Vertical Transport Consultants

Ahead Partnership Construction and Engineering School Challenge

Ahead Partnership Construction and Engineering School Challenge

D2E recently took part in the Ahead Partnership Construction and Engineering School Challenge in conjunction with Land Securities. The aim was to provide Year 9 pupils, from two secondary schools in Westminster, more knowledge about careers in the construction industry. The day was based around an exciting competition in which pupils had to design, construct and market their own Commercial, Residential or Leisure property development.

Chloe Waterhouse and Marc Gracia, of D2E, took part in the construction and engineering challenge at two Westminster secondary schools this week. The challenge was for year 9 pupils to come up with an idea for a property, which could be based either in Central London or in Ebbsfleet and was to be for commercial, residential or leisure purposes. In teams the pupils were to design, construct and present their property to the judges.

The idea of the project was to encourage the pupils to think about:

- How different buildings are used

-The location of sites and their sustainability for particular usages

- Sustainability features that can be designed in to buildings

- How development and construction affects the surrounding community

- How development is financed.

Industry volunteers were to supervise teams of eight through the day to provide insight and encouragement. The day began with each team deciding on their roles within their project, choosing from:

- Project Manager

- Construction Worker

- Marketing Manager

- Finance Director

- Architect

- Engineer

- Procurement Manager

- Quality and Safety Manager

Design Phase

The location of the property could be either 20 Fenchurch Street or Ebbsfleet and the end use of the building was down to the teams to decide.

Once the location, purpose, features and initial design of the building was put together, each team had to first request planning permission from the Planning Officer, when granted, this allowed them to ask for funding from the Bank Manager up to a value of £20 million.

The students had to budget for materials to build their developments, ensuring they did not overspend their agreed budget. The material shopping lists that they were working from included locally sourced products along with internationally sourced, making the children chose between cost or environmentally friendly products. There were also renewable energy sources available to them to purchase to use on their developments.

Build Phase

Each team were now to bring their designs to life with their purchased materials (cups, paper, tin foil and sellotape)

Once the buildings were complete, the marketing managers had to put together a presentation in which to sell and explain the features of their buildings to the judges.


The judges chose a winning team based on the models made and the presentations given and the winning team was rewarded with a prize.

This was a very positive day giving students a lively input into their potential future careers. 

If you’d like to find out more about the challenge or about Ahead Partnership’s work with local schools, please go to: .