One Year Course in BIM (Intelligent Modelling) - ÅRBIM

Short description

The civil engineering industry uses the phrase “BIM” (standing for Building Intelligent Modelling). More precisely, however, BIM actually concerns Intelligent Modelling (IM) in all phases of the life of a construction. Modern society has an increasing need for modelling, because of the needs for quality assurance as well as the requirements of various new laws, rules and regulations. At the same time, it has been found that there are large savings to be made through intelligent modelling. Meanwhile, when compared with other industries, the productivity in the civil engineering industry has worsened. There is frequent mention of errors in construction, poor planning, waste, unexpected costs and generally poor interaction between members of the industry.

In a recently completed study “Byggekostnadsprogrammet”, improved productivity was one of three focus areas. Some 40 different projects were carried out to find solutions to problems that the civil engineering industry has with building errors and worsening productivity. Many of these projects focussed on how BIM could contribute to improving productivity.

Industry has now understood that new thinking is necessary, together with new tools and methods. BIM is increasingly being used to reverse negative trends in productivity development.

One of the major challenges, however, is a shortage of competence especially on the part of those “ordering” the work. Knowledge improvement is also required among others such as architects, engineering consultants and contractors.

This course is primarily directed at candidates who are interested in applying the principles of BIM in the civil engineering industry. BIM focuses on open international standards together with integration and optimising all connected processes. Thus, the processes of building and construction can become more effective while at the same time saving significantly resources and yet producing much higher quality.

Meanwhile, project initiators are increasingly demanding that works are carried out according to BIM principles, and this in turn requires that contractors at all levels need to acquire good relevant competence.

BIM can be seen in some way to affect all parts of the civil engineering, building and construction industries, and acceptance for the use of the BUIM approach is growing rapidly because of the above named advantages.

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Course Background and Concept

This is a course in the principles of intelligent modelling. A number of themes are used to explain the concepts of “modelling” and “intelligence”, and to connect them with database technologies and thus to the resulting mindsets. Much of this can be a part of what is often otherwise known as “project planning”, and the course prepares students to plan effectively by means of using internationally standardised buildingSMART techniques.

The course is based on the Internet. Theory given in the beginning is of a general character, while the largest part of the course focuses on relevant project tasks and case studies connected to the building and construction industries.



This is a part-time course which is expected to be completed over two years.


The course gives 60 ECTS credits in the University system. This is the equivalent of one year’s fulltime course of studies.


The course on its own is not credited with any formally recognised degree/diploma.

Expected learning outcomes

On completing this course, students will have mastered:


  • Basic knowledge of the history of BIM and its development to the present day
  • Basic knowledge of central BIM topics, problems, processes, together with relevant tools and methods
  • Basic knowledge and competence on information modelling, database concepts, integration and data flows in the civil engineering context
  • Practical buildingSMART  procedures relevant for building and construction industry in both public and private sectors
  • Overview and basic understanding of the most common BIM data formats
  • Theoretical understanding and practical insight sufficient for candidates to be able to update their knowledge as necessary within their own civil engineering sector.


  • Basic skills in 2D/3D drawing together with the associated BIM based object-orientated modelling facilities available within a selection of advanced international software systems that are used in the civil engineering industry
  • Good communication skills regarding the preparation of reports that are also supported by quoted references.

General Competence

  • Basic understanding of data base principles
  • Good general competence in different data forms and how data can be exchanged between them
  • Competence to independently or as part of a team plan and carry out a BIM project
  • The premises enabling building and construction projects, taking care of multidisciplinary management functions following buildingSMART principles both with owners, contractors and in public bodies.


This course is not designed for exchange student purposes. The individual topics can however be presented in English.

Target Group

This course is designed for students connected with the building and construction industry as well as other relevant institutions, organisations, enterprises and businesses etc.

Admission Criteria

Generell studiekompetanse eller realkompetanse 

Appropriate vocational experience and at least one year’s higher education.

Applicants over 25 are also eligible on the basis of documented and relevant vocational alone.

Course Structure

The course is designed to fulfil industry’s need for practical buildingSMART competence.

Research Based Learning

Students will be introduced throughout the course to methods and manners of thought which will enable them to undertake their work innovatively. Special emphasis is given to being systematic, to the use of and reference to literature, and to the critical appraisal of sources in the literature.

Research and innovation based learning is encouraged by giving especial credit to students who demonstrate breadth of thought, independence, and good use of references and literature.

Content and Structure:

The table below shows the duration of the individual topics in this course. Two course seminars are planned during each semester. The seminars will normally be held at Gjøvik University College over 1-3 days.

Topic ECTS credits

1st year


1st year


2nd   year


2nd year


Basic Intelligent Modelling 10 10      
Digital Modelling 10 5 5    
Practical Modelling 20   10 10  
Digital Modelling Case Study 20     5 15
Total 60 15 15 15 15


Net Based Learning

Net students

The course is designed so that students can complete their studies regardless of their geographic location and, within certain limits, without being bound to specific timeframes. The role of net student is thus significantly different to that of a full time campus student, where teaching and supervising is by close contact between lecturers and students.

A net student needs to take more responsibility for his/her progress and for taking the initiative to resolve both educational and administrative issues.

Net-Based Learning

The data network is the central arena for the student’s learning activities. All types of information right up to and including obligatory requirements and even examinations will take place within this arena. The student is responsible for keeping up to date with course activities and events by maintaining regular and frequent contact with this net-based learning arena.

It is therefore critical that students as early as possible become competent and comfortable with using the Internet as their place of learning.


Supervision, guidance and advice is available by means of a number of methods, including in real time. Technologies such as web conferences, chat forums and chat are available.


Parts of the learning process will be at seminars. These will include for example lectures, attitude guidance, laboratory work and skills training in technical software. Generally, each topic will have a 1-2 days’ “kick-off” seminar. As a rule, there will be two 1-3 day seminars each semester.

Teaching Methods

The aim is to motivate students through modern interactive teaching methods in addition to concentrated conferences with lectures, exercises and guidance. Project tasks focussed on realistic problems are solved either individually or in groups.

The work of trying new electronic learning systems continues. Wherever possible, student activity is connected with existing research and development projects. Meanwhile, theoretical themes are normally available, either in part or as a whole, to more than one class, and this makes it possible for students to have the advantage of multidisciplinary classes.

IT is heavily used for parts of the course, and make it essential that students rapidly acquire the skills necessary for conventional word processing, spread sheets, e-mail and dett tools. Additionally, a personal portable PC is necessary. This PC will need to be able to connect to the College’s wireless network. Leading brands of technical software are used in the course, and license arrangements will be made for students.

Technical Prerequisites

A net course assumes that students have the equipment and software necessary to be able to communicate by means of the Internet. The following are the minimum requirements for this course:

Hardware :

  • Access to own portable PC with sound and Web-camera facilities.
  • Ability to connect to the nett with the minimum recommended bandwidth.

Software :

  • Diverse downloading programs freely obtainable as shareware (for example Flash, Acrobat Reader etc)
  • A selection of technical software which normally carry a licence fee, but which can mostly be obtained free in the form of student licenses.

Table of subjects

One Year Course in BIM (Intelligent Modelling) - course table

Coursecode Course name C/E *) ECTS each. semester
  S1(A) S2(S) S3(A) S4(S)
BIM1001 Basic Intelligent Modelling C 10      
BIM1011 Digital Modelling C 5 5    
BIM1021 Practical Modelling C   10 10  
BIM2001 Digital Modelling Case Study C     5 15
Sum: 15 15 15 15
*) C - Compulsory course, E - Elective course