Boost your BIM knowledge – without leaving the office

A new e-learning platform from the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre aims to help more business leaders start their BIM journey – without having to get out of their chair. BIM technical consultant Colin Hastie explains

Here at Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC), we want to see our sector transform into to a more productive, efficient, sustainable and profitable industry. Because it will support the creation of buildings that are fit for the 21st century, we see BIM as playing a key part in that transformation.

CSIC has been offering free BIM workshops and seminars around Scotland since June this year, aimed at everyone from the complete beginner upwards. In my experience, the people who usually attend are the “hands-on” people within a construction business. They go back to the office and tell their managers that BIM is a fantastic idea, but those decision makers aren’t always convinced.

Persuading business leaders to adopt BIM can be tricky because, let’s face it, most people don’t like disruption or change. CSIC is on a mission to demystify the process and spell out the business benefits that BIM can bring, like increased productivity and decreased wastage. If we could get more decision makers to attend our events, we’re confident we’d be able to persuade them of all these advantages – but CEOs and directors are busy people, and geography always poses a challenge.

These are some of the reasons we have decided to launch our free BIM e-learning platform, to make it easier for people at all levels of the construction industry to engage with BIM.

The e-learning platform has been developed with support from Scottish Enterprise and in conjunction with a range of industry partners. It will allow people who can’t get along to our BIM workshops and seminars, due either to time constraints or location issues, to log on and learn at their own pace.

If questions arise while completing a module, they can either join our LinkedIn discussion forum and ask an expert or consult our online library of useful information and content.

Our first e-learning module, BIM Awareness, is available now and is aimed at the complete BIM beginner. It assumes very little prior knowledge of the subject, explaining exactly what BIM is, the practices and processes involved, and offering an overview of the benefits that it can bring to an organisation.

The second module, which has just been added, is crucial as it is aimed at those aforementioned business leaders who have yet to be persuaded to begin their BIM journey. This is also a very non-technical module that concentrates on spelling out the business benefits of adopting BIM.

We plan to have six modules in total released online over the next 12 months, including implementation sessions for key industry parties like clients, consultants, contractors and manufacturers, explaining the key areas to be aware of and how you actually begin working towards BIM.

The e-learning platform is just one part of CSIC’s BIM in Practice programme of support, which has been designed to raise awareness of the opportunities Scottish construction companies can realise through BIM Level 2. BIM in Practice demonstrates the benefits that can be achieved through knowledge sharing, collaboration, innovation and best practice – all founding principles of BIM Level 2.

BIM Level 2 can deliver cost savings and added value to construction projects in the context of a more collaborative and innovative environment. By sharing design information through a common file format, it enables organisations to work collaboratively on small and large-scale construction projects, thereby reducing risks.

The BIM in Practice programme is designed to support businesses from their initial awareness of BIM to the continuous development of their BIM journey, offering assistance at all stages. As well as the e-learning aspect, it will offer a series of free events, seminars and workshops in Inverness, Aberdeen, Fife, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Since we began running BIM events, over 400 businesses have benefited from the support available through our workshops and a further 200 professionals have joined our online BIM discussion forum. We hope that the e-learning option will allow even more participants to benefit from our knowledge and expertise.

So if you’ve always meant to start your BIM journey but just haven’t had the time, then log on and learn – now you don’t even need to leave your office to find out why forward-thinking construction businesses are adopting BIM.

The Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) is one of eight industry-led and demand driven Innovation Centres supported by Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and 13 Scottish universities.

Find out more about CSIC’s BIM in Practice programme, and access the e-learning platform, visit

To maximise the benefits of this free programme, we do strongly recommend that interested businesses sign up to the full series of workshops and support. All our BIM events are carried out in partnership with other organisations. Interested in collaborating? Contact Lisa Deane on 0141 212 5250 or email for more information.

BIM workshops, BIM journey, BIM level 2Colin Hastie

BIM Technical Consultant

Construction Scotland Innovation Centre

Tel: +44 (0)141 212 5250

Twitter: @CscotIC

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