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A brief overview about a summer placement…

Throughout my travels, studies and experiences I have been able to procure what I hope to be a worldly open-minded perspective. In my efforts to further extend and improve these perspectives, and fully pursue my academic passions, I had the privilege of spending the last three months in a summer placement at BRE, which was kindly intermediated by Orivaldo Barros.

Alvar Aalto once said, “Building art is a synthesis of life in materialised form. We should try to bring in under the same hat not a splintered way of thinking, but all in harmony together”, and as an architect the desire of making the world a better place to live in has been the biggest influence in my work and in my studies. I finished my University graduate program with a series of questions on how to improve people’s lives through the construction process, and I could not think of a better place to find such questions. I just completed my summer placement at BRE and my impressions are absolutely positive. Getting in touch with professionals and researchers from all different areas was a pleasant surprise and extremely rewarding.

Through my studies in Brazil, I have come to realize that architecture is a special overpass between imagination, reality, creativity and technique. I have learnt that no successful project emerges from a singular idea or person. Rather, it requires extensive communication with a team of architects, engineers, contractors, consultants, and the artisans who work on a building to achieve the greatest possible effect.  Learning from the collective experience at BRE not only illustrated how each project involves more than simply designing a building, but it has also demonstrated how creating and managing a construction project is logical, organized and defined.

At BRE I worked with Orivaldo Barros in the PISAC (Parque de Inovação e Sustentabilidade do Ambiente Construído, in Portuguese) project that is being developed in Brazil. To sum-up, the University of Brasilia and partners is currently creating an Innovation Park in the capital of Brazil. The Park will provide an opportunity for an innovative space promoting investigation through sustainability construction issues. The PISAC Innovation Park is a new venture for Brazil and the project will act as a catabolism for best practices in terms of sustainability. Besides all this, the project goes beyond itself. This work developed by Orivaldo Barros and Raquel Blumenschein will bring a number of unique benefits to Brazilian construction, its importance transcends my words. It will demonstrate the opportunity for sustainable development in the country, and be the basis for the improvement of responsible construction. Clearly, this process has many obstacles, and the effort of both to make it come true is extremely admirable. Working with Orivaldo gave me the opportunity to learn so much and to revaluate chances for housing construction – I am very grateful for this opportunity.

Such changes are extremely important because a building is a projection of so much more than bricks and mortar. It is a form of connection between a person and the constructed environment. Moreover, it is the capsule in which people live, work and create bonds. BRE surprise me by constantly finding pondering ways to make people’s lives better, both aesthetically and practically. This placement has given me a greater knowledge about all aspects of the sustainability construction industry, including topics such as health and well-being, safety and efficiency of constructive methods. In addition, all the BRE people were extremely helpful and kind, I am very thankful for all the help and goodwill they have given me. Furthermore, they always seemed motivated to seek the best, which is a great inspiration.

I am returning to Brazil very glad with the result of this summer placement. Rather than learning about sustainability, I have learned the reflection of its principles in the workplace, and experienced how they can be extremely rewarding. It was a one kind opportunity. To all the readers and the BRE staff: Goodbye, and thank you.