BIM QnA with Emma Hayes and Dr Barry McAuley


Emma Hayes, Group BIM Applications Manager for PM Group, and Dr Barry McAuley, Dublin Institute of Technology Lecturer and BICP Researcher answer your BIM Questions on AR and VR on Irish sites and the prerequisites for postgraduate BIM courses, in our first BIM QnA of 2017.

Question: When will AR and VR become common on Irish construction sites?


AR and VR could be used on Irish Construction sites tomorrow!  The technology is available and with many projects being executed with Building Information Modelling (BIM), virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are already possible for construction sites. The hardware such as VR headsets and movement sensors are becoming more mainstream and much more cost effective. In PM Group we are using VR for clients to walk through a virtual simulation of their facility at concept stage which helps speed up the design decision making process.

But why would Irish construction sites need to use VR and AR? The emergence of virtual and immersive technology allows the user to overlay a virtual environment or a BIM model with a real environment such as a construction site. For example, a construction worker can view a virtual model of building services hidden above an installed ceiling or behind a constructed wall without disturbing the fabric resulting in less remedial work. But it does not stop there! Imagine being able to send a drone out to a construction site to do a laser scan survey to map progress which can then be viewed using VR to compare with the anticipated progress of the construction. There are also Health and Safety benefits one of which is the development of AR smart construction helmets. These helmets have sensors and visors that relay virtual and real data to the wearer notifying them of any potential health and safety risks. These helmets also provide the user with access to the BIM data as they walk around the site.

Virtual and augmented reality are already starting to change the way we interact with our building designs and with the many benefits they bring to the construction process it is only a matter of when and not how they will become common on Irish construction sites.

Question: Are there any general prerequisites for doing a postgraduate certificate or master degree in BIM in Ireland?


Focusing on the MSc in Applied BIM and Management course offered in DIT the current entry threshold is either a level 8 honours degree with a 2.2 qualification which will enable you to enter straight onto the programme, or a level 7 ordinary degree plus five years of experience. There is also a for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process. This involves the student presenting a portfolio of their prior experience and on the basis of an evaluation with this respect they may be offered a place on the programme. This allows for people who are established in the sector to move on to the programme. Once you have registered on the first year of the programme you can graduate with a Post-Graduate Certificate in BIM Technologies, second year is a Post-Graduate Diploma in Collaborative BIM, and the third year is the Master of Science in Applied Building Information Modelling and Management

For the Higher Diploma in Engineering in BIM offered in Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, you must hold a relevant Level 7 qualification or equivalent in a cognate area within the construction and built environment industry. Applications will also be accepted from mature applicants who have worked at an appropriate level within the construction industry and who may gain entry by the RPL process.

The HEI programmes on offer can be found on the BICP website: 

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