UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


MSc Health, Wellbeing and Sustainable Buildings student residential visit to Bath

23 November 2017

From 2–3 November the MSc Health, Wellbeing and Sustainable Buildings took part in a residential trip to Bath.

From 2–3 November the MSc Health, Wellbeing and Sustainable Buildings took part in a residential trip to Bath with lots of activities that helped students reflect upon the links between our built environment, wellbeing and environmental sustainability.

The first part of the trip was a guided tour of the Roman Baths, an excellent example of seamless integration of health and wellbeing into architectural design. At the Baths, students heard about the Roman hypocaust system, an ancient central floor heating system, and the way water and heat were designed to flow through the building in a sustainable manner in order to support rituals of wellbeing and health.

The visit to the Baths was followed by a sunny walk around the Circus and Royal Crescent. This provided a great opportunity for students and staff to socialise informally and discuss architecture and wellbeing.

In the afternoon, students attended an arts and health workshop hosted by Creativity Works that focused on mental health and how to improve wellbeing. During the Creativity Works event, students were invited to show how they can incorporate the five ways to wellbeing into building design and construction: connect, be active, take notice, keep learning and give. The activities encouraged students to think broadly about what ‘wellbeing’ means and how it can be achieved through intuitive design.

The second day of activities was led by representatives of the UCL Extreme Citizen Science (ExCiteS) group and Doing It Together Science and started with a hands-on session on environmental modelling using Arduino sensors. Students had the chance to build a simple Arduino humidity and temperature sensor that helped them think about the role or monitoring device design and use, how monitoring data are collected and how they can be interpreted in a meaningful way for wellbeing and sustainability design.

The last stop of the day was an industry talk at the Buro Happold head offices where students learnt about a series of projects that focus on wellbeing and sustainability. Imogen White discussed the WELL certified standard and the rise of the wellbeing agenda in construction, and Dr Robert Cooke spoke about the ‘Science of Happy’ and what makes a workplace productive and healthy for its employees. Nick Trowles presented the Bath Abbey Footprint project that uses the Bath hot springs to provide sustainable heating to the Abbey and is part of a £19.3 million capital works project that will help to provide innovative and sustainable solutions for the Abbey. The industry talks at Buro Happold were followed by a quick visit to the Bath Abbey to visit the hot springs project trial site.

The residential stay was a great success providing students with a great experience and opportunities to learn from industry experts about the diversity of the wellbeing agenda. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the MSc Health, Wellbeing and Sustainable Buildings please get in touch with us.  

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