BIM and Integrated Design: the College Curriculum

This is a first. I don’t know of any situation where a university course – let alone a curriculum – was named after a blog.

There are no Huffington Post studies, and one would need to look long and hard for a college course named after Boing Boing.

So you can imagine my surprise to discover – in so advanced a constitutional monarchy, unitary state and country as the UK – the announcement of the launch of BIM and Integrated Design: the college course.

According to the press release put out by the university, this is a world first.

United States schools have offered advanced degree and post-professional programs related to BIM and IPD as a delivery method for some time. Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) Master of Integrated Building Delivery program is but one example.

But never before has there been one specifically on the topic of BIM and Integrated Design.

As described in the course syllabus, this BIM and Integrated Design program is unique in that it approaches integrated design processes from a Lean design and construction perspective, with the use of enabling technologies – BIM and sustainability.

Also addressed in the program are the benefits that can be achieved through the adoption of BIM, including integrated processes; improved design coordination, information management and exchange; clash detection; clearer scheduling; improved sustainability outcomes; and improved value to clients and users.

While this looks like a lot of information to cover in a school curriculum, it is heartening to see that the considerable collaborative work processes of BIM –  impacting individuals, organizations and the industry – are emphasized in the course as well.

The BIM and Integrated Design program launches in September 2011 – coinciding with the release of my new book: BIM and Integrated Design: Strategies for Architectural Practice (John Wiley & Sons).

Read on for the full press release. Schools here would benefit from such a well-written article announcing new BIM and IPD-related courses and curricula.

At the end of this post is a link to a detailed description of the proposed course.

Skills gap warning as BIM becomes mandatory requirement

UK construction and design industry professionals must invest in skills training if they are to embrace the forthcoming implementation of Building Information Modeling (BIM). That is the view of Arto Kiviniemi, Professor of Digital Architectural Design at Salford University’s School of the Built Environment which today launches the world’s first MSc course on BIM and Integrated Design.
The government’s chief construction adviser Paul Morrell has indicated that BIM will become a key part of the government’s procurement of public buildings and that bidders and contractors on future public building projects would be expected to implement it on all future projects. A team is currently studying the use of BIM in government projects and will report its findings to the Construction Clients Board in March.
Integrated BIM means a fundamental change in the design, construction and facility management processes that involves data sharing between all shareholders based on digital models that can be used from a project’s early design stages through to completion and monitoring of subsequent performance.
The news that BIM will become mandatory in all public procurement has been met with some skepticism from the industry in the UK but Kiviniemi, one of the world’s leading authorities on BIM, has seen the benefits of the delivery of BIM across the US and Scandinavia, where it has been demanded by large public clients since 2007.
He explains: “In Scandinavia and the US public projects now use BIM and there is no doubt that it will become the standard in the UK and across Europe. It integrates the information that architects, engineers and contractors must deliver on a project and creates data which is usable in the integrated processes, simulations and life cycle management of buildings”.
“To make this work it is essential to share the data in open BIM format. The efficient utilization of data helps clients to make informed decisions and will  enable our industry to respond to the environmental challenges, as well as to increase the productivity if we develop our processes too. There are definitely some strong success stories and evidence of measurable benefits if you look at the international studies of BIM and IPD (Integrated Project Delivery).”
He warns: “Those who have not embraced BIM will be simply out of the running for public projects.”

The government’s introduction of BIM is designed to unlock new ways of working that will reduce cost and add long-term value to the development and management of built assets in the public sector. Paul Morrell has said that he hoped that the report would mark the beginning of a commitment to a timed programme of transformation and adoption.
Adopting an industry-wide BIM process is likely to reveal a significant learning gap in many companies with people left wondering how to implement this into their own practice. In response the School of the Built Environment at the University of Salford has launched a unique programme of Building Information Modeling and Integrated Design which commences in September 2011.
The course is designed to promote a deeper understanding of the impacts and business benefits of adopting integrated BIM on the supply chain organizations. It is aimed at design professionals, e.g. architects, architectural technologists, structural and M&E engineers, and design/project managers and will give companies a head start in implementing a BIM-based approach.

Look here for more information about the Masters Degree in BIM and Integrated Design.



Filed under BIM, BIM instructor, collaboration, Integrated Design, Integrated Project Delivery, IPD, modeling, process, workflow

7 responses to “BIM and Integrated Design: the College Curriculum

  1. Dear Randy, thanks for your blog. Great to see that you tell about our new course, all visibility is highly appreciated. Some small comments: We were aware of some advanced courses in USA and also in Australia, but since we could not find any course with the same name, the marketing people wanted to say that this is the first. To your disappointment I have to say that the name was not taken from your blog. Nice coincident though; is it just that great minds think alike? 🙂 To be honest, I did not even know your blog when we named the course in May 2010 (approval is here a long process). My own background in BIM goes back to 1993 when it was still called Building Product Modelling and since then I have made quite an extensive BIM R&D both in Finland and internationally. At Salford I started only recently, in May 2010.

    • Hi Arto, thank you for visiting and for clarifying. No disappointment on my part. Regular readers of this blog ought to recognize by now when I am stretching the truth a bit – this blog is here to entertain as well as educate. I fully realize that the course name is a coincidence and just wanted to take full advantage of the opportunity – and modern blog technology – to expoit this coincidence. Hopefully no harm done! I am very excited for you and your course – your students are very fortunate to have access to your extensive experience on this absolutely critical area of study. I look forward to hearing great things from the program.

      • Dear Randy. I was also joking about the coincidence in the naming.
        I really liked your story and its style, and I am sure that our marketing people love your comment “Schools here would benefit from such a well-written article announcing new BIM and IPD-related courses and curricula.” I am looking forward to see your new book later this year.

  2. Randy,

    I’m very disappointed in your response to Arto. The first rule of yellow journalism is to NEVER apologize to your critics, especially if they are questioning your facts. As a blogger, you get to make up your own facts, so don’t let anyone take that god-given right away from you.

    Keep the faith,

    PS…Great article. I’m looking forward to the book, and because of your background as a playwright, I hope it will also be full of your “half-truths” and “literary inventions.”

    • Chris,

      I stand corrected (and browbeaten.) Moving forward I will say it as I see it – facts be damned – without apology.

      Here’s to “Lies, damned lies, and stuff said in blogs.” Thanks for the moral support,


  3. Randy:

    Thanks for your article and all of your BIMsights.

    In the meantime, I seem to be called to academia more and more these days (teaching 3 BIM classes this semester, plus running my BIMplementation consulting business).

    The class I am teaching at USC in the Civil Engineering Department (where the Construction Management classes are located) is called, interestingly enough, “BIM and Integrated Practice.” Pretty close to the title of your blog.

    Keep us all thinking while we continue to invent the future together,


  4. Pingback: BIM and Integrated Design Top 10 Posts for 2011 | BIM + Integrated Design

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