Seven students from the MSc in Architecture and Sustainable Environment presented papers at the 5th Annual Conference of the Construction History Society, which was held at Queens College, Cambridge on 6 and 7 April 2018. The focus of this year’s conference was on the history of building services and its relationship to the development of construction technology. It was an international conference with delegates from countries across the world, including Australia, US, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria, Sweden and France.
The students’ papers were based on research they have undertaken in the context of the module AR828 Rediscovery under the supervision of Dr Henrik Schoenefeldt. It is a specialist module on the history of environmental technologies within the MSc. In this modules students undertake research in the history of building services, which included detailed case studies on the original environmental principles underlying the design of historic buildings.
The conference gave students the opportunity to gain important skills required in academic research, such as the writing of papers, going through the peer-review process, speaking to larger audiences about their work or taking part in plenary discussions, which involved dealing with critical comments or challenges questions from delegates or panel chairs.
Seven peer-reviewed papers were published in ‚Studies in the History of Services and Construction, The Proceedings of the Fifth Conference of the Construction History Society, Queen‘s College, Cambridge, 6-8 April 2018 (Cambridge: CHS, 2018)
The engagement of students in the conference forms part of initiatives that Dr Schoenefeldt has been leading in conjunction with his National Teaching Fellowship Award and ‚Between Heritage and Sustainability‘, a research project funded through the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Dr Schoenefeldt gave the opening keynote lecture of the conference and acted as chair the main building services stream. His lecture, which was entitled ‚Towards a History of Building Services’ explored the relationship between construction and building services in the design of the Palace of Westminster.