BIMcert driving energy efficiency in construction

It has become well documented that the building sector is the largest consumer of energy in Europe, accounting for nearly 40% of the total consumption of Europe’s energy and CO² emissions. With global warming increasing the pressure to reduce energy use in buildings, and the global construction market forecast to grow by over 70% by 2025, the European Commission (EC) has defined clear targets to reduce energy consumption and co2 emissions.

In a bid to tackle the inefficiencies and emissions associated with the construction sector, BIMcert, a collaboration of seven European academic and training institutions, is leading the development of a new energy-focused BIM Skills training programme for the entire construction supply chain.

Avril Behan, Head of BIMM and Digital Construction at Ireland’s Technological University Dublin, who are leading on Concepts and Methodologies in the Horizon 2020-funded BIMcert project, commented:
“BIM, or Building Information Modelling, is increasingly considered as a best practice model to address both energy and operational inefficiencies in construction. BIM can transform the construction sector, as it enables and supports the transition to more energy and cost-efficient practices. Building Information Modelling is essentially a digital representation of the building process, facilitating the exchange of information in a digital format. This modelling has been proven to contribute significantly to energy reduction through, improved brief setting, more integrated and optimised design solutions, better specification and site delivery, and the more efficient operation of the building in use. Early projects utilising BIM have reported reductions in construction defects, material wastage and incorrect material or component installation.”

The Belfast-led BIMcert project received €1.25 million from the EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation fund as part of a Europe-wide training agenda to develop BIM skills, and drive to make Near-Zero Energy Buildings a reality.

Barry McAuley from Technological University Dublin’s School of Multidisciplinary Technologies, who are leading on the Concepts and Methodologies Work Package, added:
“BIMcert plans to develop a framework of bite-sized learning modules, which will enable individuals to upskill in BIM from any starting point, and will incorporate both online and person-led training. Our vision is to provide the entire construction supply chain, including ‘blue-collar’
workers, with access to BIM training, whilst promoting a
new generation in BIM for energy efficiency.”

Technological University Dublin- Leading on concepts and methodologies for BIMcert

tu dublin logoTechnological University Dublin, previously Dublin Institute of Technology, are responsible for Work Package 4 of the EU Horizon 2020 Energy BIMCert project. This involves the development of methods and procedures to enable the training of diversely skilled personnel in the broad range of concepts required to maximise their learning capacity within the BIMcert training program.

The first step in delivering this objective involved a critical review of the most common and advantageous BIM delivery mechanisms that are been used to roll out BIM programmes throughout the world. This investigation provided an understanding of the eclectic types of BIM courses on offer around the globe, both class room based and online. The results of this report were discussed at the 2nd BIMCert partners meeting held in Zagreb in June. The next stage involved the cross referencing of the results from this exercise with the findings from the BIMCert Survey. The general consensus was that the most sought after teaching practice should involve a scaffolded learning environment which would enable a more supervised and progressive learning structure for the student until they feel comfortable to advance to the next level. This should be delivered primarily through a series of instructor led live lectures, to be complimented through Problem Based Leaning, Design For Disassembly and self-guided learning which will create the active learning environment sought by the survey participants. The results from the reports and survey helped to stimulate a number of further suggestions from the BIMCert Team which has ultimately resulted in the production of a rolling matrix of concepts and methodologies that can be used to deliver the final curriculum. Moving forward, TU Dublin will work with the BIMCert consortium to help set the curriculum that will best achieve the needs of the industry.

Future Analytics Consulting Present on BIMcert at National Construction Summit

FAC Managing Director, Professor William Hynes, presented on BIMcert at the National Construction Summit on May 2nd. The event had a total of 3,000 attendees and provided an engaged, knowledgeable platform to discuss FAC’s newest, major EU project. FAC partner with Belfast Met, DIT and other leading European agencies on this €1.25M Horizon 2020 grant to develop a BIMcert training model and toolkit. Building Information Modelling has become an essential requirement in the built environment, particularly given its rich potential to facilitate and maintain a greener construction process. All relevant information is created and managed through the lifecycle of a construction project with digital and virtual reality technology used to provide information on every aspect of the project – from design to installation.

