Passivhaus Affiliate

2022 Student Competition

The Challenge

The Launch

Registration & eligibility


Southside Hereford: University Design Challenge 2022

After running six Passivhaus Student competitions, the Trust is expanding to a format that will enable us to reach more students. The Passivhaus Trust is partnering a 2022 national student competition led by Timber Development UK*, alongside New Model Institute of Technology and Engineering (NMITE) and Edinburgh Napier University.

Student teams are invited to design a community building and 'skills hub' to the Passivhaus standard, with access to interactive webinars and workshops in January and February 2022. The competition will launch on the 30th November 2021 and is open to current Built Environment students and 2021 graduates. 

The competition will follow a similar format to the Riverside Sunderland: University Design Challenge, reaching over 300 students and graduates at 40 universities.

*the organisation formed from the merger of TRADA and Timber Trade Federation.

Southside Hereford: University Design Challenge 2022


The challenge

To design, specify and bring in on budget a community building and ‘skills hub’ for three clients. Designed to Passivhaus standards and based on bio-based materials, the building must be ‘net zero’, creatively employing sustainable building materials and construction methods, and be energy and resource efficient, focusing on the health and well-being of people, the community, and our planet. Proposals will design for longevity, adaptability, and circularity - with material reuse in mind. 

Southside Hereford will provide a vibrant, inspiring and inclusive sports, food and skills community focal point for the people of South Wye. Southside is a collaboration between two highly energised established community organisations Growing Local CIC and Belmont Wanderers CIC, and NMITE, all of whom share a common goal to improve the future health, well-being, life-chances and employment skillset of the people of South Wye and Hereford.

The competition will inform the clients, and their partners, as they bring together a professional team to design and deliver a community centre in 2023.

The main material focus for the centre will be timber or timber hybrid systems. Your team's detailed design for the building will meet the Passivhaus Standard and exceed the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge targets

A competition brief is due for release on the 21st of December 2021.

Southside Hereford: Context

Read the full #StrongerHereford Town Investment Plan (TIP)  


Exclusive interactive webinars & workshops

An exciting programme of talks and events will take place during January and February 2022, covering the lastest topics to improve students climate literacy. The webinars aim to aid the design process and enable students to form teams.  The comprehensive series will introduce students to associations, professionals, resources, research and products in order to increase knowledge and confidence. All events will be recorded and uploaded to a YouTube channel for viewing at  convenience. Events will be held via Zoom meetings. 



The competition is free to enter. Team work is a core element and students will be encouraged to form multi-disiplinary teams of 4-8 people. Where you haven't been able to form a team yourself, we will allocate you a place in a team. The teams must include:

  • Architect or Architectural Technologist
  • Engineer
  • Quantity Surveyor
  • Landscape Architect.


Register your interest

Once your registration has been accepted, you will receive all the information you need to know via email. This includes invitations to the series of exclusive, interactive evening webinars, where you will meet other participating students and graduates, and access to the full brief once it becomes available. At this point, you can either create your own team, or wait to be placed into a team with other participants, and begin the challenge.



To participate in this challenge, you must be a current UK student or a 2021 UK graduate of a built environment subject. This includes students and graduates of architecture, architectural technology, structural or civil engineering, surveying, landscape architecture, and interior design. However, this list is not exhaustive so please get in touch with TRADA's Tabitha Binding if you are unsure whether you are eligible to participate.


Official Launch

Watch a recording of the launch event that took place on the 30th November at The Building Centre, London. The event introduces the competition, its partners, and answers a few FAQ's.

Southside Hereford University Design Challenge launch partners




30 NOV 2021

Official launch of the competition  | Live & Online.

14 DEC 2021

Climate Literate webinar and introduction to software | Online.

21 DEC 2021

Launch of Brief with clients | Online.

4 & 6 JAN 2022

Student engagement evenings and team forming.

10 JAN - 04  MAR 2022 

Webinar series and engagement activities. Further information & schedule will follow shortly. Run in the early evening to avoid clashing with work or studies.

18 APR 2022

Submission Deadline

MAY 2021 (TBC)


JUN 2021 (TBC)

Awards Ceremony

*programme subject to slight changes


Further Information

Passivhaus Student Engagement

Previous Passivhaus Student Competitions

Previous 2021 Riverside Sunderland: University Design Challenge