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21 July 2009

Press release contact:

Julia Davies
T: +44 (0)113 203 1490
E: julia.davies@riba.org


WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) has today named Pohkit Goh, Buro Happold Ltd and Battle McCarthy Ltd as the selected finalists of the Designing out Waste competition, launched in association with the RIBA competitions office in May this year. Each of the winning entries demonstrated various applications of the principles set out in WRAP's Designing out Waste guide, developed to support design teams in reducing construction waste through design.

The new international competition sought design solutions for reducing construction waste and was open to practising architects and qualified professionals from other construction-related disciplines, together with students of architecture, design and construction-related subjects.  

The thirteen competitors submitted design ideas in response to their choice from three project types that are commonly constructed in the UK. Entrants were encouraged to address the process of design and construction – in doing so to demonstrate how waste can be designed out of a project.   By integrating design concepts with the project team's efforts to reduce waste on site, designers can deliver against client and policy requirements and secure cost and reputational benefits.

Hattie Hartman, Sustainability Editor at The Architect's Journal comments: "WRAP's Designing out Waste competition targets a very specific area of design which is generally overlooked by architects. Architects need to get over the preconception that waste is just an issue for contractors. Quick wins and often cost savings too can be made by careful consideration of this issue at key stages during the design process. Dimensioning for material optimization, detailing for easy disassembly, and rewording of specifications are just some of the ways architects can influence the waste stream from a project. The low number of entries in the competition was disappointing. I believe this is primarily due to lack of awareness as to how easily many of these measures can be achieved."

The competition entries were assessed by an expert judging panel:

  • Hattie Hartman, Sustainability Editor at The Architect's Journal;
  • Craig White, Founding Director of White Design;
  • Malcolm Reading, Malcolm Reading Consultants and acting as the RIBA architecture adviser;
  • Estelle Herszenhorn, Construction Project Manager at WRAP; and
  • Dave Marsh, Construction Project Manager at WRAP.

Estelle Herszenhorn, Construction Project Manager at WRAP comments: "The response to this new competition demonstrates a growing recognition amongst some architects and designers of the relevance that resource efficiency and waste reduction has for them and their clients. Pohkit Goh's design addressed standard sizing of some components in combination with other features such as pre-fabricated modules, planned for flexible use; the process-led design submitted by Buro Happold Ltd systematically identified project-specific solutions to the Designing our Waste Principles; and Battle McCarthy Ltd's entry showed an innovative approach to creating a structural shell, with efficient use of materials being the premise of the design concept."

Malcolm Reading, Chair of the Jury, comments: "The amount of waste sent to landfill on construction projects is directly related to the quality of thinking at design stage. As an industry we are being challenged to reduce waste by 50%. WRAP's competition asked architects to explore how design could help achieve this. The submissions showed a variety of approaches and some interesting ideas but overall we struggled to find evidence of joined-up thinking. These are early days for a subject that traditionally has been seen as a contractor's problem but the competition revealed that design can be a powerful tool in bringing a focus on this issue and we hope the profession will want to learn more."

The ideas generated in the entries will be incorporated into case study resources available on the WRAP website for clients, contractors and other designers to share best practice.

Following industry consultation, WRAP has developed a suite of free tools and resources to support the entire construction industry, from clients to designers and contractors to waste management contractors, as they work to use material resources more efficiently and reduce waste to landfill. For more information on the Designing out Waste guide and other WRAP tools and resources, visit www.wrap.org.uk/construction |





Notes to editors




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