Exam Review 2023 – Construction Studies

By Tomas Callanan

Construction Studies exam paper 2023 would have left students in the Class of 2023 very happy. A very current and topical paper with a focus on a wide range of construction and architectural design topics.

This year’s Q1 was a Trussed Roof with a Timber Frame Wall, students who continued to study the scale drawing aspect of the course, even though the Q1 is not compulsory this year would have been happy to see a Roofing based question being assessed. The Q7 scale drawing was a straightforward full Door detail. Both questions were very approachable questions with higher-order students being adequately challenged by relevant (b) parts. The other questions had a variety of different areas from Health and Safety, Redesign, Vernacular Heritage, U-values, Environmental Sustainability, Septic Tank design and drainage, Light and Passive Design with MVHR. Students answered five questions out of 10 questions this year. With so much choice on the paper deciding on the right combination of questions was a challenge.

Other popular questions like the U-values question Q5 assessed students on the U Value of a Flat Roof. They also calculating the cost of heat loss of the roof, with an updated cost of oil being €1.25 to reflect the current energy increases.

The Redesign Q.3 had an interesting design brief where the student had to redesign the internal plan of a first-floor house with coastal views. They were asked to incorporate a new Kitchen/ Living space so the occupants would be able to see their coastal views from the new living space. Students also had to discuss advantages and disadvantages of having a living/kitchen space upstairs.

Question 10 which is based on Passive design had a theme of Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery systems which is very popular with new builds. The students were also ask to discuss the two design considerations when deciding on the location of the MVHR.

Overall, a very relevant and approachable paper with lots of choice. This paper will leave student very happy going into the weekend and a very pleasant way to finish the second week of examinations.