The BAD Challenge is here!

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The BAD Challenge is here!

Construction students at Bucks UTC have taken on an extremely ambitious project, which was launched at our open day to celebrate Think UTC on the 18th March.

In the Autumn, students will construct a one-story, 8m x 8m dwelling in the space of 48 hours. This is a massive task, but our students are confident that they have what it takes to complete the project on time and to a high standard.

The Launch

To officially launch the project, we invited a number of our sponsors, local tradesmen and suppliers to Bucks UTC and our students presented our plans to them. The plans were very well received and everyone seemed most enthusiastic about the project.

After the launch presentation, those invited were shown around the construction site which is in our construction workshop. Questions were asked and many possible issues were raised by our experienced guests, which was exactly what we were hoping for.

Nick Han, Head of Construction at Bucks UTC, said “We are all extremely excited about this project. It’s an opportunity for our students to showcase their skills and abilities.”

Taylor Wimpey

One of our main sponsors at Bucks UTC is Taylor Wimpey, one of the biggest house builders in the UK. We had three Taylor Wimpey representatives join us for the BAD Challenge launch. Simon, Associate Production Director for Oxford, was there along with Aiden and Henry, two Bucks UTC leavers who are now working with Taylor Wimpey on their Site Management Trainee Scheme.

Of Bucks UTC, Simon said, “It is brilliant that we are able to get young people interested in construction, particularly site management and especially when they come from Bucks UTC as they already have skills and an insight into the construction industry. It can be difficult to find young people who are interested in the construction industry, however, due to the exposure they receive, Bucks UTC students have a real interest in it.”

Aiden said “This challenge is a chance for students to show their ability as well as the enthusiasm they have for construction.

“I have a great chance of moving up within the company at the end of my trainee scheme. I’m really glad I went to Bucks UTC as it has ultimately led to my career with Taylor Wimpey. The fact that Taylor Wimpey sponsors the college was a huge motivation for me.”

Henry, who went on a work placement with Taylor Wimpey whilst still at Bucks UTC, added “This project is great publicity for the college it gives a chance to the next generation of construction workers.

“My work placement with Taylor Wimpey definitely helped me secure my place on the trainee scheme. I have done a bit of everything, from working in the office with buyers and quantity surveyors to going out on site, which I enjoy the most.”


The Plans

The project will go towards Unit 21 of our year 12 students’ level 3 BTEC and students taking part will learn and improve skills which are vital to a career in the construction industry. Not only year 12 students will take part, however, and they will work in 8-hour shifts to complete the build.

In a project like this, it is vital to bear in mind the massive time constraints we are putting ourselves under. Prefabrication will allow for quicker construction as the building will have a mostly timber frame. To further reduce waiting time wet trades will be kept to a minimum.

This is a full on, real life building project which will give our students unparalleled experience. The structure has been carefully planned and designed to ensure that it is structurally sound. Health and safety officers will be appointed to make sure all health and safety regulations are followed correctly and we will name site managers to manage students and handle shift rotations. Our students will also carry out a full risk assessment We have been contacting local builders merchants with the view of sourcing our materials.

The project is still in the early stages of planning so more details will be released as time goes by. Look out for regular updates on the project across our social media channels.