Students learn to help the planet at Connect21

The importance of engineering has been brought home to Peterborough students who kicked off their CREST Award challenge recently with a site visit to Kier Living’s Connect21 development.

CREST, run by the British Science Association, is a project-based awards scheme for the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), which aims to bring the curriculum to life for students.

The site visit helped students from Thomas Deacon Academy gain an understanding of how these subjects are used in the construction industry, particularly in relation to sustainable projects such as Connect21. The visit was organised by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and Kier Living to give the students a real experience of the construction industry and kick-start their CREST projects. A few days later, Kier Living staff visited Thomas Deacon Academy to talk to the students and issue the CREST challenge.

Max Perrin, Connect21’s award-winning project manager, said:

“We hope the visit to Connect21 inspired the students to think about sustainability and the ways developers such as Kier Living can influence behaviour and help the planet.”

“The Crest award entries will include details of the students’ chosen aims and ideas, the build programme, any technical issues and their ideas for overcoming them. I enjoyed visiting the school, working with the students to start the challenge, and look forward to judging the entries.”

Nick Moore, managing director of Kier Living, said:

“Kier Living and the Construction Industry Training Board recognise that encouraging students to excel at science, technology, engineering or maths is essential for the future of our exciting and dynamic industry. We are pleased to be involved in this CREST Award challenge, which we hope will inspire young people in their studies.”

Situated less than a mile from Peterborough City Centre, Connect21 is a community of two, three and four-bedroom houses and apartments developed on what was a former water treatment works and marsh land, which required a complex engineering and ecology strategy.

Connect21 is a successful development and an integral part of Peterborough City Council’s regeneration masterplan. The project is the result of co-operation between Kier Living, the council, the Government’s Homes and Communities Agency and the Environment Agency.

Sustainability was, and still is, a fundamental aspect of the build process at Connect21 and a comprehensive programme of recycling runs alongside the groundworks. Almost all materials extracted are reused – even the troublesome concrete tanks were crushed on site and used for general fill and in piling mats.