Fife College Takes Lead to Promote BIM to Scotland’s Colleges

28th January 2016

Scotland’s construction industry could soon benefit from key work being carried out by Scotland’s Colleges led by Fife College in conjunction with the Energy Skills Partnership.

A special event was held at the College’s Carnegie Conference Centre in Dunfermline this week (Monday July 25) to promote Building Information Modelling (BIM) - a way of sharing information digitally about a building between different construction professionals which results in cost-savings, energy efficiencies and a more effective way of working.

Teaching staff from colleges throughout Scotland, alongside representatives from the construction industry and universities, attended the event to hear more about the importance of BIM and how it can be developed to meet the needs of learners studying construction subjects.

Willie Rennie, MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, attended the event to welcome guests and speak about the advantages of BIM. Said Willie: “The construction industry is vital to the economy of Scotland and so it is important that we keep up to-date with new thinking and examine new initiatives such as BIM. This will help us develop appropriate skills for digital working through dialogue between educators, employers and industry bodies.

“The Scottish Government is committed to the use of BIM and the process is already being used in new public funded construction projects across Scotland. The Government’s objective is that, where appropriate, construction projects across the public sector in Scotland adopt a BIM level 2 approach by April 2017. Awareness events such as this will help to ensure that this target is met.”

The event was chaired by Gary Mees, President of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists while Marc Fleming, from Fife College and Michael McGuire, from New College Lanarkshire, gave their college perspectives on imbedding digital working within college construction courses. Patrick Mitchell, Group BIM Manager at Robertson Group gave an employer’s perspective.

Tahar Kouider from The Robert Gordon University and David Philp from AECOM followed this with their take on the advantages of BIM.

Guests also attended workshops to hear more details about the advantages of BIM to colleges, universities and employers.

Marc Fleming, Curriculum Manager for Built Environment and Maths, who co-ordinated the conference on behalf of the college sector said: “The event has been a great success and it was fantastic to see 55 delegates from across Scotland here today who are now all much more informed about BIM and what the education sector in FE and HE needs to do to reflect industry practices.

“At Fife College we are committed to the use of BIM which we know produces better buildings which are environmentally friendly and energy efficient. As more private construction companies continue to adopt BIM processes we need to make sure that our learners in all colleges are fully up-to-date and get the opportunity to study BIM so that they are well prepared by the time they graduate to secure great jobs within the construction industry.

“As well as opening up opportunities for students, BIM will also benefit the professional aspect of the industry. Alongside training our current and future students in aspects of BIM we also hope to offer commercial training and full and part-time courses in BIM, all of which will have a positive effect on Scotland’s economy.”

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