VET & HEI Piloting in Ireland

Today there is a major requirement in the construction industry to increase energy efficiency in buildings and reduce their carbon emissions. In line with the EPBD directive, Ireland introduced the NZEB standard through the building regulations (Technical Guidance Document L – Conservation of Fuel and Energy – Dwellings) in late 2019.

Barry Madigan WWETB Trainer delivering LU1

There is now an opportunity to make substantial energy savings and at the same time create employment opportunities across Ireland. BIM and digitalisation has been identified as one of the methods of facilitating and progressing this directive. This requires a particular set of skills and additional training to deliver quality, energy efficient homes.

TUS have partnered with Waterford & Wexford Education Board (WWETB) to pilot 3 BIMzeED Learning units (LUs) 1, 2 & 5 to craft apprentices.

The trades being trained are Plasterers, Plumbers, Carpenters and Block Layers there will be 51 individuals trained through the 3 pilots. These Apprentices are the first in Ireland and possibly Europe to use Moodle, a learning platform with a single robust, secure and integrated system where personalised learning environments can be created.

Craft apprentices at LU1 training

These apprentices are also the first trades to be taught Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology and introduced to the digitalisation path of the construction sector. TUS will also interview the trainers and trainees after delivery of LU 1.This type of post course interaction, it has been found, to gleans valuable feedback. Any suggestions that may aid and improve the roll-out of these LU’s across all sectors -(SME, VET & HEI)- will be considered and where appropriate implemented.

Other Irish Training Boards have also expressed interest in delivering pilots of these Learning Units and possibly integrating content into their existing apprenticeship and craft programmes.

Below is a summary of the Learning Units that WWETB are delivering:

LU 1:Collaborative BIM To Achieve NZEB-

This unit aims to give all tools and knowledge necessary to all project team members for BIM workflow generation and application. For this purpose, roles and responsibilities of the different construction team members will be taught, as well as the necessary documents and regulations to consider for BIM methodology application.

LU 2:BIM And NZEB For Workers-

This  unit is intended to inform workers of the BIM methodology that has been used during project design. And presents to trainees how this methodology speeds up the process and makes them aware how to prevent errors and anticipate solutions should situations arise. The workers will understand that digital communication using BIM tools on site between the design team and the construction team is essential. This knowledge of nZEB will help workers recognise what parameters more attention should be paid and how to execute NZEB Compliance effectively.

LU 5: NZEB Realization and commissioning: Quality Assurance-

This unit focuses on quality assurance of a buildings energy production systems and fabric elements which confirm NZEB compliance by using BIM methodology as a communication tool. This will help workers recognize the parameters that should be  monitored to effectively and efficiently achieve high-quality buildings, national compliance and NZEB.

These 3 Learning Units are aimed at all workers within the construction sector, with relevance to Professionals, Technicians, Site supervisors, Craftworkers, Apprentices, Specialized and Construction Workers.

LU 1 will be delivered before Christmas, the other two in January.

In January 2022 Higher Education Institutes will commence their piloting. In Ireland, it is expected up to 70 students will be trained.

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