Online simulations are an interactive training tool for tradesmen and students as the demand for skilled labor in the construction industry grows.
The construction industry is experiencing a shortage in skilled labor, which is leading to slower construction and higher construction costs. According to the National Association of Homebuilders, there are currently approximately 200,000 unfilled construction jobs across the United States. This is an 81% increase in the past two years [i]. The Associated General Contractors of America reports that nearly 80% of construction companies report difficulty finding skilled labor[i].
Restocking the Building Code Knowledge Base
Building code knowledge is also in high demand, as Code compliance is essential in every phase of construction. Apprentices, contractors, inspectors and engineers will all need to improve their Code knowledge. These individuals must be able to effectively administer building codes for safe residential structures. Inspectors who ensure Code compliance are retiring at an alarming rate. More than 80% of code workers are planning to retire within the next 15-years, and more than 30% within the next five-years.
To attract more workers to the field, some states have increased funding for training in skilled construction trades.
Cengage has partnered up with top education and training providers such as the International Code Council and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), to provide education materials for students. Cengage, ICC, and NFPA have teamed up to create a new 3D immersive training simulation called the Delmar Online Simulation: Residential Construction Codes. This product will be useful to any professional or student who needs to learn and apply the International Residential Code (IRC) and National Electric Code (NEC). The ICC and NFPA are highly respected in the electrical and building fields. Students can benefit from their expertise. They are both leaders in code education and training, providing online and in-person instruction and producing dozens educational materials.
Training for the Future
Training has evolved with the skilled trades. The new era of training uses online simulations that are game-based to help professionals and students understand everything, from complex building codes to electrical wiring sequences and more. This allows users to learn at their own pace and provides a more immediate assessment to an employer, learner, or certifying body.
Simulators go beyond the text to teach Code in an experiential and visual way. This is especially important for learners who need to translate code provisions into practical application.
This is crucial for inspectors or tradesmen who are new to visually assessing homes. Vanessa Myers, Sr. Product Manager at Cengage.
“Providing variability in Code violations when physical buildings are used to train is costly and time-consuming. These simulations are the next generation in Code training. Myers says that there is nothing like it on the marketplace. “Trades are always looking for new ways of attracting workers and inspectors. This is one way to do it with cutting-edge training solutions such as this.
“The residential code simulation training provides cutting-edge digital training for professionals of all levels. It offers the closest thing to real, hands-on field training experience.
Hamid Naderi Senior VP Product Development, P.E. ICC
The Delmar Online Training Simulator: Residential Construction Codes is a 3D interactive simulation program that allows users to gain hands-on experience and learn how to apply and understand the residential and electrical codes throughout residential construction. To determine code compliance, users virtually navigate a residential construction site stopping at code inspection points throughout the construction process. Code violations are identified along the way just like they would be on a jobsite. Randomization of Code violations in a simulation environment allows for a fresh exploration every time a student enters a house. Code violations can be assigned to courses in construction and electrical to align with competencies and curricula. Metrics can also be provided to employers or instructors. The simulation must be completed successfully to be eligible for ICC renewal CEUs through their Preferred Provider Network. Cengage is an ICC preferred provider.
“This collaboration allows me to take my vast electrical code knowledge and provide it in a manner that adds more value to those who rely upon NFPA information to do the job. It also provides it in a manner that mirrors real.”