SAIT construction instructors perfecting the art and science of digital teaching

As COVID-19 continues to affect the construction industry, instructors at SAIT in Calgary are expanding their focus in the key areas of building information modeling (BIM) and virtual design construction (VDC).

In a recent article, SAIT noted that Canada’s construction industry is beginning to embrace virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and cloud-based coordination and communication.

Pipetrades instructor and plumbing specialist, and Mechanical Business plumbing columnist, Fred Bretzke is among the SAIT colleagues who believe the future of teaching construction is digital. To that end, they are now incorporating 3D modeling and AR software into the traditional learning experience, so students can produce to-scale miniature and virtual models of residential and commercial properties before they embark on the real thing.

“This kind of technology builds more comprehensive understanding for the student,” says Bretzke. “Using AR, students can create a building and then virtually step inside and walk through it.”

Most importantly, the digital technology is the same as what is being used on real jobsites. Bretzke has led students through current construction projects where they met with 3D animators and witnessed first hand how AR overlays can be used to increase accuracy.

“I’m already incorporating this technology into my teaching and students love it,” he says. “They want to see more of it.”