Aarhus University School of Engineering

Aarhus University School of Engineering

BIM as a working method for 800 engineering students

At the School of Engineering in Aarhus, 800 students are studying civil and structural engineering at diploma or master’s level. BIM is a regular part of the curriculum with focus on constructions, installations and exchanges for calculation programs via the IFC format.

The primary reason why the School of Engineering chose ARCHICAD instead of other BIM programs that were on the market in 2002, was that ARCHICAD can be learned quickly due to the intuitive user interface. The school wanted to focus on classical engineering competencies rather than training for special programs. With ARCHICAD, after only a few days, the students can work independently with their BIM projects.

BIM server as focal point
The thing that creates the most visible value in working with BIM at Aarhus University is that all projects are managed and structured with BIM Server technology. In order to prepare students for buildings that are created in teams of colleagues and other consultants, the school’s projects are as a rule group work. It is therefore necessary for everyone to be able to share their models, and for multiple students to be able to work simultaneously on the same project.

With ARCHICAD, a section of the program called Teamwork manages work with shared models. Almost all projects at the school take place in groups and with Teamwork all the students in the groups have the opportunity to work in the same model at the same time.

The students are introduced to a BIM mindset already from the first semester. Jørgen Korsgård is responsible for working with BIM Server at the School of Engineering. He says: “The goal is to get the students to think in ‘full BIM’ each time they model,” says Jørgen Korsgård and continues: “What this means is that the model must contain information for later use such as price calculation, static calculations, energy simulations, scheduling or other aspects.”

A holistic BIM strategy
Jørgen Korsgård has taught CAD programs for more than 20 years. In addition, he is involved in the integration of BIM in teaching at the school. He explains: “The idea behind this strategy is that all of our students must acquire competences in BIM, so that they can subsequently be culture bearers in the industry for BIM as a design and engineering method.”

New technologies become part of our everyday life at an ever increasing rate. It is notable how they can contribute to strengthening the professional competencies that the students need to possess when they join companies. It is not just about calculations and simulation, but to also very much about collaboration and the exchange of ideas and information. At Aarhus University’s School of Engineering, both have been successfully combined.