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Tackling the second year and a Group Project in Construction

Posted 15th July 2018
by Matthew

My second year at university was definitely a year filled with challenges. Besides an increase in the quality and quantity of work required to pass each module, students completing their second year on the HND in Construction and the Built Environment quickly have to develop effective collaborative and team work skills. As an example, students studying this course will expect to complete a Group project which, simply described, consists of the planning and design of a multi-storey structure for a specific purpose. This year the module revolved around a fictional Design and Build construction company who has been given the opportunity to design a multi-storey construction project on a site within the Hull area. As part of the project the building had to also include a sustainable technology and must be able to recover the cost of construction within a ten year period.

Split into 3 teams of 5, the group I was a part of – named Record Construction - decided to design a new health-care centre located on Calvert Lane. The design consisted of a simple timber-based construction superstructure that would be manufactured from a local modular building company. Along with a roof shaped like the heartbeat illustration found on a heart monitor. Inside the structure, the layout was mostly open plan with lots of natural light of the south facing side of the building – to increase the amount of solar gain. As part of an earlier site survey we found the site to be the habitat of many small woodland creatures and therefore we decided to blend the structure into the environment to minimise the impact on local flora and fauna.

Over a period of 3 months, before our first presentation, the design and concept of the building constantly kept changing as some members of the group wanted to make the project more complex and better than any other group. At the time there was a little competition going on between the groups as to see which project is the best. As a result the group lost a lot of time changing the project and as you can imagine a lot of disagreements took place. In addition to producing a concept and building design, we were also tasked with creating a portfolio of research to support the project. This consisted of survey’s, reports, plans, finances and programme schedule, along with a lot more. It could be fair to say that an entire forest worth of paper was used in this module as they were folders upon folders of work. But then again this was a yearlong project and there was a need for a lot of evidence to show you’ve done the work.

Besides Group Project, I also got to complete modules in Health and Safety (which was very boring), Building Regulations and Organisational Management.

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