BOSTON — Cengage, an education and training company, partnered with the International Code Council and the National Fire Protection Association to provide education materials for students and tradesmen. According to the Associated General Contractors of America, nearly 80 percent of construction businesses report they are having a hard time finding qualified skilled labor.

Building code knowledge is an area that’s in high demand as code compliance is required in each phase of construction. Yet labor estimates say that the inspectors that ensure code compliance are retiring at a steep rate — more than 80 percent of the existing code workforce plans to retire in the next 15 years, with more than 30 percent in the next five years.

Cengage, ICC and NFPA developed a new immersive, 3D training simulation — the Delmar Online Training Simulation: Residential Construction Codes. This digital resource is designed to serve any student or professional needing to understand and apply the National Electric Code (published by NFPA) and the International Residential Code (published by ICC).

“The trades are looking for new ways to entice workers and inspectors,” said Vanessa Myers, senior product manager at Cengage. “Cutting-edge training solutions like this are one way to do that.”

Today’s era of training involves game-based online simulations to guide students and professionals in understanding everything from complicated building codes to electrical wiring sequences and beyond. Learning can now be done at the users’ convenience and provide more immediate assessment to a learner, employer, or certifying body.

The Delmar Online Training Simulation: Residential Construction Codes allows users to virtually navigate a residential construction site, stopping at code inspection points during every phase of the construction process, to determine code compliance. Along the way, code violations are identified as they would appear on a jobsite.

Randomization of code violations in a simulated environment allows for a fresh exploration each time a student enters the house. When used in a construction or electrical course, code violations can be assignable to align directly with course curricula and competencies, and metrics can be provided back to instructors or employers. Successful completion of the simulation will also be eligible for ICC certification renewal CEUs via its Preferred Provider Network, of which Cengage is a member.

“The residential code simulation training is … the closest thing available to actual and hands-on field training experience,” said Hamid Naseri, P.E., ICC senior vice president for product development.    

You can view a demo here. Designed for professionals and students in technical or apprenticeship programs, the Residential Construction Codes simulation is available at an affordable $50. It can be used as a standalone training tool or in conjunction with Cengage’s MindTap. Discounts are available for ICC and NFPA members.

Cengage also offers online training simulation programs across many constructions trades — residential wiring, HVAC and electricity for HVAC, and welding. To learn more about the simulations, please visit the Cengage Simulation Station.