RIBA South/South East Student Mentoring Scheme – Emma Hilton-Grange

Stage 3 – BA (Hons) Architecture

RIBA South/South East’s Student Mentoring Scheme 2013/2014 Record

Session 1

Today we briefly met our mentors at the UCA Canterbury campus. I have been paired with an architect based in a London practice. We were introduced to the company and were given a taste of the work they do, and the kind of company they are. The company mainly completes high-end residential projects, both building new and refurbishing existing structures. Previously the company has also taken part in larger hotel projects in the UK and abroad. It is a medium-sized practice, with around ten members of a team made up of both interior designers and architects working together.

Our mentor brought along the project we were going to see later in our meetings, a residential project in London. It is a total refurbishment of an apartment with a partial extension. From this we got a sense of the scale and type of projects the firm completes.

We were also told about the relationships with the client and between the architect and the contractor.

From this initial meeting I am really looking forward to find out more about the project he showed us as well as learning about the processes within a practice.

Session 2

Today we travelled to the office in London to meet our mentor. It was good to see the environment that the practice was working in and the facilities they had as well as briefly meeting the team. Whilst at the office our mentor explained to us the process of obtaining jobs, as well as the financial process of how these are invoiced and at what points. Clients tend to pay much of the money before the project has actually started being built, however as explained to us this is due to the nature of an architect’s work, as much of it is undertaken prior to any construction work. We were told how the contractor goes about invoicing the client and the client- architect- contractor relationship, as the architect is to work in the best interests of the client and to check the work invoiced is done. I learnt a lot today about the actual workings of a job as well as examples of projects that don’t always go to plan

Dr Richard Watkins wins the Napier Shaw Bronze Medal for research excellence

Dr Richard Watkins is a co-author of the prize-winning paper “The natural ventilation performance of buildings under alternative future weather projections” published in “Building Services Engineering Research and Technology” (BSERT), the journal of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers. The paper won the Napier Shaw Bronze Medal which is awarded annually for the most highly rated research published in BSERT in 2013.

Most buildings in the UK depend on natural ventilation for controlling their internal environment, but in a warming world this may become increasingly problematic. Will buildings designed for natural ventilation now, still provide comfortable conditions in 2050, or 2080? The work looked at assessing the likely future wind speeds based on future projections published by the UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP). However, the data published by UKCIP did not include wind speed, but did include other parameters, notably the Potential Evaporation (PET), from which it was possible to algorithmically deduce the wind speed. This process of generating wind speed data from PET and other factors was carried out on thousands of years of UKCIP’s CP09 synthetic weather data and tested for reliability against other similar projections that did include wind speed data.

The results showed that significant overheating was likely in future weather conditions, for a variety of emissions scenarios, but also that there was much uncertainty in our fundamental ability to predict future wind speed. Wind speed is also very important in predicting the impact on urban climates of heat islands: in still conditions they can add several degrees to the air temperature; in windy conditions they have almost no impact.

A summary of the paper is available here (page-41) and the full paper, for a limited time from Sage publishing. The research published in the paper was supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) through the funding for the COPSE project (Coincident Probabilistic Climate Change Weather Data for a Sustainable Built Environment).

RIBA South/South East Student Mentoring Scheme – Charlotte Earnshaw

Stage 3 – BA (Hons) Architecture

UCA, Thursday 14 November

Prior to meeting our mentors I had briefly researched the practice I had been paired with and so was excited to meet my mentor and find out more about the type of work they take on. I think the majority of us from UKC were curious about how valuable the scheme would be to us; at this point we had no real indication of how often we would be meeting our mentors and what sort of input we would have within their practices. We had been expecting to gain an insight into the goings on of life in a practice and, personally, I had been sceptical about how often I would be able to meet up with the mentors considering the heavy work load of 3rd year, and of course the availability of my mentor.

After the initial introductions we were encouraged by the organisers to take a seat in the UCA meeting area in order to get to know each other a bit more, and we got straight down to booking our next meeting time, Tuesday 10th December. From there we discussed the type of design projects my mentors practice are involved in and the nature of that work. It was interesting to compare university experiences between myself and my mentor and was it quite encouraging to be reassured that the hard work during third year will all be worth it in the end, although obviously there would be much more work to follow. I was able to ask a few questions and gained some helpful advice about portfolio presentation and the opportunities available for part 1 architecture students after university.

The initial meeting eased my nerves and afterwards I was thoroughly looking forward to the visit to practice in a few weeks’ time.

The Practice, Tuesday 10th December

After a very early start to the day and several train delays I made it to the practice (fortunately, on time) in Hythe, Kent. I was given a brief tour of the two studios (upstairs and downstairs work on differing projects to keep things organised) and introduced to various members of the team – designers, structural engineers, model makers and interior designers. Initially I was working on a housing project but I was quickly moved onto a local school extension and redevelopment project in the early stages of design. During this process I met and worked with my mentor where the skeleton of the School layout was amended and designed. It was very interesting to see several architects working in unison on one project and this gave me a greater understanding of how best to schedule the design process of my own university work.

Throughout the day problems were found within suggested schemes that had been made and eventually we found a solution which accommodated the required dimensions of class rooms and other educational facilities. It was my job to take the sketched layouts and transfer these dimensions to a CAD document and overlay this onto a site plan. More issues were found and overcome during this stage as some areas on the guideline sketch had been over or under estimated.

At the end of a VERY long first visit I was able to reflect upon my contribution to the team and was invited back for a week of work experience over the Christmas holiday period.

