

CodeBook Pro can deliver a consolidated COBie report derived from multiple Revit models

CodeBook Pro gives users the ability to manage and manipulate data efficiently working across multiple Revit models and separate models for architecture, FFE, MEP etc on in one building or across a whole a campus with a centralised FFE library to manage all that data and templates to manage data across a few rooms to thousands.  CodeBook Pro delivers COBie at the push of a button!

Using the right tool for the job makes light work!