Digital transformations in construction – Belfast Met

Paul McCormack, Innovation Manager for Belfast Metropolitan College, continues his series into how the industry can develop and leverage digital skills for energy efficient construction and improved competitiveness...

Engineer meeting with Architecture Interior Designer. Discussion to architectural project and Construction planning for Building Information Modeling. Technology in construction concept.

Oxford Languages’ definition of the word transform is “a process by which one figure, expression, or function is converted into another one of similar value.”

In our BIMcert course, we use the word digitalisation to represent this process or journey and further beyond, as we aim to convert it into “another one of higher value”. This journey is one in which individuals and companies embark upon, and where BIM is one of the digital vehicles or tools used to hep them evolve.

Key in the definition is the use of the word “process.” Digitalisation does not happen overnight. It’s a journey that takes time. The BIM training tools developed by BIMcert are enablers for the user to engage with, at a time and pace suited to them, and prepares them for the journey of change that will transform their company. The user is introduced to a suite of digital tools in the new digital built environment where their old hardcopy data is converted into a digital value or format. The traditional format is transformed and enhanced into a different ‘language,’ opening up new ways of using it, enabled by digital tools. Information gathered and made available allows users to make more informed analysis and project decisions, based on data, as well as improve workflows, communication, and collaboration between all stakeholders


As with any journey it is vital that you get the fundamentals right. The digitalisation journey is no different. Get the right training materials, suitably prepared and correctly packaged for the audience and ensure the learning process fits and is well mapped out in order to inform and empower the transformation process.

Technology affords us the chance to do many things, but it is essential to get the pedagogy (theory and practice) right first. Ensuring a correct pedagogical structure for the process is the foundation of the learning process, regardless of the delivery mechanism

Our work in this field continues on the EU BUILD UP work (,  in developing the skills and processes to reduce the carbon footprint in the construction sector.

In the post, Covid-19 world there will not be a return to pre-pandemic normality. Many of the previous systems, structures and jobs have disappeared and will not return. It is therefore imperative that, in order to help kick start the economy, we take full benefit from the emerging low carbon economy, stimulate demand for sustainable energy skills in the construction sector and fully take up the opportunities that digitalisation presents. All of the training tools, mechanisms and channels developed must be future proofed in design, content, delivery and accreditation to allow this to happen.

The Journey

BIMcert is a project based upon three steps aimed at developing and delivering a large-scale training and qualification scheme that can provide the requisite skills for the entire construction supply chain to:

1. Enable collaborative working while improving access and the transition to digital design, development, management and delivery tools for both new build and renovation. This will help achieve energy efficient near zero buildings (embedded energy).

2. Achieve efficient and effective on-going management of the building in terms of energy and fabric (operational energy).

3. Utilise Building Information Modelling (and more widely, digital construction) as the enabling methodology and tool towards more sustainable and energy efficient building assets.

BIM Modules

BIMcert project has developed a comprehensive multi-discipline curriculum for the AEC industry sector that addresses both the challenges and the need of driving the industry towards more energy efficiency and digitalisation. The curriculum is formed by a set of on demand units divided into several strides to allow a build-up of skills. Those units are delivered via bite-sized modules, which, when combined, form flexible training plans.

Belfast Metropolitan College

Belfast Metropolitan College is a major provider of skills and training support for the built environment. This is achieved in collaboration with a wide network of stakeholders and partners including the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), the public sector and industry.

For more information regarding courses, call:
+44 (0)28 90 265 265, email: or visit: