Passivhaus Affiliate

Passivhaus Student Competition 2015

Passivhaus Student Competition sponsored by lafarge TarmacWINNERS 

Competition Objective

Participating Universities


The Trust launched a nationwide pilot Passivhaus student competition, kindly sponsored by Tarmac, in October 2014 at the UK Passivhaus Conference. 



Competition Objective

The key objective of the competition is to give architecture & planning students a creative vehicle to learn about transforming an existing area in need of regeneration, and its buildings, into a low-energy sustainable place using the Passivhaus standard and principles.

The competition formed part of the students’ ongoing course work; they developed a masterplan to improve an existing town centre. Within this masterplan the competitors were asked to identify one retrofit or new build project and provide detailed design to turn this into a certifiable Passivhaus building. 

Each university has identified a live regeneration scheme with support from the associated council; student projects have the chance to potentially inform & influence the local redevelopments. The locations have similar post-war, concrete urban centre characteristics. 

Participating Universities

University of Hertfordshire

University of Nottingham

University of the West of England

University of Hertfordshire University of Nottingham UWE

Students produced a report for Stevenage Borough Council outlining refurbishment options on the former Lloyds office building in the centre in Stevenage. 

After working on group masterplans, students developed their own designs for either a new build or retrofit mixed use development designed to Passivhaus Standard. The brief included an iconic destination building that links with important landmarks, and has appropriate scale & presence to the new tram.

Students were encouraged to produce ‘civic’ minded projects focusing on the repair of city fabric by the insertion of an appropriate master plan, a multi-occupant Performance in Education complex and well considered public space, as well as the retrofitting of a 1960's office block to Passivhaus standards.

Regeneration of Stevenage.

Supported by the Stevenage Borough Council

Regeneration of Beeston.

Supported by the Broxtowe Borough Council

Regeneration of Bristol town centre.

Supported by the Bristol City Council

Projects must aim to achieve sustainable development, both in terms of creating energy efficient buildings and in terms of nurturing a community that is commercially viable and resilient.


The Passivhaus standard has been identified as the ideal vehicle to explore these challenges because of the simplicity of its approach and clearer relationship with design decisions. The standard is flexible allowing the students to explore throughout the project the relationship between design and performance in terms of comfort and energy efficiency. 

 Dr Rodrigues, University of Nottingham.


All participating students recieved tutorials on DesignPH & have guest Passivhaus Tutors comment on their designs. As part of the competition all the students have had the opportunity to experience a Passivhaus building from first-hand experience. Students were taken on a private guided tour of the UK’s first Passivhaus Archive & Record Centre designed by Architype and built to the robust Passivhaus Standard in Hereford. L-R: Exterios of HARC - Photo credit: Dennis Gilbert. Students inspecting cedar shingles - Photo credit: Dr Rodrigues.

Hereford Archive Centre, exterior, Architype Hereford Archive Centre, exterior, Architype Hereford Archive Centre, Passivhaus Student Competition


Each University select a shortlist of exemplar projects with a Passivhaus rigour. The shortlist was then judged by a panel of industry & academic experts:

  • Fran Bradshaw – Anne Thorne Architects
  • Prof Mark Gillot – Institute of Sustainable Energy Technology, Nottingham University
  • Martyn Kenny– Larfarge Tarmac
  • Jon Bootland – Passivhaus Trust

We're proud to sponsor the Passivhaus student competition. The products and solutions we create play a fundamental role in creating a more sustainable built environment and sustainable communities so I very much enjoyed seeing all the students' entries.  I’d like to extend congratulations to the winners and all who took part. Working with these talented young architects and planning students is key to supporting their development, and unlocking creative design ideas that place whole life sustainability at the forefront.

Dr Martyn Kenny, Tarmac


Congratulations to the winners who were honoured at the 2015 UK Passivhaus Conference with a prize giving ceremony after the main programme of the Conference, along with having their winning schemes exhibited throughout the day.

Andrew Smith

Deep Green & Keep it Simple

University of Hertfordshire   

A report for Stevenage Borough Council outlining refurbishment options on the former Lloyds office building in the centre in Stevenage focusing on an analysis of external and internal wall insulation.

Deep Green & keep it simple

Full Shortlist:

  • Amy Tempest 

  • John Shuttleworth 

  • Raymond Lee

University of Hertfordshire


Chenglei Sheng


University of Nottingham   

A masterplan for the regeneration of Beeston links with important landmarks, and has appropriate scale & presence to the new tram. A methodical Passivhaus approach to a detailed design for an iconic new build consisting of student accommodation designed to meet the Standard. 

 C Sheng_ Multi Beestown

Full Shortlist

University of Nottingham

Theo Scaramanga

Water Phenomena

University of the West of England

Regeneration of Bristol town centre. Supported by Bristol City Council

A walkable city masterplan aims to reconnect isolated areas with blue and green corridors. Detailed designs explore a new build concrete frame spa designed to meet Passivhaus standard, and driven by an overall concept of cleanliness. 

 T Scaramanga Water Phenomena

Full Shortlist

  • Will Webb 

  • Anna Sturtivant 

  • Michaela Malia 


It has been interesting to see the variety of entries from the students, as they represent the different skills that are needed to deliver a successful Passivhaus, from concept design through detailed design and PHPP calculations and down to the individual choices of materials and energy efficiency measures to be implemented. It’s great to see such an enthusiastic response to Passivhaus from the next generation of designers and consultants! 

“We’ve been delighted to work with Lafarge Tarmac on this inaugural student competition, particularly because the choice of materials has such an impact on the thermal performance of a building in terms of managing both heat losses and thermal gains. The students’ feedback was excellent about the resources we were able to provide due to Lafarge Tarmac’s support.

Jon Bootland, Passivhaus Trust.



Oct 2014

Launch of Passivhaus Student Competition 2015 at 2014 UK Passivhaus Conference

Nov- Jun

Students begin projects. All Universities recieve tutorials on DesignPH & have guest Tutors specifically trained in Passivhaus

Apr 2015

Site visit to Hereford Archive and Record Centre

Jun 2015

Judging of shortlist

Jun 2015

Winners announced

Oct 2015

Awards ceremony & exhibition at 2015 UK Passivhaus Conference


Further Information 

Previous PHT Story - Launch of Passivhaus Student Competition 2015

Previous PHT StoryHereford Archive accommodates students site visit, 13 May 2015

More photos can be seen here


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Supported by

Tarmac Architype