Building conversion research proposal

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Buildingconversion research proposal

    1. brief overview of proposal

Thelast three decades have seen various innovations in workspace design.Research in the social sciences, neuroscience, and behavioralsciences has all shown the cognitive impact of differentarchitectural elements (Entis, 2014). With respect to study areas, itis important to ensure that students have a conducive atmosphere thatenables them to study with minimal distractions. Conducting researchon the kind of facilities and environments that students need canplay a big role in assisting engineers to design the most appropriatefacilities. This research proposal attempts to look at some ofchanges that can be done while conducting building conversions on alearning center based on a survey conducted on students from oneparticular institution.

    1. justification for the proposal

Inorder to carry out successful building conversion projects it isimportant to understand the principal influences, options,methodologies, and procedures for conversion projects (Douglas, 2006p. 96). Building conversions are mainly stimulated by the need toensure that buildings have continued use, as a response to changes inthe style or type of occupancy demands. The need to keep buildingsbeneficial in the long term, bringing new life to buildingsthreatened by disuse, physical limitations to expansion, and need toimprove occupier benefits and sustainability are other factors. Inthis case the justification for the building conversion is that thesurvey conducted shows that the participants gave varying responseson the way they want the facilities to look like and which servicesto include.

Inaddition, it is true that building conversions are mostly more costeffective while compared to building new structures. Thus by adoptingthis approach the university will not only enjoy the benefits notedabove but will also be able to save on capital resources because thecost of conversion will relatively be lower than building newfacilities. The approach will also help the university to save onlimited physical space that can be used for other activities orprograms. For instance, the saved physical space can be used as aplayground, as a site for building new hostels, entertainment venue,or even be used to construct commercial structures that can be rentedout to outsiders and thus act as source of additional income for theuniversity.

    1. Aims

Theaim of this article is to appeal to the relevant institutionauthorities to consider converting study buildings. This is becauseas the results of the survey show there are certain facilities and orservices that student’s need that will help them in their studyareas. In addition to this, from the survey undertaken it is clearthat this proposal will also give the university the opportunity tocreate additional revenue. This is because some of the facilities orservices suggested will be charged thus giving the administration achance of making extra money either by providing the services orleasing the facilities to professionals who in turn will pay for theuse of the facilities.

  1. methods

    1. sample

Thesample used comprised of 17 students who are in their first year ofstudy. Among these 12 were male and the rest were female students.The sample was taken from students majoring in five different majors,which were civil engineering, urban planning, financial mathematics,business and HSS. Among this sample 12 students majored in civilengineering, two in urban planning, one in financial mathematics, onein business, and one in HSS.

    1. Materials

Thematerials needed for the research will just be the questionnaire,readings from other sources, and the analysis software.

    1. Procedure

Thesurvey was administered to a selected sample of research participantsin the form of a questionnaire comprising a mixed set of questions.The questions included the following:

  1. Do you like drinking coffee while reading?

  2. How much money would you spend on coffee per month?

  3. How often do you go to café?

  4. When reading, what kinds of light do you prefer?

  5. Reading area should be silent or play some light background music?

  6. Do you think glass roof would benefit reading area?

  7. How do you think about growing plants in reading area?

  8. What color do you suggest to decorate the room?

  9. Which facilities do you like?

Theanswers to these questions were collected and put in tabular formatsand then they were graphically analyzed. The results are discussed inthe subsequent section.

  1. Results and Analysis

Withrespect to the first question 82% or fourteen of the students saidthat they would like drinking coffee while reading and the remainingthree (18%) said they would not like.

Whenasked how much money students can use on coffee the responses were asfollows:

none

1–100

101–200

201–500

501–1000

≥1001

2

10

3

2

0

0

Fromthe data, it is clear that a majority of the students (15) arewilling to spend money purchasing coffee on a monthly basis.

Theresponses of how often the students go to the café were as follows:

hardly

1–5

5–10

10–20

over 20

5

9

2

1

0

Thisindicates that a majority of the students (9) go to the café 1-5times. This is an indication that students waste a lot of time goingto the café to take coffee. When asked the kind of light thatstudents preferred when reading, 11 were in favor of natural light, 4were in favor of yellow light (traditional bulb), and two were infavor of white LED light. Because none of the students preferreddirect sunlight, this is a key concern for engineers. With respect tomusic six students preferred total silence, nine were in favor ofclassic music, one preferred pop, while one chose other kinds ofmusic.

Whenit came to the use of a glass roof, it was surprising to note that amajority of students were in favor of it. However, the reason whystudents were in favor of a glass roof varied from provision ofenough light (7), provision of view to relax (4), and efficient useof energy (2).

Allstudents were in favor of growing plants in study areas. However,thirteen students were in favor of small plants and the rest were infavor of both small and large plants. The feedback to the finalquestion, which was the kind of facilities students liked, was asindicated in the table below.

facilities

really like

like

no idea

do not like

hate it

glass roof

4

7

4

2

0

bookshelf

8

7

2

0

0

projector

7

2

6

2

0

sofa

12

3

2

0

0

computer

5

8

4

0

0

beverage room

5

7

4

1

0

parasol

7

4

5

1

0

wood furniture

8

7

2

0

0

Fromthe feedback it is clear that a majority of the students either“really liked” or “liked” the facilities. The othersignificant group was the “no idea” this is good because thesestudents will probably not be affected by the construction of thesefacilities.

  1. Recommendations

Fromthe results and analysis section it is clear that there are severalrecommendations that can be made to the university authoritiesconcerning considering the building conversion project. Therecommendations will be based on the feedbacks given by the students.In the first place, it is clear that all the students interviewedwere in favor of planting plants near reading areas. Thus assumingthat this is a representative sample of the student population, thefirst recommendation would be to ask the authorities to prioritizethis issue and embark on a tree planting exercise.

Becauseit appears that, most students prefer drinking coffee while reading Iwould suggest that the university considers building café’s nearreading areas in order to enable students to access coffee easily.Either these café’s can be managed by the administration,students, or they can be leased to third parties to increaseefficiency and professionalism.

Inthe third place, I would recommend that the university consideropening up certain reading areas so that they can have light that ismore natural. This will enable students to choose their preferredreading areas without having to relocate for longer distances. Onearea that I would suggest that further research be conducted is onthe type of color that should be painted in reading areas. This isbecause, the feedback from the survey was very varied and it isdifficult to ascertain which the most appropriate colors to use are.

Regardingthe kind of facilities that should be added in the reading areas, Iwould recommend that the authorities include all the facilitiesbecause majorities of the students were in favor of these facilities.In summary, I would suggest that the university considers thebuilding conversion proposal because from the survey results, theconversion will lead to improved learning experiences for thestudents.

  1. Reference list

Bullen,P. and Love, P. (2011) ‘Factors influencing the adaptive re-use ofbuildings’. Journalof Engineering, Design, and Technology[Online], 9(1) Available online from:http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/17260531111121459[Accessed: 18 December 2014]

Douglas,J. (2006). BuildingAdaptation.London: Routledge.

Entis,L. (2014) TheScience of Office Design[Online] Available fromhttp://www.entrepreneur.com/article/231035[Accessed:20 January 2015]

  1. Appendix

Studyquestionnaire

  1. Do you like drinking coffee while reading?

  2. How much money would you spend on coffee per month?

  3. How often do you go to café?

  4. When reading, what kinds of light do you prefer?

  5. Reading area should be silent or play some light background music?

  6. Do you think glass roof would benefit reading area?

  7. How do you think about growing plants in reading area?

  8. What color do you suggest to decorate the room?

  9. Which facilities do you like?