Top Australian AEC students face off in Fleetwood Cup Challenge

By on 21 September, 2020

The ‘ecoShip’ concept from a University of Melbourne team that won the competition’s overall award. Image supplied.

Cross-disciplinary competition tasked students in architecture, construction and engineering to tackle Australia’s housing affordability challenges.

The inaugural Fleetwood Challenge Cup inter-university competition challenged entrants to develop concepts for high quality, affordable housing solutions that could be easily relocated over a 50 year lifespan.

The teams were encouraged to utilise the latest in offsite manufacturing techniques and processes, in a move that competition organisers say was intended to equip the next generation of construction professionals, according to Fleetwood Australia’s Managing Director and CEO Brad Denison.

“The offsite manufacturing and prefabrication industry has changed significantly – the gains it can offer now in terms of sustainability, flexibility and customisation provides the industry with new options for design balanced with affordability,” he said.

“The creative use of design materials by students to deliver innovative solutions has surpassed all industry expectations.”

Ten designs were submitted in total, by teams from The University of Melbourne, Curtin University, the University of Queensland and Monash University among others.

The University of Melbourne’s entry won the overall award, with the team’s ‘ecoShip’ design chosen as the most affordable, functional and sustainable construction solution, with features fostering social and community connectivity.

A University of Queensland team took out second place, with its innovative ‘Link_POD design, providing multistorey living spaces to accommodate ever-changing accommodation requirements. Third place was awarded to Curtin University, who developed a design for a social housing concept called Infinity Apartments.

A Fleetwood Industry Award was presented to another team from Curtin University for a novel and inspiring approach to incorporate prefabrication, flexibility, relocation and adaptability, holistically integrating the use of architecture, engineering and construction design disciplines, according to competition organisers Fleetwood and prefabAUS.

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