How to Teach BIM Using Minecraft

Minecraft has long been of interest to those in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry. After all, the indie game, which burst onto the scene in 2011, is all about designing and constructing buildings (and even wiring an electrical system, if you’re savvy).

The trouble is that the game isn’t very realistic. With its ridiculous physics, endless build height and limitless materials, it doesn’t exactly give a clear picture of current construction practices.

As Mark McKane and David Comiskey of the Northern Ireland BIM Steering Group explained, though, this could quickly change with a mod called BeIMCraft—which combines building information modeling (BIM) practices with Minecraft for AEC education.


BeIMCraft: Story Mode

It all started with an idea.

Minecraft can already import Revit models to create

Minecraft can already import Revit models to create “worlds,” so why not use it to teach BIM and construction practices? (Image courtesy of BeIMCraft.)

Timothy Hegarty has been very active in social media surrounding BIM and is a Minecraft enthusiast. Hegarty was aware of the educational applications of the game, as well as its existing capabilities to import Revit and IFC models, and thought it could work to put two and two together.

“As part of the network of the BIM Steering Group, other people from the industry were getting in contact with us and asking how they could get involved,” McKane explained. Hegarty pitched the idea to McKane and Comiskey, both of whom were working at

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