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Architecture Personal Statement

Sample Architecture Personal Statement

As someone who is much more attracted by the challenge of working to find practical solutions to problems rather than by the theoretical, I have found my undergraduate course in Architectural Environmental Engineering full of interest and personal satisfaction, and the first-class degree I gained is, I believe, a fair reflection of the very positive response I gave to the course and the subject generally. I soon found that my core interest lay in the sustainability of built spaces and the ways that technology combined with design can promote energy efficiency and minimise the impact of buildings on the natural world. I received several commendations and awards for the design features of projects I undertook during the course and developed my skills in a number of areas of design software, such as AutoCAD, Auto-Ecotect, Energy-plus and Sketchup. I am convinced now that this is the field in which I should like to spend my career, gaining a postgraduate degree, during which I hope to spend more time on my particular interest, building service design – more specifically, exploring HVAC systems, energy-saving strategies and types of renewable energy – then gaining experience and management skills in a commercial company before setting up my own business in the area of energy efficiency, renewable energy technology or building/facility design. An advanced degree is the basis on which my career plan would be built.

For me the greatest fulfilment comes from creativity, and as a part of my Nottingham course I designed and built my own renewable house model on a 1:100 scale, based on research data from the University’s Centre for Sustainable Energy Technology, involving a screw-type envelope, an atrium ventilation system connected to each room, a green roof, PV panels, shading devices and rainwater collectors. I also incorporated other features derived from my CSET research, such as a fire-protection system, ventilation ducts, a renewable energy system and a daylighting system. This year I am working on a group project to design a zero-energy building in Singapore, for which I have chosen to combine PV technology with a natural solar duct ventilation method. My plan is to distribute PV panels over the exterior of the building and then exploit the heat energy amassed in the bottom side of the panels as a channel for natural ventilation. As the heat rises, cooler air will be drawn in. I intend the building to rotate around a pivot, which is also the central load-bearing column, to equalise access to sunlight. The aesthetic quality of buildings must not be eclipsed by a sole concern for technological efficiency. In another of my projects I designed a house with a circular roof to take in more sunlight and with exterior walls of glass to save electricity and enhance its elegance. The project won the first prize, but more important was the excitement and satisfaction I felt in turning my ideas into reality – even if it was only a model.

I undertook a work experience placement at Xu Air-Conditioning Manufacturing Company in 2011, learning much in the workshop about compressor assembly and developing my understanding of HVAC systems and manufacture. Outside my engineering interests I am a keen sportsman and enjoy keeping fit. I play basketball and was University table tennis team captain, and I swim and go to a gym. I have done some voluntary work, teaching mathematics to the deaf at a local school. I am a good draughtsman and photographer and I also won a prize in the debating society at University.

My presentation skills are good, both oral and written, and I have demonstrated my ability as a researcher and analyser of data. I work well with others but am equally confident working on my own initiative. I relate well to other people and am well able to hold a constructive and reasoned debate, and I enjoy the challenge of new ideas. My commitment to my subject is total and I believe I have the necessary qualities to achieve success in an advanced course.

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