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Construction student competes in national event

28 September, 2023
News and events

An OPAIC student teamed up with some of the brightest minds from around the country to design a climate-resilient community last month.

Bachelor of Construction student Guangchi (David) Wu took part in the ArchEngBuild event in Wellington. ArchEngBuild is a three-day event where 30 of New Zealand’s best architecture, engineering, and construction management students work together on construction projects.

Participants were divided into 10 groups, each consisting of a student of architecture, structural engineering, and construction management.

Each group then needed to design an affordable, climate-resilient, small community within 48 hours that would reduce embodied carbon emissions and be suitable for six families.

David said it was an intense competition with groups working from 8am to 11pm or even later each day.

“The highlight of the competition was being able to cooperate with students from other majors,” he says.

Students also had the opportunity to attend special lectures by two experts and take part in an on-site visit.

“These activities were great and gave us great inspiration and practical experience,” says David.

The event also included group presentations, an award ceremony, and networking opportunities.

“The whole week felt like a national festival for construction students, with a great atmosphere.”

David was proud that one of the winners of the whole event was an Otago Polytechnic architecture student from Dunedin who was also his roommate for the event.

“He was very professional and hard-working. When most of us went back to our rooms to rest at 11pm, he continued to work until 1.30am. This may be one of the reasons why he won the award,” says David.

“I learned a lot from him. He also invited me to visit OP’s head campus in Dunedin if I have the opportunity in the future. And I hope to cooperate with him in the industry in the future.”

David says OPAIC Teaching Assistant Sabrina Arklie told him about the competition and encouraged him to participate. He’s grateful to her for the opportunity and support. David and Sabrina worked hard to prepare for the competition along with Mingmin Guo, a Future Skills Academy student who was also competing.

The organisers released a general theme prior to the event and Sabrina organised weekly preparation meetings with the team.

“We prepared reading materials and cases based on this theme. We established a Microsoft Teams group and uploaded and shared useful information we discovered. Sabrina also gave us some suggestions and her thoughts,” says David.

David will graduate with his Bachelor of Construction next June and can’t wait to get into full-time work as a Quantity Surveyor in the commercial or residential sector.

“I can't wait to join the industry and apply the knowledge I have learned in three years to practical work.”

In the meantime, he’s enjoying working part-time as an Estimator, a job closely aligned with what he’s studying.