Greener Energy For A Birmingham School – Photographing A Containerised Plant Room
Developments in the energy sector of construction are moving towards greener more efficient ways of supplying heat and light. As a photographer I have been working with Carillion and other construction companies, to capture some of the developments in this changing sector of industry – here is an insight into Birmingham school energy efficiency changes.
Greener construction methods are making new buildings extremely energy efficient. The minimum efficiency levels for a new house are excellent, but many new builds are far exceeding this, and the results are immediately obvious to the new inhabitants (whether commercial or domestic). However, new builds are by far in the minority – the biggest challenge is how to bring existing buildings up to a much higher level of efficiency. This is where companies such as Carillion are concentrating efforts. Around the Birmingham and West Midlands area, they are involved in several really interesting schemes. I was recently asked to visit and photograph one such scheme in Birmingham – a school.
The school, like most across the country, is not a new build, and so it is having to deal with the legacy of inefficiency from a time when the technology, and the need, was very different. Carillion had been working in partnership with several aspect of the school, to try and improve it’s Green credentials. Making these improvements isn’t about ticking a box for a politician, and there are still some that do not see the point in ‘being Green to save the planet’ (despite the overwhelming evidence for climate change). However, the changes that are made on the ground in the school have a direct impact on the pupils and the running of the school. With budgets being cut for education every penny helps, so if money can be saved on heating costs through better insulation, energy saving lighting or more efficient boilers, then this is funds that can be spent elsewhere in the school. Carillion had been tasked with helping with these particular aspects, along with commissioning a mural to be painted with eco-friendly paints to brighten an area of the school up.
Photographing in the construction industry is very rewarding – there are many different aspects to it, and I learn a lot about the industry as I do it. With this commission I was looking at some parts that were very obvious – the containerised plant room for example, is a very specific object to photograph. On the other hand energy efficient lights are much more difficult to photograph. I took two slightly different approaches – one with more ‘factual’ photos, and one with a more creative side, to show the more human impact of the changes. This way the client has a variety of photographs to choose from, whether they are showing the technical or the human side of the project.
If you work in the construction industry and are looking for a photographer to capture your build, please contact us to see how we can help you.