Loughborough Uni launches dedicated training centre for BIM and pipework

Loughborough University has launched a dedicated training centre to support the building and industrial-services industry in tacking the challenge of pipework innovation and energy-efficiency installation. Established to raise awareness of BIM (Building Information Modelling) and pipework-related issue, the centre offers CIBSE-accredited CPD training courses for designers, HVAC pipe installers and customers of Tata Steel (one of the companies involved in setting up the Building & Industrial Services Pipework Academy [BISPA]). Other collaborators are CIBSE and the university’s School of Civil & Building Engineering.

Dr Mahroo Eftekhari, FCIBSE, reader in building services engineering and course director for MSc in low-energy building services engineering , said: ‘Through our discussions with companies, we have found a gap in knowledge of selection, sizing and installation of tubing for HVAC systems — and this is why BISPA has such an important role to play.

‘Many HVAC pipes installed in commercial buildings have been sized larger than what is required. This can result in significant cost and energy consequences because of the large quantities of pipework involved.’

BISPA aims to promote cost-effective energy-saving practice in designing and installing pipework systems — knowledge which is not readily available in the industry. It also aims to educate HVAC designers, installers and local traders in how to select the correct pipework, measure heat losses and properly insulate pipes.

The training courses use interactive teaching rigs and a variety of measuring devices and techniques to demonstrate, for example, heat losses from hot-water pipes (using infra-red cameras) and pressure losses associated with pipes of various diameters and pipe fittings. Modules are available for pipework specifications, hot-finished versus cold-formed products, and system corrosion and service-life issues.

Lab-based workshops will demonstrate essential engineering principles relating to the life cycle of a piping network, while computer-based workshops will offer an introduction to object-oriented product modelling as a pre-requisite for BIM.

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