UK timber sector co-ordinates on university design competition

1 February 2021

The UK timber industries are co-ordinating on an exciting new university design competition to produce a homes “masterplan” utilising timber and hybrid timber systems.

TRADA has introduced Riverside Sunderland: University Design Challenge, an exciting competition for both current built environment students and 2020 graduates from across the UK.

It involves the Sunderland City Council and its Riverside Development Team, George Clarke's Ministry of Building Innovation and Education (MOBIE), the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI), the British Woodworking Federation and the University Engagement Programme scheme sponsors Timber Trade Federation.

Interdisciplinary design teams of 4–8 members are invited to produce a masterplan for one area of the Riverside Sunderland development which will include a mixed and vibrant ‘village’ community of around 100 desirable homes with green and open spaces on the riverside site.

The main material focus and specification for the homes will be timber and timber hybrid systems. Housing typologies will be designed and engineered to be manufactured locally utilising modern methods of construction. Homes must be adaptable to meet the needs of living and working now and in the future.

The schemes must be shown to be carbon neutral, creatively employing sustainable building materials and construction methods, be energy efficient and technologically smart; and emphasise the health and well-being of people, the community, and our planet.

“This is a really exciting opportunity to rethink the way that housing and communities are designed – a chance for university students to get involved in a live project that will be truly pioneering,” said MOBIE founder George Clarke.

“Our collective aspiration is that Riverside Sunderland inspires a new way of designing, building and living in homes. That it is a world-class place to live. So, we want students to really push the boundaries and inspire us."

Riverside Sunderland is redefining the city: transforming a spectacular site into a unique, carbon neutral urban quarter. Working in teams, students from different built environment disciplines will share their vision of what urban living in this amazing place will look like in the future.