First National Steering Group meeting in Dublin

On 29th May 2019 the first National Steering Group meeting was held in Dublin Ireland, organised by LIT and TEA. The aim of the meeting was for stakeholders to gain a better understanding of the BIMzeED project, 2) discuss new opportunities for the Irish educational and training organisations to develop BIM and NZEB programmes collectively and 3) to provide training resources for the construction industry to ultimately produce quality, cost effective, energy efficient and healthy buildings.

Among the 13 stakeholders there were representatives from the educational bodies; LIT, TEA, IT Sligo, Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), VET System; Water Wexford Education Training Board (WWETB); building industry; BRE Global Ireland, Saint Gobain Ireland, Dublin City Council (DCC), Irish Green Building Council (IGBC) and Policy Makers/Standards Authorities; National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI). Many of the stakeholders were familiar with the BIM market with NZEB expertise, and although not attending the Construction Industry Federation of Ireland, Royal Institute of Architects Ireland (RIAI) and Engineers Ireland (EI) are all engaged in the process.

Further to the opening speech from Seamus Hoyne (LIT), presentation by Lis O’Brien (LIT) and roundtable introductions, we asked:

“It’s the end of BIMzeED, what would a good result be for you? Or how would success look like to you?”

This directed the interactive discussions amongst the participating experts. It was stated that the benefits of digitalisating the construction industry are well known especially within the professional realms, however the worker on site is not as engaged for various reasons. There is now a push towards construction workers understanding lean management, quality build, improved communication and knowledge transfer on site, however there is limited training available to address this issue. We next discussed a number of skills gaps and training shortfalls in the construction industry (for large companies and SMEs) and discussed how to improve the use of digitalisation for the entire construction chain.

The next step is to assess what is available in terms of existing training programmes and how can these be developed in the future. Everyone agreed that the use of BIM is still in an early phase and it is important to adopt this skill into further trainings for everyone. This can be developed in various ways assisting with not just accredited trainings but also short on site modules, VCR and online trainings. It was highlighted that the VET system will require short, flexible and step by step learnings. There should be value for the construction cohort, with choice of mediums and techniques to engage the entire construction industry.

The meeting ended with the educational bodies agreeing to provide information on their existing training programmes and modules that are already on the market. A special thank you to all who took part and so many interesting conversations were held on the day.