Wednesday 7th April 2010 by C. Freeman
Brooke Weston students on the Construction and the Built Environment course are currently designing promotional material to encourage other young people to consider a career in construction design. As a part of their research the students have to understand the various job roles and career opportunities within this field and they were extremely keen to interview six delegates from one of the UK's largest construction companies, Kier Marriott.
The multi-million pound construction company, based in Rushden, was equally keen to assist the students in gaining a full appreciation of their organisation and their individual roles, which ranged from a company director to a graduate surveyor.
Mr Sean Yeo, the contracts director, gave a brief overview of Kier Marriott and some of the projects it has been involved in, before Mr Andrew Tatlock, the design and build manager, delivered a presentation detailing the stages between pitching for an initial job to having the final plans signed off by the client.
Mr Tatlock told them: 'After spending time finding out what the client wants the architect will look at the constraints, which tends to be space available to build the building. We use Google maps which gives us a perspective of what the current site looks like and we overlay the design onto it to see how it's going to fit within the environment.'
After the initial client appraisal there is a design brief where the architects experiment with the configuration of the building. They look at its 'circulation' deciding where each area is located and working out exactly how people will move around and use it on a daily basis. They then produce bubble diagrams showing modular layouts, moving areas around to get the optimum design for the client. Then comes the concept stage where the designers look at what features, such as bio-fuel heat pumps and wind turbines, they can incorporate into the new build to help reduce its carbon footprint.
The design development is the most important phase where all the previous information is put together, models are built, detailed plans are drawn and there is consultation with the end user and, if necessary, outside agencies such as the police and local authority.
Once the students had made copious notes, the session moved on to a series of 'speed interviews', where they had 10 minutes to interview each delegate and ask pertinent questions to help them understand both their role and how they could promote it to a younger audience. This provided enthusiastic and focused debate.
As well as Mr Yeo and Mr Tatlock, the company representatives were Mr Matthew Kemshed, a graduate surveyor, site engineer, Mr Jonathan Brice, planning and environmental manager Mr Darren Ferry and Ms Michelle Dean, the HR and training manager.
Towards the end of the session, the visitors got an opportunity to view the diploma students' first attempts at technical two point perspective and isometric drawings of the new Corby railway station, followed by some of their research into railway stations from around the world. Mr Tatlock was extremely impressed by the students' level of draughtmanship, while Mr Yeo thought that the overall presentation of the students' portfolio was professional and of a very high quality.
After the meeting Mr Yeo said: 'The students were very tuned in, very attentive. Clearly what is happening here at Brooke Weston is very good in terms of getting them to that mindset that they have got an academic career at this stage, and there will be a career hopefully in contracting, construction or design that they can follow. To have people in who actually work in construction as opposed to just good tutors or teachers is good for them.'
Mr Jonathan Browne said: 'Today's session captured the essence of what this diploma is about; enthusiastic and experienced employers engaging with enthusiastic and motivated students. This was applied learning in its purest form and I am extremely grateful to Kier Marriott for allowing these key employees to come and share their expertise with us. It really was invaluable and gave our students a lot of inspiration. In addition Kier Marriott have also offered work experience placements to two of our students in August.'