CITB NI will schedule a series of business improvement
events, on varying topics, between September 2019 and August 2020 at a number
of locations across Northern Ireland for the construction industry. Speakers will deliver two sessions of no more
than three hours on BIM for small businesses. The winning tenderer will deliver a talk which
will be recorded by CITB NI onto video. CITB NI will edit the video and
incorporate a set of associated slides provided by the supplier.
Number of Events
Length of Event
Video Taster Course
BIM for small businesses – Get ready! Topics to include:BIM for Small
CompaniesCPD Policy on BIM
(procurement)What training is
available for BIM? Aimed at companies with 1-50 employees covering three areas.
Barry Neilson, Chief Executive of CITB NI, welcomed the initiative
saying: “CITB NI, as part of the BIMcert team and working with the NI BIM Regions
group are trying to raise awareness and dispel fears in the adoption of BIM for
all levels and disciplines within the construction sector.
“Using BIM and other Digital Construction tools will be the norm in the
future. It will help drive better building performance, productivity and
quality improving energy efficiency.”
The BIMcert partners have produced a new paper called, ‘Delivering
Energy savings for the supply chain through Building Information Modelling as a
result of the Horizon 2020 Energy BIMcert project’.
exploitation and utilisation of energy resources have caused severe ecological
and environmental problems, including the production of emissions that contribute to global warming
(Enshassi et al., 2018). The
construction industry consumes up to 50% of mineral resources excavated from
nature, generates about 33% of CO2 present in the atmosphere and is responsible
for 40% of total global energy through both construction and operational
emissions (Ajayi et al., 2016 and Zhou and Azar, 2018). This has resulted in the AEC Sector (Architecture, Engineering and
Construction) out of necessity being forced to investigate new methods of
practice and how best to apply resource-efficient techniques from the
extraction of the raw materials to the demolition and disposal of its
The realisation that practices now face globalization,
sustainability, and environmental concern, as well as ever-changing legislation
requirements and new skills needed for the information age has resulted in
technologies such as Building Information Modelling (BIM) becoming a key
enabler in navigating these concerns (Jaradet, 2014). BIM can be defined as a modelling
technology and associated set of processes to produce, communicate, and analyze
building models (Sacks et al., 2018).
BIM provides an opportunity for the Architectural, Engineering, Construction,
and Operation (AECO) industry stakeholders to evaluate possible solutions and
identify potential problems of the final product before the start of actual
construction (Badrinath et al., 2016).
However, changing from traditional practices to BIM requires a
shift not only in the technology used but also in the way design and
construction teams work together (Shelbourn et al., 2017). To achieve the
associated benefits that are accustomed to BIM a number of existing challenges
to ICT (Information, Communication, Technology) utilisation in construction
site management must be overcome which include a lack of knowledge, skills and
competence, depth of understanding of decision makers and low ICT literacy
(Ozumba and Shakantu, 2017). This BIM
movement has also resulted in a clear, direct, and automatic impact upon
engineering education systems (Jäväjä and Salin, 2014).
To assist in overcoming these barriers, so as to reach EU
energy-related targets a number of funding initiatives have been put in place
through Horizon 2020 with a focus on BIM, as a result of it having the
potential to rapidly produce energy outputs that enable design teams to analyse
and compare the most cost-effective, energy-efficient options. Such an
initiative is the Energy BIMcert project, which aims to educate all areas of
the supply chain in the use of BIM, to achieve better energy efficiency during
the design, construction and ongoing maintenance of an asset.
In this article I look at the latest techniques for digitising construction and how new technology is taking offsite construction to the next level, the application of which, has led to McAvoy’s 4th award; BIM Contractor of the Year at the BIM Awards 2019, in recognition of our pioneering work in applying digital technology to offsite construction.
The McAvoy Group is one of the UK’s
leading offsite construction specialists. An independent, family-owned business
and established principal contractor, McAvoy has been providing bespoke offsite
solutions and interim modular buildings for nearly 50 years, spanning several
sectors including education, healthcare, commercial and residential.
Innovation and technology are key
drivers behind all of McAvoy’s operations and BIM is an increasingly critical
element in its design and programme planning. McAvoy’s were the first offsite
contractor to achieve BIM Level 2 certification through the BRE Group and harnessing
BIM enables McAvoy to achieve optimum energy efficiency, through intelligent
virtual design team collaboration, enhanced manufacturing and site installation
methodologies, earlier engagement with stakeholders and better management of
McAvoy’s were recently awarded BIM
Contractor of the Year at the BIM Awards 2019. According to the judges, “The
BIM Awards judging panel selected The McAvoy Group’s award submission based on
its thorough interpretation of its achievements in BIM delivery. There is
clearly an excellent strategic-level interest in the use of BIM in its offsite
operations and we saw that McAvoy is doing things differently from other
contractors, which gave it the edge to winning this award. We also felt there
was a future direction and forward-thinking nature to the submission. A
Eugene Lynch, CEO of The McAvoy Group,
said, “We have invested significantly in our IT infrastructure. Our digital
strategy and commitment to innovation are fundamental to achieving our
ambitious plans for growth. The benefits to our customers and supply chain
partners of the new technologies are proven – from enhanced collaboration in
the design process to improving communications and co-ordination at project
“To receive such an important industry
award is just fantastic and further well-deserved recognition of the talents
and commitment of our brilliant innovation, design, production and project
teams who have embraced a host of new technologies.”
