BIMcrunch Q&A: Daniel Rossiter discusses BRE Academy’s BIM training in New Zealand

Logo Credit: BRE
Logo Credit: BRE

Back in July, we reported on BRE Academy‘s impending trip to New Zealand to collaborate with research, testing and information firm BRANZ to initiate Building Information Modelling training in the #BIMANZ territory. Last month, that very tutelage initiative took place, and BRE BIM Consulting/Training Manager Daniel Rossiter told us all about it in an exclusive Q&A.


Why did BRE decide to take their work to New Zealand?

BRANZ (Building Research Australia and New Zealand) and BRE have had a close working connection for many years. Early last year, BRANZ CEO Chelydra Percy met with the BRE Academy’s Director Pauline Traetto and BRE’s Associate Director for BIM, Paul Oakley whilst on a visit to BRE Garston. Pauline and Paul presented and explained developments with the UK BIM Strategy, the development of the BRE Academy’s BIM International course and its other programmes which it provides and has provided to other international markets to support up-skilling of professionals and industry.

Why did the BRE’s course appeal to the guys in New Zealand?

The BRE BIM technical team have been heavily involved with developing and delivering various BIM projects and training programmes in the UK and other countries for some time. The team have delivered and worked closely with teams across the whole supply chain and have an in-depth level of expertise in designing training programmes which are of good quality and content rich. The BRE Academy courses are developed and written by world-renowned specialists who have shaped industry standards, ensuring delegates gain access to meaningful, relevant and interesting training programmes.

As part of the BRE Group, the BRE Academy is at the forefront of any changes, which affect industry. They continually review and update training content and offerings to its clients, to ensure that they meet and exceed the new standards and best practices. The BRE Academy is the leading training provider for the Built Environment and has an international reputation for supporting individuals, employers and training providers around the world.

What’s BIM like in New Zealand?

Many of the candidates who attended the training were familiar with the UK BIM methods and expressed a desire to follow any emerging international standards, such as the developing BIM standard ISO19650. BIM in New Zealand is being done, and done well. For example, we had a tour of Trimble’s office which utilises active seismic monitoring alongside it’s information model, and a lot of the construction as part of the Christchurch redevelopment is utilising BIM. Also, on the New Zealand BIM Handbook website there are some very interesting case studies including a local authority using BIM to aid with its asset management programme.

What was the general feedback from the courses?

The courses were very well received. We delivered 4 courses in total: 2 in Auckland, 1 in Wellington, and 1 in Christchurch, with over 120 attendees in a range of professions from architects, technologists, engineers, contractors, and even some facility managers! Feedback was very positive indeed, with particular appreciation on how we had tailored the modules specifically within the New Zealand context, with relevance to academic papers, case studies, and the New Zealand BIM Handbook to ensure the candidates could relate to the material and therefore enhance the learning experience.

With no mandate in NZ, where is the need for BIM coming from?

In Christchurch it is in fact required by specific projects as part of the rebuild project. In addition, the supply side has been watching developments internationally, read the case studies, and want to have the same benefits as their global counterparts. A number of firms already utilise 3D software and project extranets, but want to use BIM’s ability to better manage the exchange of information. However, some public and private clients are starting to ask for it too, although there is no official government mandate. However, the New Zealand Government fully support of development of the New Zealand BIM Handbook and are supporting their industry in becoming better BIM aware.

Without a mandate in New Zealand, is BIM accreditation and certification seen as more important to businesses and professionals?

At the moment, the focus in New Zealand is on the up-skilling and increasing awareness of BIM. There was certainly interest expressed regarding BIM certification.

Finally Dan, you are involved with BIM2050, G4C and other youth groups, what do they have over there in the form of youth groups?

Many of the institutions as well as the chair of the NZIOB were very interested in hearing more about how the UK engages it’s young professionals. The idea of a cross-institute youth group such as BIM2050 or G4C was a very exciting prospect, particularly as the young professionals of today will be the ones who have to practice any of the policies put in place in the future.

Make sure to keep with Dan’s latest adventures on Twitter – @DRossiter87. More information on BRE Academy can also be found on Twitter in addition to their official website.

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