Student Profiles – Building Science
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Master of Building Science student
Before coming to Wellington to study Building Science at Victoria, Brian was an Architectural Draughtsman. “From my previous work as an architectural draughtsman I developed a keen interest in building services design and energy efficiency in buildings. Through that degree I went on a six-month student exchange to Denmark where I was exposed to the European building systems. Coming back to New Zealand and working
in an architecture firm, colleagues at the time recommended studying Building Science at Victoria as they saw real value in the programme and the industry moving towards more sustainable buildings,” he says.
Brian believes that the Master’s programme has exceeded his expectations: “The further I progress the more I enjoy the work and the more I can see that the work has real relevance in the building industry. I am at the point where the research I do now has the possibility to add real value to the way that we design buildings working towards the goal of sustainable development in New Zealand,” he says.
“I was surprised by the scope of learning and work that we are exposed to. Sustainable buildings require far more consideration than just putting more insulation in the walls. We cover specialist topics of: thermal performance/comfort, daylighting, HVAC, acoustics, wind, natural ventilation.”
“I enjoy every year more than the previous one. We get to do more of the work that we are directly interested in and it’s more comprehensive.”
“We are a really small group. There are only eight of us in my year and we have our own room separate from the general school. This has allowed us to become quite close. The integration with the other postgraduate Building Science students and lecturers is also really great,” he says.
Third-year Building Science student
After Victoria had completed high school she decided to study Building Science at Victoria after training as an automotive engineer and working for Toyota. “After working at Toyota for a year I became more interested in environmental studies which led me into the Sustainable Engineering Systems major of Building Science,” she says.
Victoria says that she chose to study Building Science “because I would like a career designing NetZero Energy Buildings, or working in an area which is involved in lowering the built environment’s impact on the natural environment.”
When asked what she enjoyed the most about studying Building Science, she replied “Doing a degree that involves report writing and research, design and creativity, and aspects of environmental studies.”
During her studies at Victoria she was nominated for the New Zealand Institute of Building’s Central Chapters Awards by Victoria University and made it on to the Dean’s List of Academic Excellence for 2011.
Upon completing her degree Victoria plans to “continue my studies overseas or work in the building industry in an interesting country for a few years”.
Her advice to first-year students is to “make the
most of free tutoring such as public speaking and the research and referencing tutorials that the library provides.”