Meet Beth, a student with a passionate for building accessibility and creating comfortable spaces.
Beth has always been interested in how buildings affect the people who use them.
“I enjoy looking at how the indoor environment of a building works for its users—things like lighting, acoustics and thermal comfort.”
It’s a topic close to Beth’s heart, as a person who has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
“Things that other people may not even notice, like lights flickering and certain types of background noise, can have an impact on people with ASD. In my Master’s research project, I’m hoping to start to quantify these issues so that we can then start looking at ways to alleviate them and improve people’s experience.
“Overall, I’d love to bridge the gap between how buildings are designed and built and what would work best for the people who use them.
“I’m very passionate about accessibility in buildings, especially moving accessibility from just focusing on mobility and physical impairments, to thinking about designing buildings that are comfortable and easy for anyone to use.”
Beth speaks highly of the Building Science programme.
“One of the best things is the relationship between students and teaching staff. As a relatively small group, we get to know our lecturers and tutors by name and they are always willing to help.”
She has also gained a lot from opportunities to work with people in the industry—for example, she was part of the Victoria University of Wellington Summer Research Scholarship Programme over the 2015/16 summer, receiving funding to allow her to work at BRANZ.
“It was great to see what the professionals do, talk to them about the projects they are working on and get their perspectives.”