Three years ago, four Carleton professors, Autodesk Canada, and Carleton University partnered to develop the Digital Campus Innovation project. Together, they set out with the goal to build building information models (BIMs) of all of Carleton’s 45 buildings, obtain energy and water data and make it accessible to all stakeholders, work closely with Facilities Management and Planning to reduce energy use, and to train students. The effort has sparked interdisciplinary collaboration between engineering, architecture, policy, and computer science and numerous additional industry partners. Now, two years later, they have made solid progress with many tangible useful outcomes and innovative solutions that are being rolled into Carleton’s building operations (some examples on their websites: www.carleton.ca/dci/ or www.carleton.ca/hbilab).
Now, Carleton has expanded this effort and their network nationally. They believe that the opportunity to form partnerships between campuses and other building portfolios with colleges and universities has been largely untapped. Providing graduate students with the opportunity to solve building performance-related challenges gives them an unparalleled living laboratory opportunity and marketable hands-on experience; meanwhile, they can provide innovative cost-saving measures to building operators and owners.
CanBIM participated in this fantastic learning and collaboration opportunity. Pietro Ferrari, CanBIM Director an Chair of the Education & Research Committee attended alongside many distinguished industry colleagues . This one-and-a-half day workshop at Carleton advanced this initiative while opening the discussion to industry needs and research potential. The themes included: digital tools, data management and visualization, and occupant/operator engagement – all with the goal improving the environmental and economical sustainability of campuses and building clusters.