Phase 2: Design

Infrastructure & utilities

These activities help students to consider the networks that connect a building. They emphasise the importance of sustainable transport within a community and help students to appreciate the impacts of providing infrastructure and utilities.

  • Deliver these activities within a double session, so that you can include a tour of your campus using a plan of the utility connections.
  • You will need site plans and online mapping for this task.

Explore the utilities and infrastructure that connect your school or college


  • Use What connects a building? with students.
  • Get them to imagine laying these utilities again for your school or college. How much disruption would this cause, and why?

Main activity

  • Using Sustainable transport, look at a plan of your school or college – online aerial photography will do.
  • How is it connected to roads and paths etc?
  • In groups, students use printouts of online maps to improve transport connections.
  • They could change the size of car parks – what would they replace them with?
  • Groups present back their ideas.

Extension – double period

  • Use Explore your site and a site plan to take a guided tour of your campus.
  • Can students find each utility that is marked on the plan?
  • How would these affect future construction work on site – what would designers and site workers have to think about?


  • Gather ideas from each group – you can create a chart on the board.
  • Discuss which jobs are of interest.

(You can use the communication questions from Who designs a large department?)


Easier/Level 1:
Get students to find out how each utility is connected to their home. Miss out the site tour unless you are sure your students will learn from it.

Students consider the cost of connecting to utilities and the work required to raise pylons or poles, lay cables in trenches etc.

Answers: What connects a building?

Industrial park:
major roads for transporting materials, goods and people in and out; power for industrial equipment.

Power station:
site away from housing; railway line for transporting oil, coal or nuclear fuel.

Shopping centre:
road access for customers and deliveries; site close to major housing areas.

Answers: Sustainable transport

Public transport can be more good for reasons that include:

less traffic congestion; safer roads; chance for people to mix

lower particle emissions (cleaner local air); fewer carbon emissions (lower contribution to global warming); less need for oil, a non-renewable resource.




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