Cobuilder, Harpaceas and La Sapienza University: Empowering sustainable construction education through technology

Cobuilder, an international software provider and Harpaceas, a well-known Italian system integrator, partner in supporting “green” construction education based on the latest technological advancements.

This collaboration is geared towards empowering the pioneering Master’s program “Green BIM and Architectural Engineering” at the La Sapienza University of Rome. Together, these companies play an integral role in shaping the program’s innovative approach and redefining the way students engage with sustainable construction methodologies.

Students in “Green BIM and Architectural Engineering” Master Program

The landscape of sustainable construction and the role of BIM in education

Today, sustainable construction and digitalisation are key challenges that the industry is facing on a global level. As the world embraces sustainable practices, the construction sector is under increasing pressure to evolve its methodologies. In this context, Building Information Modeling (BIM) emerges as a pivotal tool that future construction professionals must handle proficiently. Yet, a significant challenge lies in the transition from academia to industry, where students often find themselves ill-equipped to fully harness the potential of BIM software and processes.

Mastering BIM in compliance with the latest sustainability practices and technologies

The “Green BIM and Architectural Engineering” Master program at the La Sapienza University of Rome has been developed to address these challenges.

The program aims to empower students to emerge as well-rounded professionals capable of meeting the demands of tomorrow’s construction landscape. It is crafted to equip young graduates with the skills needed to operate in architectural engineering using advanced methodologies that prioritise sustainability in new designs and renovating existing assets, in particular from the point of view of technology and energy efficiency.

Alessandro D’Amico, Researcher RTDA at La Sapienza University and BIM Manager, emphasises the program’s dedication to blending theory and practice. He highlights the importance of integrating external partners from the construction industry to expose students to real-world scenarios.

Central to the Green BIM program’s objectives is the mastery of open BIM formats, fostering interoperability and collaboration along the construction supply chain.

Harnessing technology to improve sustainability in construction

Students in “Green BIM and Architectural Engineering” Master Program

To support the academic venture, Cobuilder granted students free access to Cobuilder Link and the data dictionary Define – an initiative led by forward-thinking international construction industry actors. Combined, these solutions unify all important aspects of construction product data management, allowing for free information flow, seamless collaboration, and improved decision-making in projects.

Define, the standards-based Data Dictionary, offers students a gateway to explore and define core content, classifications, and properties, enabling the creation of product data templates.

Cobuilder Link, on the other hand, presents students with hands-on experience in crafting Exchange Information Requirements (EIR) and navigating the Level of Information Need (LOIN) standard. These aspects prove crucial in project planning, stakeholder engagement, and ensuring timely and accurate information exchange.

Guido Montagnino, BIM Consultant at Harpaceas Srl, comments:

“When I was a student, I discovered that practical lessons were an effective way to learn technical concepts using a captivating approach. Now, as a teacher, I aim to find a method to convey concepts with the same captivating feeling. While working with students at the University La Sapienza of Rome, we explored ways to organise requirements for construction materials and innovative techniques to share them using open standards such as IDS from buildingSMART.”

“We opted for Cobuilder Link to demonstrate how to handle requirements. This platform simplifies the process by organising them according to the Level of Information Need framework, based on data developed in the standards-based Data Dictionary Define. Moreover, it allows us to easily export them using the IDS standard.”

The collaboration between Cobuilder, Harpaceas, and La Sapienza University of Rome demonstrates the importance of partnerships between academia and industry actors in shaping the future of education in the construction sector. As the industry evolves, such partnerships are crafting the roadmap to a more environmentally conscious and technologically adept future by investing in the most important asset – human capital.