Designing Out Waste Competition, WRAP, Winner, Result, UK

Designing Out Waste Competition

RIBA Architecture Contest: Waste & Resources Action Programme News

21 Jul 2009

Designing Out Waste Contest


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.

Designing Out Waste Competition
image : Pohkit Goh

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.


11 May 2009

WRAP and RIBA launch international comeptition to Design Out Waste

Today, WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) and the RIBA Competitions Office are pleased to announce the launch of a new international open ideas competition to identify ways that construction waste can be reduced through design.

The construction sector currently wastes £1.5 billion annually in unused materials and sends 25 million tonnes of waste to landfill every year. It’s clear that, as well as managing waste effectively, the best opportunities to reduce the cost and the environmental impact of waste, is through more effective planning for waste reduction. It is here that architects and designers have a clear role in making a real difference, by applying their creativity and skills in both designing sustainable and quality buildings, and also to reduce waste arising during the construction of the building itself.

The new competition, launched today, ‘Designing out Waste’ seeks innovative and practical ways of reducing construction waste through design. Competitors will be tasked with developing design approaches in response to a project, from a choice of three project types commonly constructed in the UK. Post-competition, there is an intention to incorporate ideas generated in the entries (which will be duly credited) into case study resources available on the WRAP website for clients, contractors and other designers to share best practice.

The competition is open internationally under three eligibility categories: (a) qualified practising architects; (b) designers and qualified professionals from other construction-related disciplines and (c) students of design, architecture and other construction-related subjects. The submissions will be assessed anonymously and a total Design Fund of £20,000 (inclusive of VAT) will be available for distribution to a number of selected entries, at the discretion of the Jury Panel.

Over 100 organisations, including major construction clients and contractors, have already signed up to WRAP’s Halving Waste to Landfill commitment, demonstrating the appetite in the industry to find, measure and report ways to reduce waste to landfill and this demand gives a clear signal that all parts of the construction supply chain, including designers and architects, have a part to play in reducing construction waste.

For details of how to register for the Designing Out Waste Competition and to view the full Competition Brief please visit
Please note that registrations will close on Tuesday 23 June 2009, and the deadline for submissions is 2.00pm on Tuesday 30 June 2009.

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WRAP helps individuals, businesses and local authorities to reduce waste and recycle more, making better use of resources and helping to tackle climate change.

Established as a not-for-profit company in 2000, WRAP is backed by government funding from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Working in seven key areas (Construction, Retail, Manufacturing, Organics, Business Growth, Behavioural Change, and Local Authority Support), WRAP’s work focuses on market development and support to drive forward recycling and materials resource efficiency within these sectors, as well as wider communications and awareness activities including the multi-media national Recycle Now campaign for England.

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