University of Portsmouth Sustainability Prize

Date posted: July 19, 2017

Continuing our long-term relationship with University of Portsmouth’s School of Architecture, we are delighted to announce that student Henry Edwards has won the 2017 ArchitecturePLB Sustainability Prize. The award for final year RIBA Part 2, post-graduates was started by the University in association with ArchitecturePLB in 2003. During that period, we have seen sustainability units within the school come and go, ambitious Government standards introduced and then be removed. However, with the recent landmark Paris Climate Agreement, we have a global treaty which recognises the need for action, even if it falls short of binding countries to actual reductions.

The 2017 the end of year show had distinct post-apocalyptic hues and tones, including schemes premised on escape to Mars, a number of retreats and places to escape. A number looked at the impact of climate, with community and cultural issues being grappled with almost across the board. In many projects, we observed the principles of sustainability being embedded at a fundamental level, rather than being applied as an add-on or something special by one part of the studio. Against the background of the UK dissolving the sustainability standards, we felt reassured that future generations of architects are approaching sustainability in this holistic way.

Bio-remediation, low-energy design, renewal and regeneration was taken on by Henry Edwards as a key part of his project, entitled ‘Bio-Remediation: Regenerating the Post-Mining Landscape’. We enjoyed the fact these aspects were used to enhance and enrich his nuanced design response within his thesis project. He also recognized that sustainability is not just about process, carbon or bolt-on technologies, but needs to be a fundamental part of joyful and exemplary pieces of architecture. Within the award-winning scheme, we saw potential for a lovely piece of architecture and the spaces it creates, as well as embedding sustainability as an inherent part of good design.