Bookmark and Share
01/03/2010

Students To Design Future 'Green Homes'

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.
News Image
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.

15 November 2017
Ulster Bank To Close 11 NI Branches
Ulster Bank has confirmed it plans to close 11 branches next year in Northern Ireland. The bank confirmed it will be seeking 40 voluntary redundancies as a result of the closures. The branches to close are: Ballyclare, Dromore, Moira, Draperstown, Dungiven, Portrush, Killyleagh, Rathfriland, Castlederg, Irvinestown and Stewartstown.
10 November 2017
Other News In Brief
Man Convicted Of Benefit Fraud A man has been convicted for claiming benefits he was not entitled to at Belfast Magistrates' Court. William Conville claimed Jobseeker's Allowance and Housing Benefit totalling £2,248 while failing to declare employment. He was sentenced to 100 hours community service, subject to appeal.
26 October 2017
Bombardier To Axe 280 Jobs In NI
Aerospace firm Bombardier has announced a further 280 job losses, according to Unite the union. Davy Thompson, Unite's Regional Coordinating Officer, called on the management to review the decision. He said: "We do not agree with the case being made against retention of functional staff onsite.
12 December 2005
Interpretive designer selected for Giant's Causeway 'fit-out'
An interpretive designer has been selected to carry out the £2.7 million "fit-out" of the interpretive and education areas of the new Giant's Causeway Visitors' Centre.
09 October 2002
Major design study announced for Londonderry
The future development of key sites in the centre of Londonderry city will be the subject of a major design study. The design study announced today by Minister for Social Development Nigel Dodds is to include Ebrington Barracks and Fort George.
07 November 2017
RHI Scheme: Independent Public Inquiry To Get Underway
The independent public inquiry into the botched green energy scheme is to get underway today, 07 November. Sir Patrick Coghlin, a retired appeal court judge, will open the inquiry into the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme.
31 October 2017
Belfast Firms Offered Support To Create 55 Jobs
Eight Belfast firms have been offered support by Invest NI to create 55 jobs. The companies, from a range of sectors including software, construction, cybersecurity and consumer products, are investing over £4million in the local economy.
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).
16 August 2001
Northern Ireland pupils are in a class of their own
Northern Ireland students have outperformed their peers in England and Wales in both A-level and the new AS level exams. Figures released by the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) on Thursday August 16 show a record 48,000 grades have been issued to Northern Ireland students across all exam boards.
25 October 2017
Convicted Killer Hazel Stewart's Home To Be Sold
A judge has granted an order that convicted double murderer Hazel Stewart hands over her share of the current family home. The property can be linked to fraudulently claimed insurance policies and police pension benefits.
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.
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.
17 November 2017
Rise In NI House Prices
NI house prices in the third quarter of 2017 increased by 5.8%, according to a new report. The data, released by the Ulster University, also revealed the overall average house price is £160,758.
19 December 2011
Malone Conservation Area Guide Launched
There's a new Design Guide for Malone Conservation Area on the way which will protect the area's special architectural and historic character. The design guide also changes the boundary of the Conservation Area as originally designated in 2000.
18 November 2010
Andytown PSNI Site 'Delay' Slammed
An international design competition for the former site of the Andersonstown police station has been launched - and while the Social Development Minister Alex Attwood has advanced the move as progress - a local MLA has slammed alleged delays.