Bat and Bird boxes at outdoor education

The Design Council takes on yet another project for 2020-2021. As requested by Mr. Coke Smith in the Biology department, we have designed and produced bat and bird houses using socially responsible design to be placed in our school’s outdoor classroom. Their purpose is to give bat and bird shelter in order for them to stay safe in our outdoor classroom for students to observe them more easily during the Biology or ESS lessons.

As always, we started with research – there are a multitude of different types of bat and bird boxes. After an initial collaborative brainstorming process whereby numerous design ideas were brought to light, our design team narrowed these suggestions down to those simple enough to make in our workshop with the available materials.

Examples we found online that helped us finalize our design:

We used CAD/CAM technology for this project. Firstly, we designed both the bat and bird houses and investigated the best way to assemble each individual component together. By drilling out small holes, each piece can slot together seamlessly like a puzzle without the use of any adhesive. This is an example of how we used our knowledge from DT classes in Design Council. Another reason as to why we did this was to follow our aims and objectives on sustainable and socially responsible design. As these bat and bird houses will be set up in the outdoor classroom and species of bats and birds will live in it, we wanted to minimize the use of glue in our final product.

Before finalising the final design, we created an experimental prototype to evaluate the design's strengths and weakness, making changes accordingly. In addition, this prototype enabled us to get an idea of the dimensions of the final product. The prototype is shown below:

The prototype was extremely successful, so there weren't many edits to make. However, for a little bit of fun, we granted Mr. Smith's personal request to add a batman figure to the design of the bat boxes.

With Khun Chai's help, we then cut out each individual piece of the designs on wood using a laser cutter. In collaboration, we assembled these pieces together and polished them.

The final products:

Bat houses: The holes are at the bottom and the roof is detachable.

Bird houses: The hole is at the side as shown and the roof is detachable.

When school reopens, we are planning on spending one of our sessions to put them up in the outdoor classroom.

If you are interested in taking part in exciting design projects such as this one FEEL FREE TO JOIN THE DESIGN COUNCIL!

Sources for research photos:

Photo 1:

Photo 2:

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