A Live Project to Improve Energy Performance of Retail Organisations

Esra Kurul, Andy Smith, Franco Cheung

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Live projects have long been used to facilitate learning in the built environment disciplines, particularly architecture. This in-depth case study is drawn from another built environment discipline: project management and evaluates the process of developing an energy assessment model for concession-based retail organisations, which was recognised as a real shift in the way sustainability was delivered by The Green Apple Awards in 2012. The great benefits, e.g. a �27k saving in energy costs during the first year, that academic research delivered in a commercial environment are identified. First, the key features of live projects are drawn from the literature. Then the unusual context for this live project is set. The differences between this live project and the more common setting of the full-time student being taken into the ?real-world? are thus identified. An explanation of the process through which the assessment model was developed as part of an MSc Dissertation, how it was used by the employer, and its benefits to the business follows. The next section draws out the key aspects of working in this different live project setting. A short discussion on whether a live project in this setting requires a different approach than the usual full-time student scenario concludes the case study. There is a tendency in the literature to associate live projects mainly with architectural education (Sara, 2006; Harriss & Widder, 2014), although some authors report live projects in other disciplines, e.g. business (Hummel, 2009). Also, the main novelty of live projects is considered to be the re-positioning of a full-time student in the ?real-world?. This case study aims to close these two gaps in the literature by reporting on a live project within the project management discipline from the perspective of a part-time, mature student with a highly pressured full-time job and a young family. The findings are drawn from an in-depth interview with the student and the relevant company literature.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalBrookes eJournal of Learning and Teaching
    Issue number1&2
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - Apr 2016


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