by Tomas Callanan
Construction Studies exam paper 2019 would have left students feeling very satisfied and happy. This paper focused on a wide range of relevant areas. The compulsory Question 1 Scale Drawing Question was a very approachable question with higher order students being adequately challenged with a “insert vertical larch cladding above the door head” The well revised student would be very happy to see this finish being assessed. The remaining optional question followed suit with other years as a variety of areas from roofing, redesign, restoration, u-values, environmental sustainability, stairs, waste water treatment, thermal bridging and passive design. Students answered four questions out of the remaining nine questions. So choosing the right combination of questions would have been a challenge.
The redesign question had a very interesting twist where students had to think on their feet by adding a first floor bedroom and ensuite, instead of the usual ground floor extension. The U-values question followed a recent trend of calculating the thickness of expanded polystyrene. Similar to previous years the u value and cost of heat loss was assessed. Students will be very happy to see this trend continue. The environmental sustainability question was an excellent combination of renewable technologies, for example wind turbines and photovoltaic panels to the discussion of advantages of using local craft skilled workers. The Passive Design question was very interesting as it was the first mention of the EnerPHit Passive House standard. Students were asked to consider three areas of the home that would need to be retrofitted to meet the standard. This is a very relevant question and keen EcoEye viewers would be very happy to see this being assessed.
Overall a very approachable paper and very relevant to the changing needs and practices of the Construction Industry