Europe’s aim is renewable energy will represent 20% of energy production by 2020; a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 20% and the reduction of CO2 emissions by 80-90% by 2050 (Zeiler et al, 2012). This calls for a more coordinated approach in order to enhance collaboration and other skills in the industry, which will reduce waste, inefficiencies across the supply chain, and improve overall management. BIM incorporates better, more suitable and more sustainable design choices and decision making as required by the EE14 Construction Skills Call.

Governments globally have identified Building Information Modelling (BIM) as one of the core multidisciplinary, collaborative processes that enables creation and control of the built environment for better conservation of materials, resulting in lower embedded and ongoing energy consumption (delivery of at least 30% reduction in carbon, while becoming an economic booster by achieving considerable savings in cost, time, and exports). 

The BIMcert project will develop a blended, fully supported suite of Building Information Modelling tools, which will allow geographically dispersed construction project teams utilise technology to enhance information exchange and collaboration. The project will have a particular focus on testing the BIM approaches to green and passive building design to contribute to the improvement of energy efficiency.


BIMcert Partners hosted a workshop on the day at the City West Hotel where barriers to BIM in the Irish context were discussed. The groups also discussed the greatest potential for BIM in Ireland and Europe in general with energy efficiency, cost savings, and an all-round better build were cited as significant future impacts.

New Belfast Met BIM qualification developed with Creagh Concrete

Andrew at Creagh_andrews phone 2Belfast Met have developed the first of their BIM qualifications in partnership with leading Northern Ireland construction company Creagh Concrete.
Belfast Met are now delivering a trial Level 4 EQF equivalent qualification with Creagh Concrete. Creagh are one of the industry partners in the BIMcert project advising on industry needs and expectations. They are also providing technical support, and are testing the training that the project is developing. Creagh sought to develop a BIM academy to enable the upskilling of their staff as they transition to a BIM workflow within the company. For Creagh Concrete a company established in 1976 and one of the most innovative producers of concrete products, BIM is a must have in 2018.

Lorna Mc Mullan, Director, Creagh Concrete acknowledged the importance of the BIM Academy saying: “In 2015 Creagh Concrete recognised that BIM modelling would represent an improved technology and process change which would add real value to our business. Creagh made a commitment to implement BIM within our company and focus on upskilling our existing staff.”

The UK government Construction Strategy 2016-2020 reinforces BIM as an integral focus of the strategy with a aim of boosting productivity and collaboration through the use of technology, (digital construction).BIM enables the digital construction of a project in the form of a construction data enriched 3D model based process. This enables improved collaboration between all parties. The learner gets an understanding in the practice of 3D modelling for building information modelling. This includes architectural, structural, mechanical and electrical work. Lorna Mc Mullan added: “Having developed a new qualification for CAD Construction Detailing with the Construction and the Built Environment curriculum area in 2015, Creagh have established a strong working partnership with Belfast Metropolitan College. The CAD Academy launched in 2016 and has been a very positive step to reducing the current technical skills gap within our industry.

“Based on the reputation and performance of this academy, Creagh sought to develop a similar BIM academy to enable the upskilling of their existing staff as
they transition to a BIM workflow within the company. Creagh Concrete have established a strong partnership with Belfast Met and offer our staff the opportunity to gain a qualification in BIM. This will further assist the integration of BIM workflows with the company’s supply and installation projects across the UK and Ireland.”

Creagh Concrete a company 42 years in existence have embraced the fact that BIM is a key emerging technology within the construction industry, with rapidly expanding usage across the sector.

IECE Macedonia’s paper on Energy Efficiency accepted by International Symposium

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IECE are delighted to announce that their paper on the ‘Application of BIM for improvement of energy efficiency throughout complete life cycle of buildings’ has been accepted by the committee of the International Symposium ‘Energetics 2018, and will be presented during the conference in October. IECE is a scientific, research and educational institute in Skopje, Macedonia, and they will lead on Work Package 5 of the BIMcert project, which involves the development of training models and tools.

There is a growing interest within the construction industry in Macedonia for the adoption of BIMcert. IECE has been invited to participate in the kick off meeting of the project TRAINEE, which is led by the Engineering Institution of Macedonia. The main theme of the Trainee project is reducing gaps between designed and achieved performances of buildings, and Dijana Likar of IECE is pleased that the project leader has expressed interest in collaboration between the two projects.

Macedonian Chamber of Certified Architects and Engineers, and the Macedonian Chamber of Economy, have also expressed interest in learning about the BIMcert program and wish to work together in joint communication activities.