Monday 6th January – Friday 10th January

I began the week by working on the same school scheme that I had been involved with on my previous visit. It was interesting to see how the scheme had developed and I was quite pleased that the areas I had been part of developing were working well within the overall scheme. Instead of developing the school further, I was given the task of planning out a small area of the site which was originally a school car park and playground space – the proposed area is due to become a housing estate of fifteen units. I drew up the sketch scheme in CAD, a similar task to the one I did during my first visit. This task took several hours as various factors needed to be resolved.

Later in the week I moved onto a different housing project and took part in amending plans and elevation drawings. This project was due to meet a deadline on Friday so it was imperative that I worked efficiently and made use of the time wisely so that I was not hindering the development of the scheme by being slow. I feel that this experience was very important and I was able to put into context the importance of design flare accompanied by efficiency and ability to clearly and effectively communicate to other team members. I had been fortunate to work with a part 1 student in her year in industry during this design process which was helpful and I gained many useful tips during this process. I also used my knowledge of Photoshop and other display software to help layout sheets to be viewed at a large scale as presentation devices.

Large meetings were held throughout the week about the two projects I had been working with and further developments were made to both schemes, it was interesting to see the number of people required to be part of the process as I had not anticipated the importance of large meetings such as the ones held in these situations and have gained further understanding of the implication of time and money towards large scale developments of residential and educational developments.

In addition to the design work, I participated in mass tea/coffee making and A1 paper folding, both of which I am incredibly talented at!

By the end of the week I was feeling part of the team and was glad I had participated in a full week of mentoring rather than one single day as it gave me a fuller insight into the general process of development. I am looking forward to a site visit on my third visit and am hoping to the see the school developments later in the year.

Yoko Kinoshita to give an open lecture on Tuesday 19th November 2013 at 5pm followed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris at 6pm

We would like to invite you all to a double open lecture this Tuesday from K(a)SA and KSA to be delivered from 5pm from Yoko Kinoshita, and then at 6pm from Allford Hall Monaghan Morris.

Yoko will discuss recent work from the office, including the Makabe Densho-kan, which is a municipal community center for the Makabe district of Sakuragawa City, Ibaraki. This project won the Architectural Institute of Japan AIJ Prize for 2012. Yoko is also a Professor of Kogakuin University, School of Architecture, and C…o-principal of ADH Architects.

Also joining us at 6pm are Allford Hall Monaghan Morris. They make buildings that are satisfying and enjoyable to use, beautiful to look at and easy to understand. They design very different buildings for very different people to use in very different ways. They believe in making places as well as buildings, that work over time and have lasting qualities intrinsic to their architecture.

More details to follow.

We hope to see you all there at these potentially fascinating lectures.

Yoko’s lecture will start at 5pm, followed by free drinks at 5:45pm. AHMM will then commence at 6pm. As ever the lecture will be held in the Marlowe Lecture Theatre (MLT1).

K(a)SA + KSA

Dr Nikolaos Karydis: Lecture at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Dr Karydis has been invited by the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford to give a lecture on the “Architectural Encounters between Byzantium and Islam from the 10th to the 13th Century”.

The lecture is supported by the History Faculty of the University of Oxford and the Ashmolean Museum. It will take place at the Ashmolean Museum, on Tuesday 12 November, at 2:30pm.

The programme of the entire lecture series may be found through the following link

CASE Open Lecture 12/11/13 – Doug King


Doug King:

Building on Evolution


CASE is pleased to announce that the next open lecture of 2013/14 will be given by Doug King. His lecture entitled, Building on Evolution, will be given on Tuesday, 12th November 2013 at 6pm in the Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1.

Building Design magazine ranked Doug King as the 11th most influential person in UK sustainable construction in 2012. Doug has been a lifelong proponent of high performance, high efficiency buildings from long before ‘sustainability’ became a fashion statement. He has contributed to the design of numerous pioneering buildings, including: Sainsbury’s Greenwich Eco-Store and the Weald and Downland Gridshell, both shortlisted for the Stirling Prize. The Genzyme Centre in Cambridge Massachussetts was, until recently, the largest LEED Platinum building in the world. His design for the Innovate Green Office in Leeds broke the BREEAM Excellent ceiling by such a margin that BRE had to introduce its new ‘Outstanding’ rating to catch up. Doug is a Visiting Professor at the Universities of Bath and Chongqing and also teaches in Beirut and Russia.

‘Building on Evolution’
As a building physicist, everywhere Doug King looks in the built environment he finds evidence of underlying physical properties that have probably influenced the choices of generations of builders. From structure to roof tiles to paint, the properties of certain materials and methods appear to have brought tangible benefits to buildings, despite these rarely being overtly recognised. In ‘Building on Evolution’, Doug King discusses some of the hidden physics that has influenced buildings across history and which could potentially point us to new opportunities for creating high performance, low impact buildings, that have not yet even been imagined.

The Houses of Parliament’s historic ventilation system

On  20 November 2013 Dr. Henrik Schoenefeldt has been invited to give a lecture at the Engineering Club in London, focusing on his current research into the Houses of Parliament’s historic ventilation system. He will present recent research findings regarding the design of the historic system, its technical development and performance. Details about the talk can be found at: http://www.engineeringclub.org.uk/talks.asp.

Dr. Schoenefeldt is also giving a talk at University of Westminster on Environmental Experimentation in the mid 19th Century this Thursday 7 November 18:30 – 20:00.

For more information on Dr. Schoenefeldt’s research, please visit our website.