The Construction Live Project: Getting Hands-On

First and second year students in the School of Construction Management and Engineering have been taking the opportunity to get out of the classroom and get practical. Providing a well-earned break from more traditional studies, they have been taking part in the University of Reading Construction Live Project, hosted at the Constructionarium and sponsored by Balfour Beatty Major Projects.

Watch our film to see how the 2017 Construction Live Project went:


Dr Tim Lees, Lecturer in the School of Construction Management and Engineering, tells us how the 2017 Construction Live Project went:

"The project is a two-week long, intensive, problem-based learning challenge. The students were given detailed engineering drawings of a scaled replica of an iconic build - in this case the Barcelona communication tower - and they spent a week planning all aspects of the build including health and safety, costing, scheduling and monitoring. Following this, the students relocated to the Constructionarium site in Norfolk to build their structure. The students were free to use their creativity to approach their construction however they felt fit, as long as their approach was deemed safe."

"During their week on-site the students built a 9 metre tall replica of the Barcelona communication tower. Their structure was the height of two double-decker buses stood on top of each other, or a three-story building. The students mixed and poured over 3 tonnes of concrete, positioned and secured over 100 metres of steel reinforcement bar and excavated seven foundations. This has provided a very authentic experience of hands-on construction for the students. But the project does so much more than this: student's hone their ability to problem-solve, work in larger teams and plan in a more dynamic manner than is typically required in a student project."

"This project was done in partnership with Balfour Beatty Major Projects. During the planning week staff from Balfour Beatty were on hand to provide technical guidance and to conduct two "hard gate" business meetings with the students. During the build week, Balfour Beatty supplied all of the materials for the project and much of the expertise to operate the site. Working with a partner contractor enables the students to demonstrate their abilities to a potential future employer, providing opportunities to enhance their employability and shape their understanding of the sector."

"The build was extremely successful, both in terms of the project and in terms of the learning experience. The students have done an excellent job and I look forward to returning to the classroom in September to see how they implement what they've learned from this experience into their studies."

Find out more about the Construction Live Project at the University of Reading.

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