McAvoy is now applying the digital
transformation to its manufacturing operations and is looking at how immersive
technology and robotics can be used to further enhance training and production
efficiency, exploring how factory operatives could receive instructions via
wearable devices or tablets in 3D.
As a business, McAvoy sees tremendous
opportunities for digitising offsite construction, particularly to help us
address the industry challenges of meeting the ambitious targets set out in the
Government’s Construction 2025 Strategy.
As advances in digital technology
continue to improve, we can only see even greater benefits to our customers,
users and stakeholders in the facilities we design and construct offsite.
Lorraine Mc Morrow,
BIM and Digital Construction Manager, Mc
BIMcert aims to develop a series of
training interventions using digital technology and improved blended techniques
to support, enhance and maximise the impact of energy efficient skills at all operational
levels within the construction industry.
Central to this is the creation of an accredited curriculum and
framework of qualifications developed through the work and output from each
work package, within the context of a National and European wide framework. Establishing an accredited curriculum
framework, with associated qualifications will provide the learners and
stakeholders with an assurance of the qualification and standards of training.
However, for the curriculum to have
an impact it must be informed by industry requirements and responsive to this need. From the outset of BIMcert this relationship
with industry has been core to the work, as identified via the innovative BIMcert
Strategy Compass, with CITB NI a core partner and local businesses such as O’Hare
& McGovern and Creagh Concrete Products part of the Industry Advisory
Panel. Guidance from these partners along
with feedback from our industry workshops, across the partner regions, has
identified a gap in the market in terms of the offering for upskilling with BIM
qualifications, with most currently offered at Masters level. This is daunting for those businesses and workers
who want to learn about BIM with the promise of some accreditation but do not wish,
or have time to study at this level. One
workshop participant recommended ‘Democratising’ BIM, so that it’s not a top
down skill but accessible to all involved in the project, from clients to
designers, contractors to supply chain.
As such there is a responsibility to teach others about BIM, ensuring
the project is not only BIM compliant but work environments from architect’s
offices to construction sites are BIM inclusive. It was also proposed that a lack of
understanding and knowledge of BIM could also be leading to a mistrust of BIM
and the resulting slow uptake across certain sectors of the industry. This resistance in adopting BIM processes and
tools is impeding the transition to more energy efficient construction and
reduction in CO emissions within the built environment.
Following a review of existing qualifications BIMcert proceeded with the development and creation of a UK Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) Level 3 qualification (European Qualification Framework Level 4). The rational for a Level 3 (4) qualification was to provide an entry point that is accessible to all construction industry workers. BIMcert working in conjunction with Open College Network Northern Ireland (OCN NI) has developed a range of Digital Construction with Building Information Modelling (BIM) qualifications. These offer a range of competencies and skills, starting with an introduction to BIM Principles and associated digital skills. Authoring skills, including models and families, are also addressed along with information management. Recognising the three pillars of BIM and the need to understand the built aspect of both the model and project, a specific energy related qualification is under development.
As part of the next phase of trials BIMcert intent to offer the Digital Construction with Building Information Modelling (BIM) Award via the BIMcert platform and website. For more details and to sign up please visit http://www.energybimcert.eu.
delegation of representatives of the Nigerian Federation of Construction
Industry (FOCI) visited Belfast Metropolitan College (BMC) as part of a
collaboration with CITB NI. Nigeria is
the most populous country in Africa and has a significant construction sector
that is emerging from recession. FOCI is
a body that brings together Construction Employers, Material Suppliers and
Manufacturers, meaning that the entire supply side is encompassed in their
federation. The issues facing the
industry are similar to those in construction sectors all over the world:
Attracting construction workers
Creating training programmes that meet employers needs
Developing better quality and productivity
part of the visit to Northern Ireland the group visited BMC to hear about the
work being carried out in the H2020 funded BIMCert project which is a
collaboration between 5 partners from, Croatia, Ireland, Macedonia, Portugal
and of course Northern Ireland. The
group were interested in the drivers for movement to BIM and Digital
Construction in general and the skills requirements identified within the
industry research carried out as part of the project.
particular, the group were interested in how the BIMCert project team are
developing a “Beyond Blended” approach to training for the skills needed broken
down into “Bite Sized” learning elements.
The group were impressed by the work carried out in developing a
framework of skills needs and the delivery platform being developed that will
allow upskilling in a manor that suits a variety of learning styles with
consistent standards and assessment being ensured through an on-line delivery
project team members Paul McCormack, Eduardo Rebello and Barry Neilson
introduced the delegation to the materials developed to date and shared the
vision of how this will be advanced in the future. The team from FOCI could see the potential
for development of BIM in their own industry and recognised the issues being
addressed by BIMCert as being common to Nigeria;
Clients who need to be educated in the benefits and building
requirements into procurement.
Disseminating the skills needed to drive digital construction
across the whole industry
Engaging with the tools available to manage the “whole life”
of the built environment from inception through delivery and use, to eventual
demolition at the end of its life.
While the Nigerian industry may lag
behind some areas of the world in Digital construction, its size and the
involvement of major construction companies from around the world will ensure
that it is not long before the skills development model being developed within
the BIMCert project will be needed there as well.
The Nigerian delegates will continue
to monitor the BIMcert progression through the website at: – https://energybimcert.eu