A monthly exploration into the world of sustainability in the built environment with commentary and input from UCEM’s Principal and academics.
Focus on our centenary: Schools’ design competition
Posted on: 19 August, 2019
In support of our centenary year and its ‘Built Environment of the Future’ theme, we ran a ‘Design a Building of the Future’ competition. Not heard of it? We bring you up to speed on the competition below…
What was it?
A national competition for secondary school students in Years 7-10 to design a building of the future including sustainable features designed to cope with the environmental challenges of the future.
Launched in February, entrants had until the beginning of April to submit their designs for consideration by UCEM’s team of judges.
The Built Environment is experiencing a skills crisis with not enough workers available to carry out all the jobs which need doing. The sector has an aging workforce and its career paths are not well known among school students. In our own small way, the competition was a fun, practical way to get young people actively engaged with the big questions our sector faces.
What was the incentive for the school students?
The six winners – three from Years 7-8 and three from Years 9-10 – would win a trip to the groundbreaking BRE Innovation Park in Watford and earn £50 for their school. They would also be invited to our centenary event at The Crystal where the Mayor of Newham would present them with a souvenir certificate.
Was there much interest?
Yes there was! The competition drew a lot of interest on social media with the competition being an opportunity for schools to run it as a class project and we received a large number of entries across England, from Chester to Croydon and plenty of towns and cities in-between.
What was the calibre of the submissions like?
Very high. Our judges were given quite the headache having to whittle the entries down into a shortlist and then, from that, select the six winners. There was a wide selection of designs from underwater houses to a revolving workspace for artists, an eco school to an ‘octopus’ office and a hospital with a slide for patients to go down when they’re able to go home! The submissions suggest that the imaginations of young people are alive and well!
In the Years 7 and 8 category, the winners were Niamh Urquhart from Croydon’s Coloma Convent Girls’ School and Amelie Hubert and Lizzie Laurie from Thornton College in Milton Keynes. The Years 9 and 10 category was dominated by north London’s Dwight School with all three winners – Drake O’Neil, Nina Stremersch and Alma Ayadi – students there.
Well, show us then!
Eco School by Niamh Urquhart
Hospital of the future by Amelie Hubert
Futureistic [sic] building by Lizzie Laurie
Sustainable apartment block by Alma Ayadi
Sustainable apartment by Drake O’Neil
Sustainable home by Nina Stremersch
Pretty impressive! Can I see some more?
Of course! Head to our gallery to see a wider selection of submissions.
We were delighted by the engagement of schools and students with the competition; so much so that we may have to run it again next year. Watch this space…