On the 1st to 5th day of COP….

…our true love of all things architecture, engineering and construction saw us create a Net Zero-themed work experience programme for the young people of Glasgow City Region.

In collaboration with Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce and McDonalds, we gave S3 pupils one week to design a highly sustainable restaurant based on a real site location in Barrhead. Teams were supported by the fabulous folks at Manchester’s AEW Architects (who do this for real for McDonalds!), lovely Saffron Grant of Setting Out for Construction and a whole host of volunteers from Turner & Townsend, M1NT Studio, Galliford Try, Geolearn, Wills Bros and Mott MacDonald.

Some wonderful submissions have now come through and we’ll be reporting on these very soon…

On the 9th day of COP26…

At the invitation of After The Pandemic, the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) and the Department for Education (DfE) to host educational activities in the DfE’s GenZero prototype school building, we contacted the fabulous Duncanrig Secondary School and asked DEC students and teachers to take part. And where better – the GenZero classroom is showcased in the CSIC factory, chock full of robotic, mixed reality and advanced manufacturing technologies and equipment to inspire imagination and creativity.

That morning, DEC Level 1 and 2 students attended masterclass sessions:

  • ARCHITECTURE with CSIC Chief Executive and Architect Stephen Good,
  • BUILDING SERVICES with DfE Design Advisor and Building Physics and Services Engineer Beverly Quinn
  • QUANTITY SURVEYING with Turner & Townsend Lead Director and CSIC Board Chair Andy Outram, Director Suzanne Graham, Assistant Cost Manager Danny Tennyson
  • TECHNOLOGY with EcoSystems Technologies Founder and all-round ‘can do’ innovator Matt Stevenson.

This was followed by a GenZero critique session by the students and teachers (results to follow!).

That afternoon, Hodder + Partners’ Stephen Hodder MBE, After The Pandemic and Fair Futures’ Anne Johnstone, Climate Change Committee’s Chris Stark, Dandara’s Zoe Sharpe and Heriot-Watt University’s Malcolm Chrisp joined myself and HWU MSc Civil Engineering student Alizah Mughal to judge our ‘Design The COP’ Challenge. An intense session that judges found very challenging! You can read more about the fantastic winners here.

And on the 11th day of COP26…

Beverly Quinn, Ian Naylor and David Brown choose an Eco Classroom winning design

On the 11th November, when all at COP26 focused on the Built Environment, we challenged 27 Duncanrig S1 and S2 pupils to to design an Eco Classroom in a day. They formed their own design companies with project teams of surveyors, architects, engineers, landscape architects, managers and marketeers.

The children were supported once again by Stephen Good, Beverly Quinn and Matt Stevenson and called on a little help from friendly visitors to CSIC who dropped in to explore the GenZero Classroom. This included a surprise “hello!” from the Minister for Higher Education and Further Education, Youth Employment and Training, Jamie Hepburn MSP, who was very keen to meet our young professionals and hear about their task.

Pupils went from zero knowledge to a complete set of drawings and live presentations once again to the DfE’s Design Advisor Beverly Quinn, Lead of Design Research and Architect Ian Naylor and Cundall’s Principal Engineer David Brown.

The teamwork was fantastic, with ideas that incorporated sustainable materials and renewable energy and a real focus on educating and including the entire local community to live a greener life. Three very different Eco Classrooms befitting any GenZero young professionals, but judges chose the SEP (“Solving Eco Problems”) team as outright winners. SEP presented impressive architectural designs and engineering solutions and focused on their key themes of Equality, Respect and Biodiversity with a mission “to educate everyone..to help lower their carbon footprints and improve accessibility” 

Thank you to the staff and head teacher of Duncanrig Secondary School for their tremendous effort during the week – your pupils are a credit to you, to Scotland and to a future Construction industry.

Our final thanks go to the amazing team at CSIC whose warmth and support made it a real pleasure to BE@COP26!

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