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On 31 October the School of Architecture at Oxford Brookes University held a 20 year anniversary celebration for the master’s degree in Sustainable Building: Performance and Design. The event took place at Headington Hill Hall and was attended by over forty alumni, staff and current students.

The event began with an opening speech on the ‘Cutting Edge Approaches to Sustainability’ by Professor Sue Roaf, one of the original founders of the course. Mary Hancock, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Design at Oxford Brookes chaired the session and introduced the alumni speakers. The programme of events included a small exhibition of posters illustrating the wide scope of work in which alumni are involved both locally and worldwide.

Presentations covered topics ranging from the practice of sustainable design to research and wider issues. A practice perspective was provided by Francisco Guerrero Neguillo of Reardon Smith Architects. Francisco graduated from the course in 2008. His presentation provided an outline on ‘The Challenges of Introducing Sustainable Design in the Hospitality Field.’ 2011 graduate Richard Turner of Qoda Consulting, spoke about ‘Emphasising the Importance of Interdisciplinary Working with Building Information Modelling (BIM).’ Gary Wilburn, 2010 graduate and Director of Design and Sustainability at HPW Architecture, provided his take to ‘Getting Clients On Board.’

The celebrations continued later that evening with a local dinner event, before concluding the following day with a walk and talk activity and a party in the evening. The closing remarks were given by Professor Rajat Gupta, Director of the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD) and 2001 graduate, and Dr. Paola Sassi, Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer at Oxford Brookes.

The MSc Sustainable Building: Performance and Design course was originally established in 1994 with the title MSc Energy Efficient Building. Later adaptations saw the course retitled as Energy Efficient and Sustainable Building, before its final format change in 2008. It was one of the first master’s degrees in the UK to focus on energy efficient and sustainable design. Today it boasts over 400 alumni working worldwide in the fields of energy, building and education.

Speaking about the event Mary Hancock said, “The success of the event reflects the close relationships developed between students and staff that is characterised by teaching, learning, field trips, crisis and camaraderie, and discussions about the future of sustainability, life, the universe and everything.”

More information on Sustainable Building: Performance and Design at Oxford Brookes