Mapúan places 2nd in International Built Environment Undergraduate Research Competition

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Michelle Andres, a Mapúa architecture student, placed second during the first International Built Environment Undergraduate Competition (BEURC) held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo courtesy of Arch. Ealdama.)

Architectural research in Mapúa Institute of Technology reached new heights as one of its students participated in the First International Built Environment Undergraduate Competition (BEURC) held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Organized by the University of Malaya, the competition saw 50 contestants from Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Michelle Andres, a Mapúa architecture student, was the only contestant representing the Philippines.

There were four sub-themes in the event: Building control, Facilities Management, Engineering and Construction Management, and Architecture and Planning. Among 22 students who competed in the Architecture and Planning sub-theme, Andres won the second place.

Her winning research is a thesis concerning architectural issues in critical wind effects for mega structures. Proposing a design for a Sports Complex in Davao City, the design criteria aims to respond to one of the emergent challenges facing the Philippines such as massive infrastructure damage caused by natural disasters.

“The Philippines is located on a path commonly traversed by typhoons, leaving in its wake damaged or destroyed buildings. Given such unalterable problem, what we can improve is the stability of the buildings,” Andres explained. “As an architect, I concentrated on synthesising the form, arrangement of the buildings, and the configuration of elements within the chosen site.”

Mapúa has been making impressive strides toward becoming a hub of excellence in higher education with its wide-ranging curriculum. The intensive training it constantly seeks to provide made it possible for Andres bag the BEURC award.

Part of the initiatives of Mapúa’s School of Architecture, Industrial Design and the Built Environment (ARIDBE) is the student colloquium which prepared and further enhanced Andres’ skills in presenting. The colloquium is held annually and attended by ARIDBE students with Dean Gloria B. Teodoro and most professors; it has thus far become the school's venue for new ideas and intelligent discourse.

According to Andres’ adviser, Architect Christina Ealdama, Mapúa prepares and enables students to initiate and conduct architectural research for the advancement of the profession.

“We conduct research-based learning activities in class and develop simple to complex problem-solving assignments that challenge the critical and creative thought-process especially in courses involving the design and understanding of our built environment,” she said.

Such achievement may only be the start of more to come, and it further certifies the Institute’s continuous efforts to provide an education that meets global standards.