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published: 31/1/2012
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Winners of Passivhaus competition announced

BRE has announced the winners of a competition to create Passivhaus demonstration homes for the BRE Innovation Parks in Watford and Scotland.

The aim of the competition has been to demonstrate that the Passivhaus standard can provide an affordable method of delivering ultra-low energy social and private housing.

The finalists submissions were judged by an appointed panel of UK and International Passivhaus design experts who announced the winners earlier today.

For the BRE Watford Innovation Park
Winner: bere:architects & The Princes Foundation for Building Community
Runner up: a3h architekten
Runner up: Good Architecture

For the BRE Scotland Innovation Park at Ravenscraig
Winner: Passiv Collective
Runner up: bere-architects and The Princes Foundation for Building Community

A member of the judging panel, Robert McLeod, from Regeneration Partnership Ltd said "Choosing the winner for the Watford site was not an easy task as several teams responded strongly to one or more areas of the judging criteria. bere:architects in partnership with The Prince's Foundation for the Building Community stood out overall as presenting the most comprehensively thought out proposal. The strength of their submission centred on a simple but well articulated design that involved extensive engagement with local supply chains and collaborative partnering".

Speaking about the Ravenscraig competition he added "The Passiv Collective, presented an elegant and thoroughly coherent architectural solution to the challenges of this former steelworks site. Their team managed to respond convincingly to every aspect of the Ravenscraig brief and the judges were unanimous in their praise for the quality of their submission. A genuine commitment to the task of alleviating fuel poverty and addressing wider socio-economic issues was evident in the teams motivation.

"Overall it was an inspiring competition to judge and a real testament to the growing strength of passivhaus in delivering robust solutions to low carbon building in the UK."

Justin Bere, Director bere:architects said "We are all thrilled by the news. The team has worked hard to develop a beautifully proportioned, truly low cost and convincing design for RSL's, developers and the general public to adopt. Collaborating with BRE on the latest addition to the Watford Innovation Park is an opportunity to be cherished, and we hope that as a result Chestnut House will become a very special building".

While Kirsty McGuire of The Passiv Collective said ‘We are delighted to be selected as one of the winners of the BRE Passivhaus Competition and are excited to be part of the Innovation Park at Ravenscraig, which will make the former steel mill site a showcase of new technology and local skills once again. We are looking forward to working with BRE as well as our other partners, The University of Strathclyde, Edinburgh Napier, Ralph Ogg and Partners & Brilliant Futures.

The BRE ‘Highly Commended for Innovation Award' was given to a3h architekten of Austria for their Watford site proposal which featured a highly adaptable modularised construction capable of being reconfigured on site within a few hours. The Passiv Collective also received this award for their Ravenscraig proposal which featured adaptive design features for mobility impared living and a comprehensive cradle to cradle approach to design, construction and end of life reuse.

This was a design-only competition. We will now be engaging with stakeholders and build partners, and look to begin construction in the Summer of 2012. The completed homes will then be subject to monitoring and testing.


For more information please contact Dolores Kelly at BRE: T 01923 664293, E kellydm@bre.co.uk

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