New ITE facility to teach digital construction skills opens

Dr Ang Kiam Wee (left), principal of ITE College Central and Dr Roz Buick, vice-president of Trimble Inc, open Singapore’s new digital construction education centre, The Integrated Digital Delivery Centre on May 10, 2018. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - The Institute of Technical Education (ITE) has opened a new facility to teach students digital construction skills, as the nation ramps up efforts to attract Singaporeans to the building and construction industry.

The new Integrated Digital Delivery (IDD) centre is part of Singapore's drive to transform its construction industry by creating a highly-skilled workforce trained in the latest architecture, engineering, construction and operations technologies.

The centre, which is located in the new Engineering Design Hub in ITE College Central, was opened on Thursday (May 10).

With $4 million in support from global technology company, Trimble Inc, the centre will see an expansion in ITE's construction curriculum in 3D Building Information Modelling design, digital fabrication and the sustainable built environment.

In a statement, the firm said: "Using Trimble solutions will provide ITE the capability to more fully integrate the technological tools across its courses that are rapidly transforming how building and living environments are designed and constructed."

The IDD centre will include architecture, engineering and construction management software as well as Trimble's scanning hardware.

More than 400 students from numerous courses, including Higher Nitec in Civil and Structural Engineering Design, Nitec in Space Design (Interior & Exhibition) and Nitec in Space Design (Architecture), will be able to benefit from the facility annually.

The firm said the hands-on training will enable students to access the latest technology and workflows to develop design, engineering and construction skills.

Staff at ITE College Central received training some two months prior to the launch of the facility to familiarise themselves with the technology .

Dr Ang Kiam Wee, principal of ITE College Central, said the construction sector is undergoing major transformation driven by the Industry Transformation Map. This prompted the introduction of the IDD approach, to boost competitiveness and productivity.

"IDD will enable stakeholders - from designers, builders, sub-contractors and facility managers - to be efficiently connected, hence making collaboration borderless and seamless," he said.

The Republic is pushing ahead with plans to attract more Singaporeans to the building and construction industry, while shifting from a high reliance on low-skilled foreign workers and manual work. By 2025, the Building and Construction Authority expects 80,000 personnel, trained in digital design and cutting-edge technologies, to enter the industry.

Final-year ITE College Central student Divagaran Kesavan, 20, said he is looking forward to learning digital construction skills.

The Higher Nitec in Civil and Structural Engineering Design student plans to join his father's construction firm, adding: "I hope to be able to benefit his company by bringing knowledge from new technology."

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