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Evolving the Industry: Ten Years of the CostX Educational Program

The CostX® Educational Program first began in 2007 and is this year celebrating its 10 year anniversary. It was established in order to provide industry-leading technology to educational institutes free-of-charge. From the first license issued back in 2007, to now having issued over 5000 licenses in over 80 institutes, we’re confident that our Educational Program continues to deliver innovative value into the academic scene and transform the construction industry from the ground up.

Unlike other industries, the global construction industry has been slow in adopting new technologies. While globalisation had helped other industries prosper, the construction sector has stagnated over the least 40 years due to severe fragmentation. In addition, there is a disconnect between work being done in academia with regard to emerging new knowledge and solutions. Exactal recognises that to build sustainable competitive advantage, the construction industry should aim to increase productivity through innovation. This should start with the injection of new technologies into the future generation of construction leaders- such as BIM- Building Information Modelling.

Lecturers all over the world will attest to the success that has come from implementing CostX® into QS, Construction Management or other similar courses. Dr. Ajibade Aibinu from the University of Melbourne has recently written a case study on this, which can be found below:

Digital Take-off and Estimating using BIM and CostX® at The University of Melbourne

For the past 8 years, the Melbourne School of Design at the University of Melbourne has progressively integrated the use digital technology and BIM into the cost management curriculum. Students are being exposed to hands-on 2D and 3D digital take-off and 5D model-based quantity extraction and estimating using Exactal CostX®. Students engage with both the fundamental and advanced features of digital tools for quantity take-off and cost estimation.

CostX® has proven to be one of the leading tools in digital estimating and 5D-BIM which is making take-off a lot quicker and much more reliable. Students in the “Measurement and estimating” subject at MSD are able to measure and extract quantities of building work items using 2D (Vector and Raster files) and 3D models and on that basis prepare a Cost Plan, using the rate library as well as generating the associated reports. Students also create their own 3D BIM using BIM authoring software and thereafter using CostX® they can automate quantity take-off using BIM template to extract quantities from BIM object properties thereby enriching their understanding of 5D-BIM estimating workflow.

For the past 3 years, the University of Melbourne together with other institutions locally and internationally has also implemented an annual event called ‘BIM Immersion and Competition’. The event has been designed to help participants understand digital concepts and processes as well as how they can be applied in practice. This annual initiative is helping to educate construction students (future professionals) and make them BIM literate. During the event, participants engage with the practice of BIM applications in different ways including model-based cost estimating with CostX®. They are introduced to the concept of model mapping and model validation and the use of the CostX® Auto-revisioning tool for viewing design change updates.

The integration of CostX® along with other BIM tools into the curriculum is benefiting the students. BIM Education using real world digital tools including CostX® is increasing the awareness of the opportunities and benefits of digital technologies as well as simplifying complex digital concepts and scenarios for students. Working with tools such as CostX® is helping to demonstrate the impact of digital processes on practice and on the future of the industry, as well as what is possible regarding the benefits and challenges of model-based processes. Students have been making the best use of CostX® to model map a BIM project file, object mode measure for refinement of measurement, BIM templates to understand the classifications and available coding systems and automated cost planning as well as looking forward to more collaborative features such as user defined properties data extraction and live linking.

It is important for students to still learn the traditional method of estimating. However, in order to ensure that they are equipped for the future, it is also crucial to ensure students are taught about up and coming technologies that will affect them This will not only increase their prospects of employment, but also help to lift the construction industry as a whole.

2017 has been one of our most successful years yet and there are plans to grow this program even further in the near future. Exactal appreciates the positive uptake of the Educational Program and would like to thank everyone who has embarked on the journey in helping to upskill the global construction industry through education!

If you are an academic staff looking for more information on the Educational Program, click the button below:
Submit an Educational Enquiry
Or
If you are just a student or a lecturer wanting a licence for a single computer, click the button below:
Apply for a Student License

You can also read more on the benefits of our CostX® Educational Program here:
https://www.exactal.com/en/company/blog/upskill-higher-education-with-5d-bim/