Students tasked with using timber to design sustainable community centre

Image credit: Serge Cornu, Shutterstock

BUILT environment students and recent graduates have been challenged to design a community centre that is ‘truly sustainable’.

Trade membership body Timber Development UK is collaborating with New Model Institute of Technology and Engineering (NMITE) in Hereford, Edinburgh Napier University (ENU) and the Passivhaus Trust on the project.

Teams must create a building which produces more energy than it consumes while working across four distinct careers; architects, engineers, cost consultants, and landscape architects.

Students are encouraged to work together to use sustainable materials and methods which will drive energy and resource efficiency. Entrants must also consider the local environment and community.

A programme of webinars will be provided in early 2022 giving tips, tools and insight on how to build a winning entry.

Tabitha Binding, Timber Development UK university engagement programme manager, said, “Built environment professionals must prepare for a net zero future, and this must start in the classroom if we are to reach our climate goals. Our curriculum must be strengthened to meet the climate challenge by raising climate literacy.

“For our future architects, engineers, cost consultants, and landscape architects, this means improving their knowledge and capability of working with low-carbon materials such as timber – and being able to use it wisely and well. They also need to be able to work effectively together, as interdisciplinary design and delivery teams can achieve far more than individual professions working separately on the same project.”

Kirsty Connell-Skinner, sustainable construction partnerships manager at Edinburgh Napier University, added, “This competition illustrates Edinburgh Napier’s innovative approach to timber engineering education – an exciting real-life challenge for built environment students and recent graduates to design and build for a net zero future. Bringing groups together for this challenge will help to make ideas and innovation come to life.

“This is the sweet spot where we can unlock the potential to help meet sustainability ambitions in the construction industry.”