Isover competition nears UK climax

The UK winner of an international architectural competition to design a school along Passive House lines is expected to be announced by the organiser, leading insulation manufacturer Saint-Gobain Isover UK, early next month.

This is the first time in six years the UK has taken part in the competition that is held first nationally and then globally, with teams from Europe, Russia and South Africa taking part. The second, international element, while not declaring an overall winner, does recognise the best entries in specific categories.

Exclusive to students of architecture and construction engineering, the Isover competition awards up to €1,500 in prize money to the winners in each country. The three highest placed teams from each then go forward to the all-expenses-paid international congress in Dubrovnik in June when they will showcase their entries.

Entries are being assessed mostly on their design capability although 30% of the marks are awarded based on their technical understanding of the Passive House or (Isover’s) Multi-Comfort House concept. This promotes the ideal that appropriately constructed with additional insulation, a Multi-Comfort House can run on approximately 10% of the energy of a traditional house – an ideal that is proven with thousands of homes in Europe.

The school being designed by the students is for up to 230 students between 6 and 15 years as well as for the community and has to be environmentally sensitive in its external setting as well as its internal energy usage. As well as helping towards a building’s sustainability, Isover mineral glass wool insulation is in itself sustainable, being manufactured from silica sand, the earth’s most abundantly naturally-occurring mineral.

More than 80% of the raw material used in the production process is recycled post-consumer glass, from building regeneration projects for example, or reprocessed waste from bottle and flat glass manufacture that would otherwise go to landfill. Organiser Robert Schild, thermal, acoustic and fire marketing manager for Saint-Gobain Insulation, said: “We devised the second, international stage to encourage the exchange of experience between the countries and to discuss the possible contribution of architecture to environmental protection.

“We are delighted the UK is taking part this year and look forward to seeing the winners at the international congress.”

www.saint-gobain.co.uk

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