Nottingham's postgraduates named joint winners in national Passivhaus competition

Passivhaus winners--Tika & Andres_445 x 124
06 Sep 2017 13:15:39.373

Two University of Nottingham postgraduate students from the Department of Architecture and Built Environment (DABE) are enjoying a double celebration after emerging as joint winners in the prestigious UK Passivhaus Student Competition. Passivhaus buildings provide a high level of comfort for the occupants while using very little energy for heating and cooling.

Andres Guamani Rodriguez and Nuansa Atika Kusumastuti were awarded the accolades for their projects which were designed not only to achieve the Passivhaus Standard, but to also deliver on other sustainability targets.  
Andres’ winning design, the Carbon Neutral Residential Development, comprised of carbon neutral homes which integrate Passivhaus principles. The development is surrounded by public space and green areas, which integrate energy and food generation. Nuansa’s winning entry named Heart Valley, is a development of Passivhaus homes based in Bestwood, Nottingham, that are designed to maximise the occupants’ comfort and minimise energy usage within a connected, inclusive, healthy and self-sufficient community. 

Both projects were designed in response to a brief outlined by tutor and module convenor, Dr Lucelia Rodrigues, an Associate Professor in DABE, with the support of social housing providers, Nottingham City Homes with whom she collaborates.

Click here for full story

Yogini Patel, Design and Research Associate with the Passivhaus Trust, and a member of the judging panel, explained why the students’ projects were deemed to be outstanding, “Nuansa’s scheme showcased a simple form factor, which would help meet Passivhaus performance criteria and good consideration to shading, whilst judges were impressed with Andres’ clear comparisons of design iterations and development.”

Dr Rodrigues said, “I believe it is essential for students to engage with real life challenges, so I always use live sites such as the one in Bestwood in my studio teaching and encourage them to take part in national and international competitions. It is fantastic to be able to take part in the Passivhaus competition and even better to see the success of our Masters in Architecture and Environmental Design students.

“I teach sustainable and energy efficient design and have chosen to use the Passivhaus standards in studio sessions because I see it as the ideal vehicle to explore these challenges. The standard is flexible and simple in its approach as it allows students to explore throughout their design projects, the relationship between architectural design and performance in terms of comfort and energy efficiency.”

Andres is on a scholarship offered by the Ecuadorian government. He said, “I decided to come to Nottingham because of the University’s prestigious reputation and the Masters in Architecture is a much sought-after course. I studied the Passivhaus module in my second semester and I’m delighted to have won the competition. My winning project enabled me to secure a scholarship to do a summer term at the University of Natural Resources and Life Science in Vienna on green building solutions, sustainable urbanism and building engineering physics. Once this is completed, I intend to do an internship in Nottingham and then return to work in Ecuador and apply all the knowledge I’ve acquired here.”

Nuansa said, “I chose to study at Nottingham because I want to further my studies in environmental design. This particular approach isn’t widely applied in developments in Indonesia, which is where I’m from. I’m so happy to have won the competition and I hope it will lead to a great job back home. I’m on a scholarship offered by the Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education and I plan to work as an architect designing affordable residential buildings that use minimum energy. I would also like to join the Green Building Council in Indonesia so that I can encourage the stakeholders of the infrastructure developments to build environmentally responsible buildings.”

The competition had over 100 entries from five universities with an impressive number of high-quality designs. Both the University’s schemes achieved equally high scores, impressing the judges with their concepts that embraced Passivhaus principles. 

The winners will receive their awards at a ceremony which will take place on 24 October at the UK Passivhaus Conference in London. 

Nottingham’s DABE has a long and distinguished 140-year history and is renowned for its innovative work in green issues and sustainability. It is a leading centre for teaching in architecture, urban design and sustainable energy technologies. The Department has produced a string of successes which include Clara Bagenal George, an alumna who won this year’s UK Green Building Council’s (UKGBC) Rising Star Award and Ben Hopkins, an alumnus who was named runner-up in the same award. 

— Ends —

Our academics can now be interviewed for broadcast via our Media Hub, which offers a Globelynx fixed camera and ISDN line facilities at University Park campus. For further information please contact a member of the Communications team on +44 (0)115 951 5798, email or see the Globelynx website for how to register for this service.

For up to the minute media alerts, follow us on Twitter

Notes to editors: 

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…


Story credits

More information is available from Dr Lucelia Rodrigues, Associate Professor, Department of Architecture and Built Environment in the Faculty of Engineering at The University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 951 3176,; or Shirlene Campbell Ritchie, Media Relations Manager at The University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 846 7156, 
Shirlene Campbell Ritchie

Shirlene Campbell Ritchie MCIPR - Media Relations Manager (Faculty of Engineering)

Email:  Phone: +44 (0)115 846 7156  Location: University Park

Additional resources

No additional resources for this article

Related articles

National energy saving conference comes to Nottingham

Published Date
Monday 5th November 2012

Media Relations - External Relations

The University of Nottingham
YANG Fujia Building
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5798