VIP - Carers' Centre Carbon Reduction Journey - The Journey So Far - Part 2

Posted in: Extra-curricular activities, Vertically Integrated Projects

Hello again everyone. Hope you are well. We are Ekene Okoye, 4th-year Chemical Engineering student, and  Maksims Parahonko, a 1st-year Civil Engineering student. This is the second blog post for our Carers' Centre Carbon Reduction Journey Vertically Integrated Project (VIP). To preface, this post was written 2 months after our first blog post.


New Team Members

3 new student members joined us this semester from the School of Management and Department of Chemical Engineering. They are pretty proactive and enthusiastic. It's been great having them on board already. Looking forward to how the team continues to progress this semester. We've also had a new student success officer, Katie Gilham,  as Amy Childe (congratulations) is on maternity leave.

It's not too late to join if you're considering it, so if you're interested, please reach out to Brian or Katie; the more the merrier! The project is likely to continue through the summer, as key deliverables from our VIP are expected in September 2024. The project may take on a different form after this point and may carry on to the next academic year.

Here is a team photo. From left to right, we have Ekene, Chris, Katie, Yutaro, Freddie, Reem, Jennifer, Faye, Maksims, and Brian. Not everyone could make it on the day, including Mars and Taamara (who joins us remotely as she is away on placement).


Technical Site Visit

Before the Christmas Holiday our team member, Reem, visited the Carers Centre building accompanied with an Architecture Professor to gain a greater understanding on the practicality and feasibility of some of our proposed improvements. The Carers Centre is registered is registered as a Grade 2 Listed building which we hoped to remove giving us more flexibility when it came to potential changes. Following the visit it was noted that removing the listing wouldn’t be possible, however it can be focused on selected facades (the ones seen from the street) which would leave the interior and the other facades free for renovations and alterations. The Professor also gave advice on how to apply for building permissions and provided ideas which we could use to reduce the building's carbon footprint such as infrared panels and solar PV slates.


Service Delivery Questionnaire – Ethics Review

The questionnaire was put together for us to collect data on service preferences and behaviours of those associated with the carers' centre. This aspect of the service delivery analysis is currently subject to review by the University's Research Ethics Committees and Review Body. This is to ensure that we adhere to the highest standards of research excellence and integrity. This process takes time, but a lot of careful thought has been put into the research design, so we are hopeful that we will soon get the green light then things could be underway. This will mean we can start data analysis and understanding which recommendations may be the most beneficial for the Bath Carers Centre. 


Ekene, How Are You Finding It Now?

The project is picking up pace this semester. I'm looking forward to what's in store for us for the rest of this one. The team is full of chill people; as time has progressed, I find meetings increasingly enjoyable. I feel like I'm sometimes fairly reserved at the start when working in groups, but I'm now quite comfortable with speaking my mind in group discussions because I find each individual member quite easy to converse with. They're a patient bunch.


Maksims, How Are You Finding It Now?

As the project has progressed we've really started putting our ideas into action and in the process I've learnt so much. Our team is great and full of hardworking people all aiming to achieve a collective goal. 

Overall the experience has been fun and seeing our team get closer and closer to the final goal is very rewarding and we'll see where the future takes us.


What's in the Future?
After returning from our Christmas holiday we discussed Reems findings during her site visit. One of our ideas was the installation of a ground-source heat pump which would provide clean energy for the Carers Centre and after receiving positive feedback from the Architecture Professor we decided to further investigate the feasibility of the idea. Our next step is contacting local companies which provide relevant services and gaining quotes to give us an idea of potential costs.

We're currently  putting together a progress report to summarise kept steps we've taken so far and what we intend to do in the coming months. This will be presented to Jacqui Orchard, CEO of the BANES Carers' Centre, to keep them updated on the progress we've made over the past semester. 

Posted in: Extra-curricular activities, Vertically Integrated Projects


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