Building Information Modelling in Tertiary Construction Project Management Education: A Programme-wide Implementation Strategy

Centre for Education in the Built Environment
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal for Education in the Built Environment, 2013, 8 (1), pp. 16 - 34
Issue Date:
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This paper reports on the on-going development of teaching and learning supported by Building Information Modelling (BIM) in the undergraduate Construction Project Management Programme at the University of Technology Sydney. BIM is a model-driven approach to designing, constructing, operating and maintaining buildings and civil engineering facilities. The model that forms the core of the BIM approach is a smart, shared and computable three-dimensional model of the building or the civil engineering facility. At its heart, BIM and Virtual Construction Models (VCMs) are used to facilitate a more integrated and visual mode of teaching. The approach provides a new basis for developing problem based learning - one that has the potential to allow students to aggregate their learning around a central project whilst enabling problems to be scaled at different levels of complexity. This approach aims to better integrate and link individual subjects together as well as improve the development of core student attributes such as communication, understanding, decision making, collaboration and information gathering skills; very much mimicking the on-going technology driven transformation happening in industry. The VCMs aim to be regularly used in various formats as students progress through their undergraduate degree programme - and we adopt the term `vertical problems' to capture the way models and problem based learning are being utilised, where staff author `sub-plots' that utilise information models in a way that best suits their specific subjects, e.g. cost, time, quality, sustainability subject areas. To this end, the article reports on findings from the research, development and early implementation stages of a programme-wide teaching and learning proposition supported by BIM. This includes a typology that helps target varying degrees of model utilisation and diffusion in given subjects and transitional requirements for both staff and students.
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