Amazing 2021 Fleetwood Challenge Cup finalist designs revealed

Record entries in this year’s inter-University design challenge (2021 Fleetwood Challenge Cup ) developed by Fleetwood Australia in partnership with prefabAUS, delivers innovative solutions from showcasing prefabrication and adaptive re-use of existing commercial buildings.

The pandemic-induced mandate of working from home has triggered record building vacancies around the world and the need to reinvigorate buildings using adaptive re-use.

The 2021 Fleetwood Challenge Cup presented a unique opportunity for some of Australia’s most inspired young architectural, engineering and construction management (AEC) minds to deliver effective designs to make use of the glut of empty commercial properties, using adaptive re-use.

University teams were asked to transform a vacant commercial building at a local site into a vibrant mixed-use development with retail and residential elements, exploring the role of offsite manufacturing and prefabrication in delivering the conversion. Each multi-disciplinary team consisted of four to six students who worked collaboratively through the design process to produce innovative solutions to the challenging adaptive re-use brief and then verify their approach.

Fleetwood Australia CEO, Bruce Nicholson, said: “With more than 100 students and 26 teams involved, we were inspired by the quantity and extraordinary calibre of submissions. The 2021 competitors, who are the industry’s next generation of change makers, drew great inspiration from the challenge set and delivered some outstanding solutions.  It has been exciting to see great use of innovation, design knowledge and creativity deliver cutting edge designs to support adaptive re-use of vacant building stocks.” 

 “In 2020 we had a fantastic turnout of entries in the Fleetwood Challenge Cup but this year it got even better with some very unique concepts presented that have never been seen before in this competition. The 2021 Fleetwood Challenge Cup provides a platform for some of the best and brightest young minds to work across architectural, engineering and construction management disciplines to gain exposure to the exciting possibilities and flexibility that offsite manufacturing has to offer.”

This year’s four finalists are:

Think Tank: Deakin University, Team 2
Asian Persuasion: Curtin University, Team 4
Fremantle Springs: Curtin University, Team 7
Shipping House: Curtin University, Team 15

See finalists entries here:

Cash prizes will be awarded in mid-September and the 2021 winner will be crowned around the time of the prefabAUS conference: First Prize, $7000; Second Prize, $3500 and Third Prize, $2500. A Fleetwood Industry Award of $2,000 will also be awarded.

prefabAUS Executive Chair, Damien Crough, said: “As the peak body for Australia’s offsite construction industry, we are proud to partner with Fleetwood Building Solutions to deliver the Challenge Cup and showcase ingenuity in action.”

“With the highest building vacancy rates world-wide following the COVID-19 peak, the need to find sustainable ways to adapt, extend and reconfigure existing buildings with prefabrication and offsite manufacturing is critical. We look forward to seeing what exciting ideas this year’s Challenge Cup participants will bring to alleviate the toughest year the Australian construction sector has faced.”

“We assembled a diverse Fleetwood Challenge Cup judging panel that includes a leading architect, mechanical engineer, structural engineer and a physicist who determined the finalist teams.  When the judging panel met and blended those unique perspectives to determine the finalists, there was apparently some passionate debate about merits of many of the top entries.

“Whilst many of the entries were on par with each other, the judging panel advised there were some absolute standouts at the pointy end of the competition.  The variation in approach of the top four finalists was quite vast and each was very strong in their design. They were all well thought out concepts and very deserving finalists, who demonstrated great innovation and novelty.”

“We would like to thank the judging panel, all of the brilliant entrants and of course our partner and cofounder of the event, Fleetwood Australia.”

The Fleetwood Challenge Cup was developed in partnership with the peak body for Australia’s prefabricated building industry, prefabAUS, to address some of Australia’s largest construction challenges open to faculty teams with a cohort of architectural, engineering and construction management students.

The environmental case for adaptive re-use of buildings is gaining momentum. According to a 2019 report published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) for the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC), the global building and construction sector accounted for 36% of final (global) energy use and 39% of energy and process-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2018, 11% of which resulted from manufacturing building materials and products such as steel, cement and glass. These compelling statistics illustrate the need for adaptive re-use now as we move towards a net-zero-emissions building and construction sector.

See Fleetwood Challenge Cup:

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