24 October 2017

Less than two weeks to enter TRADA’s Urban Buzz 2018 student competition   

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Grand Designs’ Kevin McCloud has lent his support to TRADA’s prestigious University Challenge competition, which aims to inspire the next generation of timber trailblazers to create inspiring designs and engineering solutions in cross-laminated timber.


Speaking at last month’s Timber Expo 2017, the television star said: “I’m very excited about TRADA’s competition, which provides an opportunity to design with cross-laminated timber. CLT is such an incredibly versatile material.”


“I recently filmed in a factory in Austria where CLT is made, and what was so uplifting about that experience was not seeing the timber being made, but the factory itself, which was built entirely out of cross-laminated timber. It was an enormous structure, with walls 800mm thick in places. It demonstrated to me how incredibly versatile this material is.  I think we’re all familiar with seeing large scale arena structures built from CLT beams and joists, but seeing an entire building made from it was tremendously exciting.  It demonstrated to me the extraordinary versatility of this material.


“I’m really looking forward to seeing the Urban Buzz designs, in the hope that they will fully explore and exploit the yet unfulfilled potential of this ground-breaking material.”



With only two weeks to go before entries close, TRADA’s Rupert Scott is urging students to encourage lecturers to sign them up for this prestigious competition. He says: “It’s vital you get your lecturer to sign you up. There are lots of reasons to enter– a generous cash prize, prestige and publicity on a national level.” 


TRADA’s University Challenge is an unmissable event that hopes to attract the brightest and best in British architecture and engineering, providing the perfect opportunity for students to impress prospective employers and for businesses to connect with timber talent of the future.” 


60 students from 24 universities will gather at the University of Sheffield on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th of February to take part in an intense ‘charrette-style’ challenge, to conceive ways that timber can be used in the creation of the world’s first timber multi-storey car park. 


Entrants will be divided into 12 teams to compete for cash prizes and an opportunity to showcase their talent to a distinguished audience and the national media. 


TRADA’s University Challenge submissions will face the same scrutiny dished out by Jeremy Paxman in the famous BBC quiz show.   


Influential and successful timber design professionals from the world of business and science will join forces with each team to help design a timber car park that is not only aesthetically pleasing but considers the transition to a greater number of hybrid and electric cars in the future.   


Students are also expected to find innovative timber solutions to making cities and towns healthier and more pleasant places to work and live.  


In recognition of the importance of creating ‘greener cities’, Urban Buzz 2018 has received sponsorship from some of Britain’s best-known organisations and companies. Major sponsors include Timber Trade Federation (TTF) and Arnold Laver. Other confirmed sponsors include Hanson Plywood, Stora Enso and OSC Sales Ltd.


TRADA’s Rupert Scott adds: “We are thrilled to have support from Kevin McCloud, who has been instrumental in encouraging a nation of Britons to build their dream home. 


“We welcome entries to Urban Buzz 2018 which, thanks to the support of our notable judges and sponsors, promises to be our most exciting and challenging competition to date."   


Your starter for ten! For background to the competition and details on how to enter Urban Buzz 2018, please visit: www.trada.co.uk/academic-competitions/urban-buzz-2018/


Timber is ‘the new concrete and steel’. Don’t just take our word for it. Read student Phil Snowden’s thoughts on why timber is fast becoming the building material of choice in this month’s edition of IStructE.