Architecture students join forces with Cala Homes on design project

Architecture students join forces with Cala Homes on design project

Students from the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment are building their skills with Cala Homes (North) as part of a student project to design net zero carbon homes in the North East.

As part of their module, second-year students studying Architectural Technology at Robert Gordon University (RGU), have been tasked with designing innovative, sustainable family homes.

The project is based on one of Cala’s West End phases of its Oldfold Village development in Milltimber, Aberdeen.

Bruce Masson, architectural manager at Cala Homes (North) and RGU alumni, helped devise the project, tasking students with creating flexible home designs that could accommodate a growing family and potentially a grandparent.

The brief includes many considerations Cala take into account when designing homes, including asking students to think about how their designs would meet Government CO2 targets and using renewable sources of energy to ensure they are energy efficient, high specification homes.

To help inspire their designs, Bruce welcomed the students to Murtle Den Park at Oldfold Village to see the live development and Cala’s house types.

Lecturer, Tahar Kouider added: “Preparing students to use the skills they learn on the course in the workplace is vital. Therefore, we are delighted to have the support of Bruce and Cala Homes to help put the students’ work into context and give them a real scenario to base this project on which takes into consideration points a housebuilder must think about when creating a new community.

“The Scott Sutherland School of Architecture has a strong social ethos and is committed to inspiring students to incorporate sustainability into all their designs to minimise the environmental footprint and improve energy efficiency of all their builds.”

Architecture students join forces with Cala Homes on design project

Bruce Masson added: “At Cala, sustainability is something we’re building our future on to leave a positive, lasting legacy for both people and the planet. As part of our strategy, not only must we strive to build homes that are more sustainable, but we must also give our customers the tools and technology they need to operate their homes with zero emissions and live more sustainably.

“This was an important consideration in the brief we gave to the students to highlight some of the initiatives we have implemented to make our homes more sustainable and energy efficient, from solar panels to gas-free heating to biodiversity considerations. Having studied the course myself, it is always encouraging to see students gain first-hand experience around practical design by showing them what we do at Cala and how this can be integrated with their learning.

“With sustainable technologies continually evolving, the students are very likely to be tasked with implementing sustainable designs no matter what industry they end up working in. I’m looking forward to seeing the students’ creative designs and how they’ve approached the brief.”

Stage 2 Architectural Technology student, Keris Henderson, is one of the students working on the Cala Homes Milltimber project.

Keris said: “Over the past few months, I have visited the Milltimber site on various occasions which has given me a real insight into the different stages of construction from groundworks up to completion. The Cala staff have also attended our studio every two weeks and helped us with construction details, along with answering our questions about our two-story dwelling projects, and associated sustainability design methods.

“This professional support has been invaluable and has expanded my knowledge within the profession. The experience has been reflected positively in our weekly coursework reviews and will be very valuable as we move forward into our future careers.”

Murtle Den Park comprises a collection of two, three, four and five-bedroom homes and forms part of the overall masterplan for the neighbourhood, which also includes green spaces to enjoy, local amenities and a primary school.

The phase includes a mix of terraced, semi-detached and detached homes and offers the perfect option for all homebuyers, whether they are looking to take the first step on the property ladder or move into their dream family home.

A selection of student work from the Cala Homes project will be exhibited in the Scott Sutherland’s End of Year Show 2024, which takes place at the Sir Ian Wood Building in RGU’s Garthdee campus, on 2 May, at 16:00 – 18:00.

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