Arcadis successfully hosted a four-week work experience programme which culminated with a group of high-school students from Dubai’s Swiss International Scientific School design their own ‘eco-classroom’. The programme closely follows Arcadis’ award-winning “Design Engineer Construct” (DEC) learning programme which was developed by Class of Your Own, a social business in the UK that aims to inspire […]
Arcadis successfully hosted a four-week work experience programme which culminated with a group of high-school students from Dubai’s Swiss International Scientific School design their own ‘eco-classroom’.
The programme closely follows Arcadis’ award-winning “Design Engineer Construct” (DEC) learning programme which was developed by Class of Your Own, a social business in the UK that aims to inspire the next generation of high-school students to pursue a career in the digital built environment.
The DEC programme was accredited in 2012 in response to a growing challenge facing the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) fields. Arcadis explained that in many parts of the world, “there’s a looming talent shortage or a pressing need to develop new skills as the way in which projects are designed and delivered begins to change due to digital disruption. This is the first time the DEC programme has ever been completed outside of the UK, in a fast-track manner, and offers a template for further adoption across the UAE and in other international markets.”
Throughout the four weeks, the students completed a series of modules spanning the full lifecycle of a construction project from design, through to build and operations. Some of the subjects covered included sustainable design, the application of digital solutions, best-practice procurement, and how to build the benefits case for a project. At the end of the programme, the students worked together to produce a Revit model based on a design they created for an ‘eco-classroom’. The innovative design was founded on the principles of sustainability, flexibility, user experience and modular construction.
“I was delighted to work with Arcadis and all of the other partners to introduce the DEC programme outside the UK for the first time,” said Alison Watson, chief executive, Class of Your Own. “The curriculum offers students a unique medium to apply their knowledge of STEM subjects and consider their impact on their local community and planet in an exciting and contextual arena that also enables them to see the diversity of career opportunities available within the built environment. The inaugural programme has been a tremendous success and has resulted in lots of interest from other local and international schools in the UAE.”
Arcadis hosted the DEC programme alongside a selection of eco-system partners including Autodesk, Aconex, Class of Your Own Ltd, Heriot-Watt University Dubai, Sublime, Topcon, as well as local government sponsored initiatives like the Dubai Future Foundation and Dubai Future Accelerators. The scheme was hosted in the UAE, but with support from subject matter experts from across Arcadis’ global network.
“Over the next five years, our industry will go through significant change as we seek to capitalise on the opportunities provided by digital solutions, and address legacy issues around productivity,” said Tim Shelton, associate director, Arcadis Middle East. “This will require new skills and fresh ideas, and, in this regard, we’ve learned a lot from hosting the students. They’re digital natives who look at buildings and their environment in a different way, and their insights will enable us to offer another perspective to our clients, who are ultimately building with this generation in mind as they’ll be the long-term users and owners of the assets being created today.”