CIOB: Site managers receive world-leading 4D training

The £8.7m ACT-UK Simulation Centre opens today in Coventry as the UK’s first virtual reality training facility for the construction industry.

The Centre, which is only the second of its kind in the world, will enable construction site managers to be trained as though on a real site, using pioneering technology. A 12-metre, panoramic screen recreates a wide variety of scenarios, meaning trainees could be ‘virtually’ on-site at anything from a small, rural affordable housing scheme, to an inner-city high-rise office development.

The Centre sets a new standard for leadership and management training in the industry, giving site managers the opportunity to deal with demanding lifelike situations and covering issues such as health & safety, waste reduction and team performance.

The innovative technology means trainees can ‘fly’ through the virtual construction site, inspecting building work in close detail, giving them an opportunity to make decisions in a safe and controlled environment, supported by individual observation, evaluation and feedback.

The Centre was developed by ACT-UK with expert technical consultation from the construction industry including NHBC, and supported by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB). It is modeled on the Building Management Simulation Centre in the Netherlands and uses the latest technological advances now available.

The Centre was funded by a £6.6 million loan from Advantage West Midlands, together with investments of £2.1m from Coventry University Enterprises Ltd, Construction Skills, Learning and Skills Council Coventry and Warwickshire and construction industry private sector investors.

Clive Benfield, Chairman of ACT-UK said, “The new centre provides a unique capability in the UK for training our future industry managers and helping our current industry mangers to achieve even higher standards, in an unrivaled and radical learning environment.”

Michael Brown deputy chief executive at the CIOB commented: “Innovation is a vital element in any industry but perhaps none more so than construction – which is an industry that turns ideas into reality. We constantly push the frontiers of knowledge on live projects, whether big firms or small. But it is the people and not the processes that deliver these projects. The CIOB has no doubt that this centre will attract even better recruits into the industry and equip our workforce to fit the needs of the future.”

Rob Lockey, training services manager at NHBC, said: “This new Centre offers a world-leading approach to training that will reshape the way sites are run. As the UK construction industry emerges from recession, ensuring staff are fully and expertly trained will be a vital part of ramping up productivity and efficiency, to produce low-carbon housing of the future. This new Centre will be invaluable in that process.”

Advantage West Midlands Partnership Director Roberts, Partnerships Director, said the main strength of the simulation centre was the fact that it was industry-led. “This development meets the demands of the construction industry and allows Coventry and the wider West Midlands region to take the lead in advanced construction training in the UK,” he said.

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) represents for the public benefit the most diverse set of professionals in the construction industry.
Our Mission
To contribute to the creation of a modern, progressive, and responsible construction industry; able to meet the economic, environmental and social challenges faced in the 21st century.
Our 7 Guiding Principles
. Creating extraordinary people through professional learning and continuous personal development.
. Promoting the built environment as central to the quality of life for everyone everywhere.
. Achieving a sustainable future, worldwide.
. Advocating exemplary ethical practice and behaviour, integrity and transparency.
. Pursuing excellence in management practice, and technological innovation rooted in evidence based science.
. Being socially responsible and working responsibly.
. Enabling our members to find an emotional resonance with the Institute; their success is our success.
We have over 45,000 members around the world and are considered to be the international voice of the building professional, representing an unequalled body of knowledge concerning the management of the total building process.
Chartered Member status is recognised internationally as the mark of a true, skilled professional in the construction industry and CIOB members have a common commitment to achieving and maintaining the highest possible standards within the built environment.
Further information is available by contacting Saul Townsend CIOB Press and Communications Manager on t: 01344 630 766 or e: