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Sustainable buildings visit

Posted 30 April 2010

Watch the video on our YouTube channel.

Paul Moran helps one of the students

Harper Adams has welcomed 70 teenagers from across the West Midlands to its campus for a “Sustainability in Action” day.

Organised in conjunction with the Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Education Business Partnership (EBP), the day brought together school pupils and college students with an interest in construction.

Welcoming the visitors to Harper Adams, General Estates Manager Paul Moran said: “I really want you to have some fun today, and get a taste for what life would be like if you chose to come to university; and I hope that you will learn something about sustainability. I also want you to become enthused about a career in construction. It’s very rewarding - you stand back at the end of the project and you can actually see something that’s physical and exists, that people use. These buildings may exist for more than 100 years so it’s an important legacy.”

Justine Ranson, Telford-based EBP Project Coordinator, said: “The idea behind the Sustainability in Action Day was that we would invite schools from across the West Midlands to come and look at the Harper Adams campus because it has extemporary examples of sustainable buildings. We’ve got students here who are aged from 12 to 18 and studying a variety of courses. Some are studying the new Construction and the Built Environment Diploma, some are doing the BTEC in construction and one group is working on the Building Schools for the Future programme. They are a focus group for the school and will consult with the architects building their new school and give them their ideas. Hopefully today will be food for thought for what their new school might be like.

"One of my key roles is to promote careers in construction and to open young people’s eyes up to the idea that construction is more than just laying bricks. On a day like today, they get the chance to see that there are a lot of possibilities and that construction offers them a bright future.”

During their tour of the campus near Newport in Shropshire, the students saw the new Student Services Centre, which is under construction and due to open this autumn, the Bamford Library, which has a host on environmentally friendly features, the West Midlands Regional Food Academy, Postgraduate Centre and the Biomass Hall, where heat and power is generated from fuels including wood chips and miscanthus crops.

Abbie Cartwright, 14, from Ercall Wood Technology College, Wellington, said: “I’ve really enjoyed today. It’s been really interesting, learning about how things work. We’ve been talking at school about making a garden that’s eco friendly. Schoolmate Sophie Martin, also 14, added: “We’d like to make things more eco-friendly around the school so it has been a good experience. It was also good to look around the university and see how it feels.

Birmingham Metropolitan College student James Horsfall, 15, added: “I’ve enjoyed today a lot; seeing how the buildings fit together, modern and old, is really good. My favourite building was the food academy; I thought it looked the best.”

The event went ahead thanks to support from ConstructionSkills, the sector skills council for construction; the Midlands Architecture Centre and Shropshire Construction Training Group.

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