The £8.7m ACT-UK Simulation Centre will enable construction managers to be trained as though on a real site.
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 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.
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).
A number of trainees have already visited the centre ahead of its official opening including construction managers from Balfour Beatty.
Sir John Egan and James Wates will be the keynote speakers at the launch of the centre.
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 £6.6m 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 said: “Innovation is a vital element in any industry but perhaps none more so than construction – which is an industry that turns ideas into reality.
“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.”