Think Outside the Box: Uni Students Design Homes of Future

by Katie Hogg

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

Heriot-Watt Students Impress as They Showcase Their Vision for the Housebuilding Industry

CALA teamed up with Heriot Watt to pilot a new program where the students work to design a home of the future.
STUDENTS have been encouraged to “push each and every boundary” that makes up a typical home, in a tie up between a leading Scottish university and major UK homebuilder CALA Homes.

The new homes developer has partnered up with Heriot-Watt University to give Construction Project Management and Quantity Surveying third year students the chance to develop their vision for the housebuilding industry.

The CALA Student Partnership Award will form part of this year’s curriculum, providing students with the opportunity to be creative in dealing with the future of house construction.

On Thursday (28 February), students presented their ideas as posters to a panel comprising staff from the university and CALA. While there are specific criteria for the different disciplines, marks will be given to all students for their evaluation skills, reference materials, clarity of vision and knowledge of their subject matter.

Following on from the presentations, students will attend a networking event at the university on Thursday 21 March where the winning ideas will be announced. Winners will be awarded a summer placement with the upmarket developer – the details of which will be published at a later stage.

Jackie Hunter, HR Business Partner with CALA Homes, said: “This is a really exciting project for CALA as it allows us to help lay the groundwork for the future of the industry and see where we can add value.

“We want the students therefore to really push each and every boundary, and show vision and creativity.

“In turn, the experience will give students looking to work within the housebuilding sector a real insight into how our team plans and designs homes, and the ethical and practical obstacles they face in doing so.

“As a graded assessment that goes towards their degree, we have encouraged students to focus on the areas which interest them – whether that be targeting energy efficiency or the materials used in building.”

CALA Homes has particularly close links with Heriot-Watt University – which has provided a number of successful candidates for its celebrated graduate scheme since 2015.

Jackie added: “This project has allowed students to identify their key strengths, while surgeries and workshops with CALA staff have helped them understand how to best progress their vision.

“It has been interesting to see the creative ideas that students have come up with, and how they might be implemented. You never know, in the not too distant future you may be living in a home designed by one of Heriot-Watt’s talented students.”

Professor Fiona Grant, Director of Learning and Teaching, School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society at Heriot-Watt University, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for Heriot-Watt University to work collaboratively with the CALA Group.

“It allows students the opportunity to understand the complexity of this sector and address the challenges it faces. Students have found the experience to be very insightful and rewarding, that was demonstrated in the quality of work being presented.”

To find out more about CALA Homes and its developments, visit www.cala.co.uk

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Katie Hogg is part of the PR team at Holyrood PR in Scotland

Katie Hogg

Katie Hogg is part of the award-winning PR team at Holyrood PR. She is also a former journalist, most notably with luxury lifestyle magazine, Scottish Field

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