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Architectural Technology placement student takes part in the annual TRADA ‘University Challenge’ 2019

An Architectural Technology student from NTU recently took part in a charrette-style challenge to design healthy student accommodation made from timber, alongside 60 students from around the UK.

Joshua Broomhead AT
Joshua Broomhead, at the TRADA University Challenge

The TRADA University Challenge brings together 60 students from multiple disciplines and universities, at the University of Sheffield’s Diamond Building, challenging them to design a building made predominantly from Timber.

Joshua Broomhead, a third year BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology student from NTU, currently on placement, was selected from a group of nominated students to partake in the annual design challenge. The criteria for this year’s challenge was to design exemplary student accommodation, with particular emphasis on energy efficiency, health and well-being and building to a budget.

Grouped into 10 teams of six, students were brought together from a range of varying disciplines, including architects, architectural technologists, engineers, landscape architects, and quantity surveyors – creating situations and relationships comparable to real-life project teams.

This year, the groups of students were asked to design to a strict brief, incorporating respective sponsors’ products whilst working around real-world constraints provided by the existing site chosen for this challenge: an old shopping centre in the heart of Sheffield’s shopping district.

Timber has become an increasingly popular material amongst developers of student accommodation, due to the savings that can be made on both time and cost. In addition, the inherent benefits of timber and its potential role in supporting health and well-being also warrants highlighting, as research indicates that the average person spends more than 90% of their time indoors. This shows how the influence of our environment on our mind-set has never been so important.

Joshua Broomhead TRADA Team
Josh Broomhead, and his fellow team members at the TRADA Challenge

Tabitha Binding, TRADA’s University Engagement Manager, shared more about the two-day challenge: “I am absolutely delighted with all the students who participated in this year’s University Challenge. The degree of imagination that went into each teams’ designs was amazing. The knowledge gained of how and where to use timber and timber products is both practical and useful as students head out into the professional world. The multidisciplinary aspect has given them an understanding of how working holistically is so beneficial to designing, engineering and constructing quality buildings.”

We spoke to Josh about his time at the event, where he told us more about the opportunity: “The experience was well worthwhile. It was great to be introduced to a completely different side of construction, focusing on sustainable techniques, and to discuss them with a group of interesting and passionate industry leaders. It gave a view into what the future could hold for the industry with efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of buildings and to use sustainable and recyclable materials.”

Published on 26 February 2019
  • Subject area: Architecture and civil engineering
  • Category: Current students; School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment