Monday, May 23, 2011

Prague winners.... nearly

22 May 2011: I've returned from Prague where we were competing in the world final of the Isover Student competition - three schemes from Nottingham University representing the UK, and all capable of operating the building with zero carbon emission in the residential parts.
   There seemed to be two types of schemes, ones that were well worked through like ours, with details of every part of the building, construction, thermal strategies etc. There were some which seemed to be a one week 'Ideas competition for New York' projects, with schemes that were more public art sculpture than building. Some of these had been done in a week last month, but ours was started in September 2010.
   Our best design came FIRST in the first category, but was second overall: overall winner was given to a scheme that was a public art project, a lit up cuboid (like an illuminated Seagram Tower) with no section, no construction, no facade, no plans better than 1000th, no bioclimatic strategies or passivhaus verification, a glass box that was like something from Dubai - the whole thing a piece of Photoshop trickery - and it omitted the new World Trade centre buildings from the renderings.
  I disagree totally with this, as the competition was called the Multi-Comfort House competition, and we took this title very seriously. I've checked on the conditions and they ask for an 'integrated' view of design, which to me suggests that a mere concept is insufficiently complete. Shame on the very small and undistinguished jury for making this judgement.
  The UK competition had a timetable that included three clear stages, with the 3-day long exhibition at Ecobuild displaying the designs to the largest possible audience. With the quality of the organisation and of the judges, I would say that Isover UK conducted the process extremely well.

I will post a photo when I get it out of the camera

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