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UCLan student scoops prize for eco-friendly design

09 June 2014

Rachel Atkinson

Josh Allington wins £1,000 for his bespoke creation

A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) student has won £1,000 for his creative and sustainable architecture project.

Josh Allington’s prize-winning creation, which formed part of his Masters in Architecture degree course, was a bespoke eco-friendly three bedroom woodland holiday retreat for a real-life client David Walsh.

The 22-year-old, from Barrow-in-Furness, said: “I was ecstatic to be named the winner of this competition. It’s not often students get to work on live projects for a real client while still studying at university so this was a real boost for my morale and it gives me something great to add to my portfolio.”
Josh, who is working part-time as architectural designer for a chain of Lake District hotels while studying at 

UCLan’s Preston Campus, spent 15 weeks designing and producing the scheme alongside 11 other UCLan students for the site in Midge Hole, near Colne.

“We visited the site to get a good impression of the location as it used to be an old mill,” said Josh. “We also met David and his partner so we could ask them questions about what they wanted and following that my idea stemmed from the clients’ weekend routine. David is very much his into technology and working from his office while his partner enjoys the outdoors, walking their dogs and spending time with horses.”

"It’s not often students get to work on live projects for a real client while still studying at university so this was a real boost for my morale and it gives me something great to add to my portfolio.”

Josh, who is five years into his seven year degree, said: “I mapped out where the two would meet within the home and prioritised these spaces, enabling both clients to celebrate those moments. I continued this concept through to my technological appraisal, enabling the clients complete control over their house, in essence, creating a ‘smart home’ which could be controlled through a mobile device. I also incorporated water and sewage treatments and looked at harnessing energy as much as possible.”

This academic initiative was also the first educational project that ran the Living Building Challenge (LBC) initiative. The LBC has been labelled as the most stringent sustainable certification with challenging frameworks for architecture students.

Josh added: “I was very pleased my final design and it was great to get good feedback not only from David but the other judges too. David said the proposals were ‘above and beyond all expectations’ so that was very pleasing.”

The 12 student projects will be showcased at the Living Future 2014 Conference in Portland, USA; the European Construction 21 Virtual Expo and GreenBuild Expo in Manchester over the coming months.