Learning and Development
This award recognises and celebrates organisations that demonstrate how their learning and development initiative has improved the understanding of building performance within an organisation and/or the wider built environment. It includes applied research initiatives from academia.
Winner: BEEP Student Camp – Indo-Swiss Building Energy Efficiency Project (Indo-Swiss BEEP), Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Govt. of India, Swiss Agency for Development & Cooperation
The Indo-Swiss BEEP student camp is an annual, hands-on educational camp, aimed at nurturing the next generation of sustainable building design professionals in India. It was initiated by the Indian government’s Ministry of Power and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs in Switzerland.
The camp was originally conceptualised as an immersive workshop, and the first two camps were held in person in 2017 and 2019. However, the COVID-19 pandemic posed a daunting set of challenges to the organisers, who were faced with adapting a camp centred on group projects and hands-on design exercises for an online learning environment.
The Indo-Swiss BEEP took these challenges in its stride and the end result was an outstanding educational experience with a high level of attendee satisfaction. In the context of the pandemic, this is a commendable achievement.
Sustainability and environmental protection are central to the camp’s ethos, and the judges were impressed with Indo-Swiss BEEP’s ability to not only address these issues, but also to weave them into the educational programming of the event.
This was achieved using a threefold course structure involving interpersonal skills sessions, pre-recorded technical learning modules chosen by the attendees, and an ongoing group exercise aimed at replicating the experience of integrated multidisciplinary design.
The meticulous scheduling of the camp allowed students to gain a full understanding of how their skills from engineering and architectural design could be combined to create energy-efficient, sustainable buildings, using educational techniques that would be impossible in a university or college setting.
An equally outstanding aspect of the camp was its seamless integration of current affairs in India within the already-established educational model. Issues addressed included reducing greenhouse gas emissions, thermal comfort, and passive building design. This fits in perfectly with Indo-Swiss BEEP’s goal of building a new generation of forward-thinking, environmentally aware engineers who can tackle India’s climate challenges head-on.
The feedback from BEEP camp alumni has been overwhelmingly positive, with an average rating of 4.2-4.3 out of 5 stars, and the organisers’ ability to address this feedback in subsequent years demonstrates the wider impact that the camp has had and will continue to have in the long term.
‘The whole initiative is outstanding, engaging young minds at an exciting time for the industry,’ the judges said. ‘This programme is giving participants the skills to deliver high-quality, sustainable design solutions in their everyday working lives.’