Passivhaus Affiliate

Calling all students!

On Tuesday 30 November 2021, the Southside Hereford University Design Challenge was launched at London’s Building Centre.

Southside Hereford University Design Challenge launch partners


The scheme is a collaboration led by Timber Development UK, the organisation formed from the merger of TRADA and Timber Trade Federation, with the Passivhaus Trust as partners alongside the New Model Institute of Technology and Engineering (NMITE) and Edinburgh Napier University.

The competition aims to engage a wide range of built environment students, as well as recent graduates, in developing an understanding of the Passivhaus standard and methodology and the use of low embodied carbon building materials.


Climate action does not have to mean sacrifice. Passivhaus buildings can slash heating demand by up to 90% without compromising our health & wellbeing - factors put into sharp focus during the pandemic. It not only helps us meet net-zero targets and eases the transition away from fossil fuels but creates buildings people love.

We must empower the next generation of designers & engineers with an essential arsenal of climate literacy skills. Education initiatives like this are imperative to build a workforce that can deliver buildings fit for the future. The Trust is delighted to be partnering with a student competition based on a live project.

Yogini Patel, Head of Campaigns & Comms, Passivhaus Trust

Southside Hereford: University Design Challenge 2022


The brief

Student teams are invited to design the ‘Southside Hereford’ community building and skills hub for three clients. Designed to meet the Passivhaus standard and exceed RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge targets, the project will be based on bio-based materials.

Proposals must be energy and resource-efficient, focusing on the health and wellbeing of people, the community, and the planet. Proposals will design for longevity, adaptability, and circularity - with material reuse in mind. The competition project is a live project and submissions will inform the clients, and their partners, as they bring together a professional team to design and deliver a community centre in 2023.


How the competition will work

The competition is free to enter. Teamwork is a core element of the competition. Students will be encouraged to form multi-disciplinary teams of 4-8 people. Participating students will benefit from access to exclusive interactive webinars and workshops in January and February 2022.  The submission deadline for the competition is 18 April 2022. Find out more

Register your interest


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 efficiently and effectively together. Interdisciplinary design and delivery teams can achieve far more than individual professions working separately on the same project. Where better to learn these skills than at university?

Tabitha Binding, Timber Development UK, University Engagement Programme Manager

Watch now: Southside Hereford: University Design Challenge launch

The next date for your diary is the 14 December 2021. Join us for an online Climate Literate webinar and introduction to software such as DesignPH, PHPP, the AECB PHribbon, & Trimble.


Further information

Southside Hereford: University Design Challenge 2022

PHT Student Engagement

Watch a recording of the launch event: Southside Hereford: University Design Challenge - 30 November 2021

1st December 2021

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