Teaching VDC

Twice today, the topic of teaching VDC came up.

The first was on a BIMForum Emerging Leaders Subforum (EL) call. In January, EL plans to meet with the Academic Subforum to discuss how BIM and VDC can be integrated into the curriculum, so the group is preparing for that.

My personal view on integrating BIM and VDC into the curriculum is that we have to be careful. Adding a Revit class to a Construction Management program is not enough; although exposure to Revit/ArchiCAD/Bentley/etc. is a good idea. However, it isn't about the software. (And honestly, I don't care if a new hire knows Revit unless they are an expert - we're going to reteach it to them anyway.) Students need to learn about the process, about collaboration, about the legal aspects, the real issues. I feel so strongly about this and hope that I can sneak out of Process Mapping Task Force and join this session for a little bit!

The second was this afternoon, when I taught the BIM module of the Woburn High ACE Mentor Program, which Tocci is participating in. In two hours, we (Tocci's Virtual Construction Coordinator, an architect from KlingStubbins and myself) reviewed concepts of BIM (from both the design and build side) as well as basic Revit skills with a dozen or so high school students.

Although I have presented to academic classes as well as taught classes in Revit, this was truly a new experience. Because of the nature of the module, we focused more on Revit than VDC which is so unusual for me! It forced me to think about things from a completely different perspective - most of the students know next to nothing about what people in the AEC industry do, nevermind why BIM/VDC might be a revolutionary departure from the norm.

My conclusion: BIM needs to be taught along with a core knowledge of the construction industry, which includes both means and methods and history. Revit or another similar tool could be used to help students understand means and methods, but when used without proper guidance won't teach the student a whole lot.

1 comment:

John said...


Knowing how to model is good, but understanding how the building actually gets build is really the important part.

...the construction model is only as intelligent as the person creating it.