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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
Keshi Meyer fell in love with Wellington when she moved to the city from the Waikato to study in the Building Science programme at Victoria. “I absolutely love Wellington! It’s so different to any other place I have visited. All the people just fit in, no matter who they are or what they do.”
This sense of being is also what drew Keshi to Building Science, because it was ‘down-to-earth’ and could be used in many different ways. Keshi felt that the programme assisted her in finding her career path “I was drawn into the construction field early on; but it wasn’t until the end of my first year when I really looked into building science as a possible career”. This is a typical experience for students in the School of Architecture, where the first year is shared before the student chooses their specialisation for the second year, allowing for students to discover their passions and where their strengths lie.
Once that passion is ignited, students are able to find their niche in the professional world.
“Being able to go on site visits and talk with some of the professionals really helps to understand what happens in the ‘real world’, it puts everything in perspective”.
And what happens after students graduate is, of course, just as important as their time at Victoria. “At the moment, my plan would be to stay in Wellington to get a job, or head down to Christchurch to help out with the Christchurch rebuild.”