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Research projects


In collaboration with Heriot Watt University, University of Westminster, CITB and ClassOfYourOwn, the BIM4Education project aims to build a suite of programmes & resources to support teachers, especially those who are promoting post 16 pathways; and, support teaching & learning both virtually & in the classroom through academic & industry intervention. A pilot study has been delivered at St Ambrose Barlow RC High School, and has enabled the school to be a DEC hub that is recognised for producing outstanding DEC teachers.


The Pedagogy & Upskilling Network project (PUN) was one of a number of project funded by the Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) to bring together collaborators drawn from research, practice & others to contribute to the work with the purpose to:

  1. propose the capabilities needed for the UK to deliver & benefit from Digital Built Britain & identify the enabling research to deliver those capabilities;
  2. describe the state of the art & leading-edge practice today; and
  3. build communities of people interested & able to participate in future research, demonstrator & pilot projects.

PUN was commissioned to explore & address the research questions around how we create & support a digitally enabled, agile, competent & ultimately, productive workforce. The project identified a number of key questions that need to be addressed to provide both return-on-investment & succeed as the catalyst for evolving the manner in which the built environment is conceived, planned, designed, constructed, operated, & interacted with.

In summary:

  • The successful evolution of the industry is complex & fragmented. Furthermore, there is little evidence of industry wide initiatives that support the ‘People-centric’ focus required to successfully deliver ‘change’ on a scale that is unprecedented.
  • Although ‘BIM Training’ is an important first step on the Digital Transformation journey, success will require an evolved upskilling/reskilling philosophy.
  • The mediation of competency supply & demand directly impacts productivity just as much as the flow of timely & appropriate information, i.e. an Information Transaction. However, the proxies used for competence supply & demand are no longer neither granular nor dynamic enough for the changing world of work.
  • Initiatives focused on ‘training’ alone will not solve the productivity challenges; therefore future initiatives need be considered to address BOTH competency supply &, in particular, competency demand.
  • The Competency Profile of the individual is not static, whereby certain competences can grow, while others diminish through lack of use. Upskilling & reskilling is the conscious migration of one competency profile to another though education &/or training &/or experience. Furthermore, the competency profile is the pivot of business logic for the competency demand & supply ecosystem stakeholders.
  • In terms of pedagogy, there is still a considerable lack of an ecosystem that would facilitate curriculum management to be more competency-based & demand-led. In addition, ensuring academics also assure their own competence as they have as much a need of conscious competency evolution as industrialists.
  • Defining the pedagogy that best suits the upskilling required depends on defining needs of conscious competence evolution & followed by the ecosystem to support a competence-based approach to upskilling.