The building blocks of tomorrow: Solent students’ final-year work

Industry experts and employers were blown away by the quality of the work on display at Southampton Solent University’s built environment final-year show.

The event featured a selection of final-year research projects, dissertations, and project work from the BA (Hons) Architectural Technology, BSc (Hons) Construction Management, and BA (Hons) Interior Design courses.

The event was organised in association with the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) South East Region, Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), Building Research Establishment Academy (BRE Academy), and Capita.

BA (Hons) Architectural Technology student Daniel Palmer, from Locks Heath, presented his research on how the UK can respond to the global warming crisis by identifying and reducing carbon emissions in the built environment sector. The Associate Director BRE Academy presented him with an award for Best Research Project in Sustainability.

Dan, 21, said:

“I have a passion for sustainability and analysing the environmental impacts of different constructions. It felt great to be rewarded for all the hard that I put into this course over the last three years. And it was a privilege to meet the Associate Director of BRE Academy and receive such positive feedback.”

BA (Hons) Interior Design student Carlos Majano, who was awarded a CAPITA Prize for Undergraduate Achievement, designed a hotel lobby, reception area, café, restaurant, and lounge areas using sustainable sources.

Carlos, based in Southampton and originally from San Salvador, El Salvador, said:

“The inclusion of green-living walls throughout the project was considered to be the main focal point as guests would be greeted by the impressive greenery. Other elements incorporated into the design included rain water recycling systems, LED lighting, solar panels on the roof and other types of materials and furnishings with a higher recycled content in their manufacturing processes.”

Carlos, 36, leaves Solent with a job at Artillery, an architectural practice in London with over 27 years of experience in the industry. He added:

“I’m looking forward to what the future can bring and it only proves that it is never too late to learn and gain some new qualifications. It is not easy, but there are rewards on the way”

Fellow BA (Hons) Interior Design student Olivia Marsh, from Chandlers Ford, was awarded Outstanding Contributions to the University Built Environment Courses. She investigated the most effective way of designing – compartmentalisation or open plan.

Olivia said:

“Solent has helped me to gain confidence and develop my skills, both within the course and as a person. I have absolutely loved Southampton Solent University. Solent has achieved the perfect balance of learning skills, combined with the importance of experience in the workplace. I have really found my feet here and it has helped me to assess and progress in the career direction I desire with confidence in myself.”

Alex Naraian, a Solent Graduate and now Associate Director at ADAM Architecture and Councillor of CIAT South East Region, presented some of the students with their awards.

Alex said:

“The students’ work is of a high standard and they presented it very well. Those exhibiting demonstrated a good level of understanding, well grounded in the fundamentals of construction, along with excellent communication skills. Believe me that when I compare this with some other universities, this is sometimes so often lacking and this does affect a graduates’ employability.”

“The award winners carried out their research of architectural project into a highly relevant and current topic. For example, Alfie Simons investigated upgrading existing dwellings in order to improve their energy performance, and James Cheyne highlighted the issue of unutilised lands and how these can be used to meet the demands of current changes in demographic patterns.”

Dr Monkiz Khasreen, the organiser of the event, stated that it was a difficult task for the built environment team to choose sheets for display among the very high quality of students work submitted this year.

John Barfoot, Academic Leader for the built environment programme added:

“The students approached this course with determination, professionalism and real passion, and this is reflected in their work. Indeed a number of students have already secured jobs in companies such as Interserve and Artillery.”

The following students were rewarded for their innovative projects, research and presentation skills:

Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists South East Region Awards

  • James Cheyne – Final Year Project, BA (Hons) Architectural Technology
  • Alfie Simons – Undergraduate Dissertation, BA (Hons) Architectural Technology
  • Lee Slaughter – Undergraduate Dissertation, BA (Hons) Architectural Technology
  • Megan Brooks – Undergraduate Dissertation, BA (Hons) Architectural Technology

CAPITA Prize for Undergraduate Achievement

  • Yasmin El Sayed, BA (Hons) Interior Design
  • Harriet Ede, BA (Hons) Interior Design
  • Michael Little, BA (Hons) Interior Design
  • Carlos Majano, BA (Hons) Interior Design

Building Research Establishment Academy Award

  • Darius Beck, Best Final Year Project in Building Information Modelling, BA (Hons) Architectural Technology
  • Dan Palmer, Best Research Project in Sustainability, BA (Hons) Architectural Technology

Hampshire Centre of the Chartered Institute of Building recognition for undergraduate dissertation

  • Abi Daines, BA (Hons) Construction Management
  • Lorne Richardson, BA (Hons) Construction Management
  • James Brill, BA (Hons) Construction Management
  • Amir Rahimi, BA (Hons) Construction Management

Outstanding contributions to the University Built Environment courses

  • Olivia Marsh, BA (Hons) Interior Design