Educating the future: Architectural education in international perspective pages:151-163
EAAE International Conference and Workshop on Architectural Education location:Istanbul, Turkey date:21-23 March 2013
The construction industry is currently in a quite important phase of change and evolution towards better productivity and efficiency. The way project partners collaborate is being redefined. This is to a large extent due to an ever-increasing building project complexity. Projects need to be delivered faster, at the lowest possible cost and adhering to a rising set of performance criteria, such as energy consumption, structural stability, cost, accessibility, safety and many others. To be able to answer these demands, the different stakeholders in construction projects will work together in Building Teams from the very first stages of the project, at a moment where many design decisions still need to be made and thus can positively influence the project outcome. New evolutions such as “Integrated Project Delivery” (IPD) and the “Building Information Modeling” (BIM) methodology are being applied to manage these new processes, in addition to a wide variety of digital communication techniques, such as cloud computing, model servers and online audio- and videoconferencing technologies.
The COM.BI project is a two-year educational innovation project at the KU Leuven Association in Belgium (Reference OOF 2011/24), where different construction-related schools are working together to better prepare students for this future building practice. The partners in this project introduce students to these technologies and methods, by organizing information and learning events and by organizing collaborative exercises, over the traditional school borders. This is done by organizing multi-disciplinary building teams that use digital communication techniques to work together and by including a reflection phase to force students to question the used processes and methods.
This paper describes how the collaboration between architects, engineers and other disciplines is being organized in this project and how it fits within the didactical framework of the project. Within the first year, collaboration scenarios were executed and evaluated to be refined during the second year. In addition, feedback from a regional BIM- focused workshop with educational and professional external parties, confirmed on the objectives. At the end of the project, the collaboration activities will be fully integrated in the different curricula involved in the project, to ensure the longevity of the project results.