Evaluating the Usability Aspects of Construction Operation Building Information Exchange (COBie) Standard

Mehmet Yalcinkaya, Vishal Singh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review


Constructions Operations Building information exchange (COBie) is a rapidly evolving standard to capture the digital information of facilities. As the building information modeling (BIM) for facilities management (FM) research is gaining greater emphasis, COBie standard is becoming increasingly central to the discussion. COBie can be delivered in different formats. For the ease of use by the end users, spreadsheet format of COBie deliverable is the most applied one since spreadsheets provide some end-user implementation techniques and have been in use for decades. Although the end-users are familiar with spreadsheet actions, dumping all the facility data to a repository with number of workbooks and associated fields has some unintended effects and poses new challenges in handling and using the COBie data. Therefore, this research evaluates the functional and usability aspects of the COBie spreadsheet deliverable from the cognitive perspectives for end-users, and identifies the key points that can increase the functionality of COBie data structure. The research applies the initial phases of design thinking principles to identify the issues with COBie spreadsheet in general by reviewing the literature about spreadsheet design, human-spreadsheet interaction, spreadsheet errors, and information visualization. The identified usability issues and functionalities provide basic steps towards improving the current spreadsheet representation of COBie. The findings will contribute to future development of COBie, driven from the perspective of user interaction and usability.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the CIB World Building Congress 2016
Subtitle of host publicationUnderstanding Impacts and Functioning of Different Solutions
EditorsSuvi Nenonen, Juha-Matti Junnonen
Place of PublicationTampere
PublisherTampere University of Technology
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-15-3744-8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventCIB World Building Congress - Tampere Hall, Tampere, Finland
Duration: 30 May 20163 Jun 2016

Publication series

NameTampere University of Technology. Department of Civil Engineering. Construction Management and Economics. Report.
PublisherTUT – Tampere University of Technology
ISSN (Electronic)1797-8904


ConferenceCIB World Building Congress
Abbreviated titleWBC
Internet address


  • COBie
  • Facilities Management
  • BIM
  • Usability


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  • Drumbeat-FM

    Singh, V., Kahaei, A., Yalcinkaya, M., Törmä, S. & Mirzaeifar, S.


    Project: Business Finland: Other research funding

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