Towards dynamic and circular building: practical lessons

The construction industry has the bad reputation of being one of the most polluting industries worldwide. Recent studies found that the industry is the greatest consumer of natural resources and energy, while at the same time the greatest dumper of waste. Buildings can usually not adapt well to new usages and, as a result, they are torn down. This problem is intensifying as our society is changing at an increasing speed. It is clear that thorough and systemic changes are urgently needed to contribute to global sustainability. The big question is then how we can design buildings that can transform over time to fit new usages and that consume fewer virgin resources. That question has been addressed at the International Design Studio of 2016. Read more

BIM training kits – a worldwide review

The uptake of Building Information Modeling (BIM) applications by the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry has snowballed in recent years. BIM applications enable the creation and use of an intelligent data model that is shared and used in different phases of a building’s life-cycle. These applications are quite complex and provide much greater functionality than earlier CAD tools. This makes it hard to gain proficiency in effectively working with BIM. The lack of personnel is in fact one of the major barriers to further BIM adoption. As a response to that, training organizations are offering relevant learning contents and accompanying methodologies in a BIM training kit. Jingjie Huang, one of our graduate students, conducted a systematic analysis and comparison of state-of-the-art BIM training kits (focusing on Revit Architecture) and formulated guidelines for developing new ones. In this post, I discuss some of her findings. Read more

Gaming in construction education: play-testing the ‘Tower of Infinity’

Games can be useful tools for teaching aspects of construction management that are not easily transferred through traditional lecture-based approaches. Stories of the successful application of certain construction management tools or methods are, due to their retrospective value, of limited value for building up an understanding about how to solve a practical problem one faces. Similarly, simple educational assignments do not reflect construction practice well since they often neglect aspects like uncertainty, urgency, ambiguity and complexity. Games, however, balance elements of conflict, a motivation to win and a scoring metric to create an imaginary experience that players can relate to and understand. They can therefore be a useful tool for construction education. Read more