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Industry-leading digital building facility opens at UC

Elly Mackay

24 March 2023: The University of Canberra has opened a new Digital Building and Built Environment Hub on campus, aimed to improve outcomes and practices in Canberra’s building and construction industry.

The Building Information Modelling (BIM) Hub will play a key role in upskilling the construction workforce and contributing to sector growth, while ultimately helping to improve the quality of Canberra’s built environment and reduce the rate of building defects.

The University was awarded a $379,574 grant from the ACT Government in 2021 for the establishment of the Hub.

“The establishment of our BIM Hub, through this partnership with the ACT Government, will play a role in securing a highly skilled, professional workforce that will contribute to the future development of the ACT,” said Professor Paddy Nixon, Vice-Chancellor of the University.

The official opening of the Hub was held at an event on campus, and attended by Chief Minister Andrew Barr.

“This facility enables a really strong partnership between Government, the University, and a wide-range of industry partners, who will all contribute to not only research, but to some very practical outcomes in the delivery of infrastructure in Canberra, in Australia, and around the world,” Mr Barr said at the event.

The space will deliver a range of courses through the Faculty of Arts and Design, as well as conduct research and host industry engagement activities.

Professor Nixon said the Hub is expected to become a central point for upskilling the current generation of building professionals, and creating the next.

“The University has a 50-year history of educating and preparing the next generation of building and design professionals, and the opening of the BIM Hub will allow us to continue that standard of education,” he said.

As well as industry-focused training sessions, the University’s Master of Building and Construction Information Management, Graduate Diploma in Building and Construction Information Management, Graduate Certificate in Building and Construction Information Management, and Higher Degree by Research courses will all be hosted from the Hub.

Students enrolled in those courses will benefit from its facilities.

“The programs offered from the Hub will be cutting-edge, and genuinely improve outcomes within the industry,” Professor Nixon said.

The BIM Hub is the first digital building transformation hub of its kind in Australia, and its features include Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies that will enable stakeholders to experience and interact with building designs and construction plans, drones, 3D laser scanners, thermal and acoustic imaging, and reality capture technologies.

BIM Hub research staff will also provide consulting and advisory services on BIM and digital engineering to stakeholders and industry members.