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VisualCOBie for facilities management: A BIM integrated, visual search and information management platform for COBie extension

Mehmet Yalcinkaya (Department of Civil Engineering, Aalto-yliopisto Insinooritieteiden korkeakoulu, Aalto, Finland)
Vishal Singh (Department of Civil Engineering, Aalto-yliopisto Insinooritieteiden korkeakoulu, Aalto, Finland)

Facilities

ISSN: 0263-2772

Publication date: 7 May 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the technical features, underlying concepts and implementation details of a novel Building Information Modeling (BIM)-integrated, graph-based platform developed to support BIM for facilities management through a usability driven visual representation of the construction operations building information exchange (COBie) spreadsheet data.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on the iterative steps of design thinking and agile software development methodology. The conceptual development of the VisualCOBie platform is based on Gestalt’s principles of visual perception to facilitate usability and comprehension of the COBie data.

Findings

The paper demonstrates that Gestalt’s principles of visual perception provide a suitable conceptual as well as implementable basis for improving the usability and comprehension of COBie spreadsheets. The implemented BIM-integrated, graph-based VisualCOBie platform supports visual navigation and dynamic search, reducing the cognitive load of large spreadsheets that are common in facilities management software.

Research limitations/implications

The usability, visual search and dependencies-based search of VisualCOBie can potentially transform how we implement and use facilities and information management systems in construction, where large spreadsheets are frequently used in conjunction with BIM and other tools. VisualCOBie also provides usability-based step towards BIM for facilities management.

Originality/value

The VisualCOBie approach provides a novel user interface and information management platform. This paper may also foster a potential paradigm shift in our approach to the representation and use of information exchange standards such as COBie, which are required to facilitate the research and practice on BIM for facilities management.

Keywords

Citation

Yalcinkaya, M. and Singh, V. (2019), "VisualCOBie for facilities management: A BIM integrated, visual search and information management platform for COBie extension", Facilities, Vol. 37 No. 7/8, pp. 502-524. https://doi.org/10.1108/F-01-2018-0011

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited