Architecture course at the University of Central Lancashire

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December 22, 2023


ECD Architects’ Preston office which opened in September is already forging connections with the local community. This includes supporting the architecture course at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Our Head of Sustainability for Scotland and the North of England, Lizzy Westmacott, joined a meeting with staff and other contributors recently to discuss what architecture students need to learn to enable them to respond to the climate crisis. This included the importance of reminding students to see their work as part of a bigger system, and the need to convey how their future design decisions as architects will affect carbon emissions, and as such ensure the course syllabus shapes architects with the skills to design for the climate emergency.

Last week Lizzy and Maria Buenaventura, the senior associate in our Preston office, joined the University first year students to talk about ‘Sustainability in practice’. They talked about the practical tasks that architects carry out, why architects need to care about sustainability and how ECD Architects is working to improve how sustainable our buildings are. They explained several sections that have been drawn for various ECD retrofit projects to illustrate how information with regard to solar gain, shading, insulation and other environmental factors can be communicated within a drawing.

Lizzy and the students then had a go at drawing an environmental section of the class architecture studio. Having sketched the shape of the room, they discussed the building’s construction and added this to their drawings. They then added the heating system and heat source, lights, and the position of the sun. Having discussed how comfortable the students found the studio, they then proposed some retrofit measures, suggesting triple glazing, insulation, a heat pump and district heating.

It was great to have a room of students drawing and thinking about heat, energy and comfort and Lizzy and Maria were really impressed with the drawings created and the students’ understanding of construction and environmental performance. The ECD team look forward to engaging again with the students with more teaching in the new year.