COINS (Construction Objects and the INtegration of Processes and Systems) is a flexible standard for the exchange of BIM information. It provides a data exchange format by means of container for BIM related data/information. COINS supports the exchange of digital information between different IT platforms from parties involved in construction and building. The standard is an answer to the need of practice in which information deliveries often consists of combinations of various data structures. It enables data drop as one coherent information package with multiple data formats, e.g. comprising functions, requirements, objects, GIS-data, 2D drawings, 3D models, IFC models, and object type libraries.
COINS is complementary to standards from buildingSMART such as IFC, IFD Library and IDM. It has a small core model which is the basis for neutral data exchange between different software platforms.
The power of this standard comes up when BIM is integrated in the work process. COINS supports building information management on the highest level.
The latest version of COINS is available since April 7 2016. In addition to the documentation, also supporting tools are available in the form of an API and COINS Navigator.
Its main characteristics are summarized:
- A small core model - Applicable for many purposes.
- Based on OWL (Ontology Web Language - W3C standard).
- Extendibility - The core model can be can be extended with specialized models (reference frameworks) for various disciplines. These sub-models may address various areas of interest (company-wide, building sector, national) and therefore can be applied as semi-standards in itself.
- Dynamic semantics - Semantics are typically recorded in libraries forming a dynamic means to add semantics to instance models.
- Integrating document oriented information with object oriented information - The boundary between document oriented information and object oriented information areas can be moved over time. Offering parties an evolutionary path to develop in BIM maturity level.
- Integrating adjacent standards - COINS delegates specific modelling areas to existing standards as GML (GIS data) and IFC (3D building data). More general every relevant standard (open or not) may be used if parties involved agree mutually on using it in data exchanges.
- Library model - The COINS 2.0 library model is fully OWL-class based and in line with standard OWL modeling features.
- Version management - COINS offers features to record the history of the BIM.
Download here the COINS 2.0 documentation.
For more information, also have a look on the COINS wiki pages.