Construction, QS and surveying students add an international perspective to their studies

Postgraduate students from the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment at Nottingham Trent University have been proposing various schemes for the redevelopment of a site in Prague in the Czech Republic.

The aim of the initiative is to provide an international dimension to their studies in order to help with future employment.

Steven Tyler the principal lecturer in estate surveying accompanied the MSc building surveying, QS, planning and development and real estate students on their one week visit to Prague.

He said: “This trip was a key factor in the development of the students’ employability and has helped them to embed, integrate and apply their professional knowledge, understanding and skills.

“Focusing the project activity on an overseas task adds a valuable international flavour and dimension to the student experience, providing them with the opportunity to act outside of the comfort zone of UK practice.”

The brief

The project focused on the hypothetical regeneration of a 164,000m2 site in Jinonice, a few kilometres from Prague city centre.

Working in multidisciplinary teams the students were required to take into account issues such as scheme design, development costing, value management, planning, infrastructure, building construction and surveying.

They also gathered market knowledge from a number of Nottingham Trent graduates who currently work in Prague, holding positions in property firms such as Cushman and Wakefield, King Sturge, CB Richard Ellis and DTZ.

The students were assessed on their level of professionalism and commercial awareness. Since their return, the teams have been refining their development proposals and producing detailed industry-standard reports and presentations.

The proposals

Due to restrictive planning permission, the proposed schemes mainly looked for a split of residential and commercial development together with a small educational element..

One proposal incorporates the heritage of the site with ultra-modern sustainable architecture. Another concept is intended to include residential and office units, and supporting services such as restaurants, shops, dry cleaning, banking, newsagents, a post office and an outdoor farmers market. The scheme will have an educational facility and a fitness centre. All of this will be built to best practice environmental design principles and maximise usage from renewable energy sources.

Another proposed development will provide Prague with a mixed use office and residential space which integrates with its surrounding green spaces and complies with the urban and planning requirements of the city.

Mark Searby, MSc real estate student, said: “I feel the direct contact with professionals not only helped with this module, but also with judging what sort of career to expect after university. The networking opportunities were fantastic.”

Sven Hallin, who is on the same course, added: “I enjoyed working with my designated multidisciplinary group. It gave us an opportunity to get to know each other better and the social interaction was great.”