Passivhaus Affiliate

2022 Student Competition

The Challenge

The Shortlist

The Winners

Webinars & Workshops: Jan - Mar 2022


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

#TDchallenge22 Awards Ceremony


The challenge

Southside Hereford University Design Challenge is based on a live project to design a community centre out of timber to meet Passivhaus Standard. Built environment students and 2021 graduates from UK universities were invited to take part in the challenge to design Southside Hereford, a detached single-storey building to accommodate three diverse partners with net-zero aspirations.

Providing 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, wellbeing, life chances and employment skillset of the people of South Wye and Hereford.

Student teams had to produce designs that sites the community centre within the local context and landscape, integrating the clients’ and community's interests.

  • Community Centre, approximately 800m2

  • Meet the Passivhaus Standard and exceed both the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge targets and the LETI Climate Emergency Design Guide metrics. 

  • Built predominantly from timber or timber hybrid systems. 

  • Budget £1.6 million.

Read the full #StrongerHereford Town Investment Plan (TIP)  

Southside Hereford: Context


Each of the detailed designs for Southside is ‘net zero’, creatively employing energy and resource efficient building materials and construction methods, focusing on the health and wellbeing of people, the community, and the planet. The designs were judged for longevity, desirability, adaptability, circularity, and a warming climate, as well as producing more energy from renewable sources than required.

Team work was a core element of the free to enter competition, and students were encouraged to form multi-disiplinary teams of 4-8 people. All teams must have included:

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

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.


Exclusive interactive webinars & workshops

Watch a recording of the launch event that took place on the 30th November at The Building Centre, London. An exciting programme of talks and events followed during January to March 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 are recorded and available to all for viewing at convenience. 

Southside Hereford University Design Challenge launch partners
Southside Hereford: University Design Challenge 2022 - Webinar series



After 150 students registered from 57 Universities and nine months of webinars, workshops, & interdisciplinary teamwork, congratulations to the 6 shortlisted designs. All finalists presented their proposals, at a live two-day event at NMITE, to a diverse judigng panel representing both local clients and leading figures in UK sustainable construction.

#TDchallenge22 Team 1 #TDchallenge22 Team 4 #TDchallenge22 Team 7
#TDchallenge22 Team 8 #TDchallenge22 Team 10 #TDchallenge22 Team 18




1st place: Wye not Wood - Team 7 

#TDchallenge22: Wye not Wood - Team 7, Concept design #TDchallenge22 Winners - Team 7
#TDchallenge22 Team 7 recieve certificate

A huge congratulations to Team 7: Wye not wood who took first place. The team consists of: Alice Senior (University of Portsmouth), Malwina Bartoszewicz (Edinburgh Napier University), Johanna Schwarting (Swansea University), Kyle Henderson (Robert Gordon University), Daniela Lopez (University of Gloucestershire), Ali Uddin (University of Edinburgh), and Deepak Sadhwani (Cardiff University). Discover more about the winning design & runners up here.


Up Next

The competition will return with a retrofit competition brief to start in the 2022 Autumn term - completing before the end of the 2023 academic term. Watch this space for more!

Timber Development UK: University Design Challenge 2023




30 NOV 2021

Official launch of the competition  | Watch a recording.

14 DEC 2021

Construction in a Climate Crisis | Watch a recording.

21 DEC 2021

Clients and challenge brief | Watch a recording.

04 - 14 JAN 2022

Student engagement evenings and team forming.

21 FEB 2022

Registration deadline

18 JAN - 22  MAR 2022 

Engagement webinar & workshop series

12 JUN 2022

Team submission deadline

17 JUN 2022

Longlist announced

04 JUL 2022

Shortlist announced

21 - 23 JUL 2022

Final judging & Awards Ceremony in person @NMITE, Hereford

25 JUL 2022

Winners announced

*programme subject to slight changes


Further Information

Winners announced

Southside Hereford: University Design Challenge - Flyer

Passivhaus Student Engagement

Previous Passivhaus Student Competitions

Previous 2021 Riverside Sunderland: University Design Challenge


Timber Development UK - Southside Hereford: University Design Challenge 2022