At last Monday’s meeting of the Full Town Council four Year 12 St John’s students – Oliver Markham, Timon Piercy, Jack Ross and Rex Vickerman – who together won Gold in the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) David Butler Award presented their winning idea to the Councillors. They came first out of about 100 entries, their Affordable Homes proposal caught the judges and like any great idea, it was simple. And of its time.
Marlborough.news reported their achievement back in February, but rather than report on their presentation, it is far better for them to explain to the large marlborough.news audience exactly what they presented to the Institution of Civil Engineers that impressed the judges so much to give them the Gold award.
On behalf of the team, Jack Ross explains:
If you could improve one thing about the area you live in, what would it be? This was the question posed to us late last year, as part of the ICE (Institute of Civil Engineering) competition.
Obviously, for most teenagers, it would be to address the problems around the lack of provision for our age group. We are fortunate to have some excellent sporting facilities but beyond that, it is an area that lends itself well to discussion and further development. But what happens when teenagers become young adults who are looking to put down roots? Quite simply, Marlborough doesn’t lend itself to providing attractive, sustainable, and affordable homes. If young people aren’t able to remain part of their local community and remain invested in developing opportunities for future generations, then the cycle continues and living in Marlborough is not an option for most young people.
This is what our idea aimed to seek a solution for. We wanted to provide an alternative for young adults; allowing them to remain in the outstanding area they grew up in. After some thought I pitched the idea of converted shipping containers to the rest of the group and together we all started to build on the idea to make it a feasible and realistic project.
In summary, our idea was to convert shipping containers so that they can be arranged in series of separate ways, to create the perfect size home for people who cannot afford vast, expensive housing in the Marlborough area. The design can be built offsite and installed to allow a cheaper, alternative form of housing for people starting to get on the property ladder and to enable people to live in areas that would otherwise be impossible to move into to. Due to the idea that they can be arranged in a variety of ways, it also allows the housing to be specific to you and match your personal needs. The homes can also be situated in any suitable locations, but we would aim to build these homes on repurposed land but incorporate a natural feel into the collection of housing by wooding cladding the buildings, planting trees to create nature trails, and created green communal areas to prevent the houses becoming too tightly packed together. Making these homes an appealing option to buyers.
When we pitched our idea to ICE (Institute of Civil Engineering) and were announced winners, as a team we were all extremely pleased and were excited to see where our idea could take us, recently we had been invited to a meeting with the Marlborough town council and explained our idea in depth to them, this has so far been an incredible experience for the team and I as I know we are looking forward to studying engineering in the future and are currently in the process of finding what we would like to progress in after A-level, and with Loads of possible options, this has been an incredible opportunity for us all, and for me especially I can safely say it has cemented my passion for engineering.
The Town Councillors all applauded the St John’s team, congratulated them on their achievement, their originality and application of an idea to address a vital need, particularly relevant to present day Marlborough, and they thanked them for explaining all to the Council at a Full meeting.
Marlborough.news would similarly congratulate Oliver, Timon, Jack and Rex for their outstanding achievement on a National stage and thank them for giving the wider audience in the Marlborough area an opportunity to share their ideas.
Could their idea become a reality here? It’s what the Town needs.