A significant percentage of firms in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry are engaged with building information modeling (BIM). Additionally, due to the diverse nature of construction projects, teams in the AEC industry are often separated by large distances. As part of their education, Washington State University must prepare construction management students to work with building information models face-to-face as well as mediated by technology.
We plan to do this by emulating a global working environment on campus. This is where WSU’s Building Information Modeling (BIM) initiative comes in. Construction management students from WSU are already in high demand, and will be even more so if they enter the industry with hands-on experience with BIM technology. The BIM initiative will give WSU students and faculty access to equipment, software, and updated classrooms that reflect current industry technology.
This initiative will add practical application to research that WSU already does with BIM. It will create teaching and learning spaces that will allow for industry presentations and collaboration. There are three phases to the project:
The first step is to provide equipment, software, and modern classroom spaces that represent current industry practices. Students will learn how to establish a BIM-based workflow and develop a BIM execution plan.
The facility will be equipped with:
• Smart boards
• Microphones and speakers
The second step is to provide semi-immersive stations in the classroom, which will allow students to collaborate with BIM in 3D virtual environments. Updates during this phase will tie all spaces together while bringing the rooms up to date with technology and an enriched learning environment.
The last step will be to equip the space to provide a fully immersive virtual reality experience relevant to the design and construction industry.
This includes the addition of:
• Laptops with high resolution graphic capabilities
• Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) headsets
• Software for student training in visualization and navigation
Collaborating with BIM over distance requires a special set of technical and communication skills outside of the design, engineering, and project coordination skills WSU already provides students. A BIM lab at WSU will educate students to create and navigate 3D, 4D, and 5D models; manipulate multiple models and documents in real time using collaboration technologies such as GoToMeeting or WebEx; and become versed in global industry practices.
The impact of the BIM program will be far reaching across the school and college, annually serving 200 construction management and 120 civil engineering students, along with an infinte number of future builders.
Please ensure our students are equipped for the industry by helping us provide training in BIM and the most current industry technology.
The Construction Management program and the School of Design and Construction in the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture plan to raise a total of $750,000 for this project. This will cover the direct cost of construction, equipment, and training. And, equally important, it will establish a fund for supporting the technology infrastructure into the future. Consider a one-time or multi-year pledge to deliver a long-term impact. Whether you are a WSU graduate, industry partner, or friend, we need your help to bring the world of BIM to our students.