Building Services Engineering & Sustainable Energy Engineering Trip to Edinburgh

Engineering
Students & Staff outside the Building Research Establishment (BRE) Innovation park, Scotland

Students & Staff outside the Building Research Establishment (BRE) Innovation park, Scotland

Twenty five students from years 2, 3 & 4 of the Sustainable Energy Engineering and year 3 of the Building Services Engineering courses at WIT went on the Annual International trip which was a three day trip to Scotland this year.

Twenty five students from years 2, 3 & 4 of the Sustainable Energy Engineering and year 3 of the Building Services Engineering courses at WIT went on the Annual International trip which was a three day trip to Scotland this year.

The trip was part funded by generous sponsorship from Winthrop Engineering Ltd which greatly assisted in making the trip our most popular in recent years. Visits included Heriot Watt University, the Building Research Establishment (BRE) at Ravenscraig, the North Lanarkshire College at Motherwell and the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation at the University of Edinburgh.

Students & Staff outside the Building Research Establishment (BRE) Innovation park, Scotland

On the morning of Tuesday 10th November the group arrived in Edinburgh and went directly to Heriot-Watt University. Heriot Watt is a large university located in a parkland campus outside Edinburgh City. The morning of activities was organised by and facilitated by Mr. Adrian Johnston, Project Manager of Capital Projects for Heriot-Watt University. The first visit was to the Oriam Building, Scotland's Sports Performance Centre which is presently under construction and due for completion in summer 2016. Oriam is funded by the Scottish government and will be operated by Heriot-Watt University in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council.

The facility consists of; an outdoor synthetic pitch, five outdoor natural football and two rugby pitches; twelve court sports hall; a full size indoor 3G pitch; a cafe and a fitness suite, and world class facilities for sports science and medicine including a hydrotherapy facility. Oriam will be the performance base for both the Scottish FA and Scottish Rugby Union, as well as the Sportscotland Institute of Sport, Basketball Scotland, Scottish Handball, Scottish Squash & Racketball and Scottish Volleyball. The visit consisted of a comprehensive overview of the site and the sustainable aspects of the project. Of particular interest was the PVC roof which is wrapped over the huge structure, the natural ventilation strategy for the main space, the roof drainage and conservation measures such as the protected Victorian brick wall which was tastefully integrated into the building interior.

Students & Staff Scotland nov 2015

The second visit was to the Lyell Centre building. The Centre will house the British Geological Survey (Scotland) and staff from the University’s Schools of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure & Society and Life Sciences. As well as providing new office and laboratory facilities the Lyell Centre will incorporate a new 50,000 litre climate change research aquarium, the UK NERC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Oil and Gas and the Shell Centre for Exploration Geoscience. It is scheduled for completion in early 2016. The visit consisted of a comprehensive overview of the site and the services systems including the ventilation system, the heating system, fan coil units A/C system and the boiler plant rooms which housed the boiler plant and combined heat and power (CHP) plant. Of particular interest to the students was that this building is designed to be BREEAM certified following completion.

Students & Staff Scotland nov 2015

In the afternoon the students visited the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design in the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society at Heriot Watt University. The centre is a collaboration with the Royal Academy of Engineering and is one of four such Centres established at UK universities that jointly form a national network to demonstrate and exchange best practice in teaching and research for the sustainable built environment.

This visit was facilitated by Dr Gillian Menzies and hosted by Dr Menzies and Dr David Kelly. During this visit Dr Menzies provided an overview of the activities of the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design and the research and expertise in School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society. Also Dr. Kelly provided the students with a demonstration of his research work and the laboratory and research and teaching facilities in the school.

Students & Staff Scotland nov 2015

Wednesday included a trip away from Edinburgh for the visit to the town of Ravenscraig which is one of the largest derelict sites in Europe measuring over 1,125 acres (4.55 km2) in size. Once the largest hot strip steel mill in Western Europe, the steelworks closed in 1992, and is now almost totally demolished. After many years of planning, Ravenscraig will be 'regenerated' and rebuilt and at the centre of the site is the Building Research Establishment (BRE) Innovation park, Scotland.

In the visitors centre the students were presented to by David Kelly, BRE Group director of Innovation Park Networks who explained the international role the BRE plays in developing the innovation parks which feature some of the world’s most sustainable buildings and landscapes plus hundreds of low carbon products, materials and technologies. Also, Leanne McMillan, Sustainable Development Director with the BRE outlined the scope of the BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) and congratulated Waterford Institute of Technology on signing up for the delivery of the BREEAM Accredited Graduate (AG) program which is being offered to students in the school of engineering during this academic year.

BREEAM is the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for master planning projects, infrastructure and buildings.  It addresses a number of lifecycle stages such as New Construction, Refurbishment and In-Use. Through the delivery of the BREEAM AG course in WIT students will have the grounding in the drivers for sustainability in construction today. They will be able to understand the challenges of achieving sustainability goals with and without environmental assessment methods, and have insight to integrating BREEAM in the design of sustainable buildings and master plans in the UK and internationally.

Students & Staff Scotland nov 2015

Each of the buildings on site was then toured and one of the houses called the ‘Curriculum House’ is a house being constructed on the park having been designed by the staff and students of the local North Lanarkshire College.  A visit to the College followed where Michael McGuire, course leader for the course in Computer Aided Architectural Design and Technology, explained the involvement of the students in the project. This was followed by a tour of the facilities used by his students during their course which is a very practical interdisciplinary approach to education.

Students & Staff Scotland nov 2015

Following a morning of cultural activites around the historic city of Edinburgh the students visited the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI) building in the afternoon. This building is an the old 18th century “Royal High School”, which boasts Sir Walter Scott and the inventor of the blackboard James Pillans as its most famous pupils. The building was recently refurbished as a modern academic building; housing teaching spaces, conferencing facilities and meeting rooms. It is the first historic, refurbished building in the UK to achieve the building sustainability BREEAM Outstanding Award.

This visit was kindly arranged by Annabel Cooper and hosted by Annabel and Asha Ginda.  The visit consisted of an overview of the use of the space and was a unique opportunity for the students to spend time in a BREEAM outstanding historic building, an example that energy efficiency certainly does not come as a cost to thermal comfort.

Students & Staff Scotland nov 2015

For anyone interested in studying in the area of Building Services and Sustainable energy engineering at WIT follow the links below:

Building Services Engineering

Sustainable Energy Engineering

Graduates from these programs are currently in high demand with 100% employment both within Ireland and abroad. Employment varies from Consulting engineering practices such as Engineering Design Consultants (EDC), PM Group, Ove Arup to Contracting such as Winthrop Engineering, Mercury Engineering, and Jones Engineering Group, to Facilities and Energy management such as Crowley Carbon, Genzyme and Medite  as well as state bodies such as SEAI and Energy agencies around the country.

Related Courses

Bachelor of Engineering in  Building Services Engineering
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in  Sustainable Energy Engineering

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