As part of its modernization, the program offered by Vancouver Community College (VCC) recently changed its name from steel detailing to steel construction modelling.
“We made the name change to better reflect our focus on 3D modelling and what the industry is already doing,” said Ron Palma, a steel construction modelling technician instructor at VCC. “We also wanted to make the program sound more attractive to prospective students. Detailing sounded too much like washing cars.”
Palma says steel detailers/modellers don’t have a high profile and the nature of their work is not well known to everyone.
The technicians prepare detailed plans, drawings, and other documents for the manufacture and erection of steel members (e.g. columns, beams, braces, trusses, stairs, handrails, joists, and metal decking) that are used to construct buildings, bridges, industrial plants, and non-building structures.
Aspiring detailers/modellers at VCC begin by learning basic drafting skills on AutoCAD. After completing that stage of their training, they move into the steel construction modelling specialty.
The program takes students through traditional steel detailing, such as creating various steel detailing drawings.
They learn about bolting, welding, and working with the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC) Steel Construction Handbook and fabricator standards, and they apply the skills they’ve learned in class on various commercial and industrial projects.
After they’ve finished their training and obtained their certificate from VCC, most steel detailers/modellers find employment with steel fabricators, engineering firms, or independent steel detailing companies.
VCC’s 10-month Steel Construction Modelling certificate program, as it is now called, runs from September to June. International students may apply to this program as part of the Computer Aided Draft and Building Information Modelling Technician Diploma.
Palma says the revamped program, apart from the name change, will feature an increase in software training, from six to 13 weeks.