How to Teach BIM Using Minecraft

Minecraft is already a popular game for students, so with a bit of additional coding, it holds the potential to teach proper construction techniques, including laying foundations as shown here. (Image courtesy of BeIMCraft.)

Minecraft has long been of interest to those in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry. After all, the indie game, which burst onto the scene in 2011, is all about designing and constructing buildings (and even wiring an electrical system, if you’re savvy).

The trouble is that the game isn’t very realistic. With its ridiculous physics, endless build height and limitless materials, it doesn’t exactly give a clear picture of current construction practices.

As Mark McKane and David Comiskey of the Northern Ireland BIM Steering Group explained, though, this could quickly change with a mod called BeIMCraft—which combines building information modeling (BIM) practices with Minecraft for AEC education.

BeIMCraft: Story Mode

It all started with an idea.

Timothy Hegarty has been very active in social media surrounding BIM and is a Minecraft enthusiast. Hegarty was aware of the educational applications of the game, as well as its existing capabilities to import Revit and IFC models, and thought it could work to put two and two together.

“As part of the network of the BIM Steering Group, other people from the industry were getting in contact with us and asking how they could get involved,” McKane explained. Hegarty pitched the idea to McKane and Comiskey, both of whom were working at Ulster University, that it might work to use Minecraft as a way to harvest new talent into the built environment programs in universities and colleges and ultimately into the AEC industry.

At first, McKane wasn’t sold on the idea—after all, it was entirely possible that Minecraft was silly nonsense that would die off in popularity in a few years. The more the idea was tossed around between McKane and Comiskey, however, the more appeal it had.

 “At the time, I wasn’t overly familiar with Minecraft,” Comiskey admitted. “I knew a lot of my nieces and nephews would play it, and Mark’s children as well. I just thought it would be worth investing in it because it’s so popular globally and there’s some way we could link it with BIM to try to get the kids into it.”

After all, sources have suggested that there could be a 10-year shortage of AEC professionals in the UK, especially in the aftereffects of the global recession, which has had a huge impact on recruitment to schools for the built environment across the world. We will need a way to entice new talent into the field and BeIMCraft (Built Environment Information Modeling Craft) could just be the way to do it.

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How to Teach BIM Using Minecraft How to Teach BIM Using Minecraft Reviewed by Izuchukwu Obi on 00:11:00 Rating: 5

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