Edinburgh Napier University has been gifted equipment and software by California-based software-as-a-service (Saa) company Trimble to establish a state-of-the-art Technology Lab for architecture, engineering and construction (AEC). 

The lab will expand the University’s leadership in training and research in 3D building design, digital fabrication and the sustainable built environment.

Partnering with Trimble allows Edinburgh Napier to more fully integrate across its curricula the technological tools that are rapidly transforming how buildings and living environments are designed and constructed. The lab will equip students with knowledge of the latest thinking in how to plan, design, build and manage engineering projects.

Trimble’s broad portfolio of building construction solutions support the Constructible Process, Trimble’s innovative approach for enabling digital transformation of AEC workflows. This process empowers disparate teams across the construction lifecycle with actionable data to improve productivity and reduce waste.

The Trimble Technology Lab will provide students enrolled in Edinburgh Napier’s School of Engineering & the Built Environment, including architectural technology, civil engineering and project management programmes, with hands-on experience with Trimble solutions. Applications of these solutions range from scanning buildings or sites, design and 3D printing of architectural building models and digital fabrication to implementing construction cost estimating and scheduling to improve productivity and reduce costs. 

Allyson McDuffie, director of Education & Outreach at NASDAQ-listed Trimble, which has more than 11,000 employees worldwide, said: “We’re extremely excited to be establishing a state-of-the art Trimble Technology Lab in collaboration with Edinburgh Napier.

“Our mission in transforming the AEC industry requires that we invest in aspiring designers, architects, contractors, engineers and project management professionals by driving awareness of, and access to, industry-leading solutions for training and research.”

Prior to the Trimble Technology Lab being installed at the University’s Merchiston campus for the 2020/21 academic year, a pilot laboratory for student use was launched on Tuesday at the University’s facility at the 7 Hills Business Park at Sighthill.

Professor Andrea Nolan, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University, said: “We are proud to be joining forces with Trimble to create the first dedicated Trimble Technology Laboratory in Scotland.

“This generous gift means students and researchers across Edinburgh Napier University will have access to technologies broadening our applications of surveying, 3D building modelling, performance analysis and digitally empowered delivery for the built environment in new and exciting ways.

“Our next generation of architectural technology, engineering, sustainable construction and surveying professionals at Edinburgh Napier will be able to experience and apply cutting-edge solutions to real-world built environment problems thanks to Trimble’s pioneering support.”

Professor Robert Hairstans, Head of Edinburgh Napier’s Centre for Offsite Construction and Innovative Structures, said: “The new Trimble Technology Lab will prepare the next generation of engineering and construction leaders to be bold and better in addressing the industry’s 21st century challenges of harnessing technological innovation, increasing productivity and decarbonising the built environment.”

The lab will include a broad range of Trimble’s industry-leading solutions such as the Trimble® XR10 HoloLens with hardhat, Trimble mechanical total stations, a Trimble unmanned aircraft system (UAS) and a handheld scanner. Advanced software solutions include RealWorks® scanning software, Trimble Business Center, Tekla® Structures, Tekla Structural Designer, Tekla Tedds, Trimble Connect and the company’s popular 3D modeling software, SketchUp Pro.

Trimble services global industries in Agriculture, Building & Construction, GeoSpatial, Natural Resources and Utilities, Governments, Transportation and others.