Bookmark and Share
01/03/2010

Students To Design Future 'Green Homes'

News Image

The University of Ulster, with help from an Irish rock star, is giving students the chance to design the home of the future - a self-sustainable house made entirely of sustainable materials.

With the support of Invest NI and Biotecture Ireland Ltd, a new green development association called the 'Biotecture Network' is giving students of the Masters of Architecture course, the opportunity to submit design briefs and schematics of their ideas for a carbon-zero, self-sustaining house.

The modern homes will be designed to eliminate the owners’ dependence on fossil fuels, and will meet the British government’s Code for Sustainable Homes.

Biotecture Ireland's Business Development Director is Mark Hamilton, guitarist with rock act Ash.

He said: "The project is all about building a self-sustainable house that would work well in a European environment. There are already examples of 'Earthships' in New Mexico, and what we are looking for is for the students to design something that would sell in a European market, with European design and cultural aesthetics. We want the students to be innovative and create."

The winners of the competition will win £1,000 and a pair of VIP tickets to the 2012 Carling Weekend: Reading Festival.

Professor Neil Hewitt, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Technologies at Ulster, added: "The chance for our students to develop these types of homes shows the innovation in the University of Ulster in sustainable expertise. In a time of heightened environmental awareness, our students will show leadership in sustainable development by designing innovative homes.

"There is a greater focus now on carbon reduction strategies and energy efficiency and this competition will hopefully highlight these issues, as well as providing working blue-prints for self-sustaining properties of the future."

In designing the properties, students will have to fulfil six key design principles. The home will have to have renewable energy micro-generation, including solar, wind geothermal and energy-efficiency technologies; passive solar design with advanced, energy-efficient construction techniques; use local, natural and recycled building materials; water harvesting, to collect rainwater to re-use in the home and garden; contained sewage treatment; and food production.

Types of housing built in this way have shown how recycled materials can be used for building, with support walls being made from recycled tyres, walls made from an adobe mix, and roof insulation made from recycled clothes.

The long-term possibility of the joint University of Ulster and Biotecture Ireland project is to build a self-sustainable building at Ulster's Jordanstown campus.

(NS/BMcC)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

03 May 2011
Woman To Kayak Around Ulster For Charity
A Northern Irish woman is to set off on a solo trip of 1,000 miles around Ireland in a kayak. Elaine Alexander is attempting to raise £10,000 for the Share Holiday Village where she works. The charity based at Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh, is a recreation facility for disabled and non-disabled people.
08 January 2008
Council Grant Boosts Lyric Rebuild Fund
A much needed grant boost for south Belfast's iconic Lyric theatre has been agreed, with more than £1m set to be paid by Belfast City Council. The £1,250,000 - from a £3m fund for cultural development - was voted through by a committee, and has now been agreed by the full council.
16 May 2008
Queen's Grand Design - £1m Design Studios Officially Opened
A major new £1 million suite of design studios has been unveiled at Queen's University. The new resource is part of an overall development of facilities for students in the leading university’s School of Planning, Architecture, and Civil Engineering (SPACE).
25 September 2002
NI consultancy wins award for PSNI emblem design
Branding specialists Positive Design Consultants have won an Irish Design Effectiveness Award for their design and implementation of the Police Service of Northern Ireland's new emblem. The Belfast-based company received their award from Tanaiste Mary Harney at a ceremony at the RDS in Dublin.
30 August 2016
Other News In Brief
Suspicious Packed Discovered In West Belfast Declared A Hoax A suspicious package discovered in west Belfast has been declared a hoax. Pupils attending St Paul's Primary School in the Beechmount area were evacuated during the security alert. Army bomb disposal experts attended the scene. The alert has now ended.
02 September 2009
Racing Start For QUB Graduates
Queen's graduates have stepped up a gear - by joining Formula 1 giants McLaren. The two fast-track Queen's University graduates have secured the high-tech places against Europe-wide competition.
04 May 2005
Students make ‘Connections’ with architecture
Architecture students from Queen's University and 235 Belfast primary school pupils have joined forces to learn more about design and the built environment.
31 May 2004
University showcases new art and design talent
The University of Ulster is to showcase a new range of designer collections by Northern Ireland's brightest young fashion designers. 'Walk this Way', which takes place this Thursday in the NTL Studio, Waterfront Hall, offering a first glimpse of unique creations by eleven BA Hons Textile and Fashion students from the University's Belfast campus.
20 June 2003
Dungannon company secure multi-million euro deal
The McAvoy Group of Dungannon has won a multi-million Euro deal to build a state-of-the-art steel-framed expansion to Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology.
18 July 2016
Police Appeal Following Suspicious Death Of Woman In Co Down
Police have issued an appeal for information following the suspicious death of a woman in Newtownards, Co Down. Joanne Thompson, aged 33, was found at her home by a relative in Old Mill Court on Wednesday, 13 July.
22 October 2001
Local companies top Irish design awards success
Northern Ireland companies came out tops at the Designers in Ireland Design Awards held for the first time in the Waterfront Hall, Belfast at the weekend.
04 July 2008
Sir Reg Opens Sustainable Orchard Building
Employment Minister Sir Reg Empey has officially opened Stranmillis University's impressive £6.5 million Orchard Building. 

The project is the first educational building of its size to use bio-fuel.
07 September 2001
Doors open at the Ideal Home Exhibition
Doors opened on Friday at the King’s Hall in Belfast for Northern Ireland’s premier home-related event - The Belfast Telegraph Ideal Home Exhibition 2001. Hundreds of companies from across Northern Ireland are attending this year’s show, exhibiting an assortment of new and exciting ideas.
08 August 2007
Belfast Student Life 'Becoming More Expensive'
Living in Belfast has become more expensive for students due to soaring property prices, a report has revealed today. The Ulster Bank 2007 Student Living Index revealed that Belfast has dropped from sixth to 19th in a league table of 27 major UK university towns based on cost of living, looking at weekly expenditure against earnings.
23 September 2005
University student president calls for 'neighbourly' respect
University of Ulster student president Colleen Dowdall has called on fellow undergraduates to help build strong relationships with the communities in which they live.