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MSc Sustainable Mega Buildings student part of winning team in the 2022 TDUK Southside Hereford University Design Challenge

8 August 2022

The 'Wye Not Wood' team
The 'Wye Not Wood' team

MSc Sustainable Mega Buildings student Deepak Sadhwani and his team 'Wye Not Wood' have won first prize in the 2022 TDUK Southside Hereford University Design Challenge.

Over 150 students from 57 universities registered to take part in the competition that asked teams to design a net zero community centre based on a live project showcasing timber construction and meeting Passivhaus Standard.

Led by Timber Development UK, in partnership with the New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering (NMITE)Edinburgh Napier University, and the Passivhaus Trust, built environment students and 2021 graduates from UK universities designed a detached single-storey building to accommodate three diverse partners with net-zero aspirations. After nine months of webinars, workshops and interdisciplinary teamwork, the winning team was selected at a live two-day event at NMITE. Students presented (both in-person & online) their designs to a diverse judging panel representing both local clients and leading figures in UK sustainable construction. Proposals were judged for longevity, desirability, adaptability, circularity, and producing more renewable energy than required.

The team's winning proposal was praised for

  • Minimising the required volume of timber by adopting a high-loadbearing timber I-joist superstructure across a small cross-section & LVL frame for long roof spans.
  • Proposing timber floor cassettes on RapidRoute foundations, which help minimise the use of steel and eliminated the use of concrete.
  • Having adaptable interiors providing maximum future flexibility and changing uses for the clients.
  • Including a spectator mezzanine platform to strengthen visual connections between interior classrooms and outside football pitches. The additional height improves the feeling of space in a hardworking floor plan.
  • Nestling into the existing treeline of its greenfield site and re-using any felled trees for materials where possible.
  • Challenging the budget and providing several options.

The judges praised the PH15 approach, improving the probability of meeting Passivhaus standards and liked the landscaping scheme to provide biodiversity net-gain.

'Wye Not Wood' brought together an interdisciplinary band of students from universities the length and breadth of the UK and produced a design the judging panel declared: A strong response and a great integration of uses, with simple elements including a good use of structural timber used effectively and meeting the Passivhaus standard.”

Welsh School of Architecture MSc Sustainable Mega Buildings student Deepak Sadhwani said:

"I have participated in many design competitions over the last couple of years, but this one has been the most special. This is the first design competition where I worked as a Building Physics and Building services engineer and I got to showcase the skills that I have developed over the past year at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University. I am grateful to Timber Development UK for leading the challenge in partnership with Passivhaus Trust, NMITE, and Edinburgh Napier University, for giving us the opportunity to showcase our talent on an international platform."

Congratulations to all of the winners: 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).

To find out more about the postgraduate programmes available at the Welsh School of Architecture and to apply, please visit our website.

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