LJMU students win the CIOB Novus Student Challenge Northern

Kyle Dougan, Alex Dawes, Owen Ashton from Morgan Sindall, Ben Tregear and Jack Heaney.

A team of final-year BSc (Hons) Construction Management students has been named the winner of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) Novus Student Challenge Northern, after impressing an expert panel of judges with their plans to design a new building in the city’s Knowledge Quarter.

The challenge was open to CIOB accredited programmes within the North West area. The winning team, Kyle Dougan, Alex Dawes, Ben Tregear and Jack Heaney, fought off competition from several other universities in the North West.

Kyle Dougan, explained: “We were given a brief in the morning and had four hours to develop plans for a multi-functional learning/social hub that would be located within the Paddington Village development. We then had to present to a professional panel.”

He continued, “The hub was to be used by the local community as well as the main contractor Morgan Sindall for education, training and digital technology skills sessions. The hub was not allowed to have a GIFA (gross internal floor area) greater than 60m², costs were not allowed to exceed £24,000 and the hub was only allowed to be built on one of three available plots around the site. There were extra marks available for sustainability. We began with brainstorming ideas and early on decided to use two old 40ft shipping containers separated by a decking/canopy, maximizing the space available. We also created floor plans and developed cost schedules, delivering the required specification under budget. All materials and contractors used were from the Liverpool area.”

The LJMU students’ proposal was highly commended by the industrial panel. Kyle concluded, “The judges really liked our design, commenting on our decision of separating the containers instead of them sitting side by side, saying it was very creative and maximized the space available without breaking the 60m² GIFA requirement. They also liked our style of presentation and the fact that all materials and labour were sustainably sourced.”

As a result of the competition, each member of the winning team has been offered a work placement with Morgan Sindall on the Paddington Village development.


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