Edinburgh Napier University has been gifted equipment and software by California-based 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.

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 and 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.

“We’re extremely excited to be establishing a state-of- the art Trimble Technology Lab in collaboration with Edinburgh Napier,” said Allyson McDuffe, director of education and outreach at Trimble.

“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 December 10 at the University’s facility at the 7 Hills Business Park at Sighthill.

“We are proud to be joining forces with Trimble to create the first dedicated Trimble Technology Laboratory in Scotland,” said Professor Andrea Nolan, principal and vice-chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University.

“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.

“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,” added Professor Robert Hairstans, head of Edinburgh Napier’s Centre for Offsite Construction and Innovative Structures.

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 and a hand-held 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 modelling software, SketchUp Pro.