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Aylesbury students win best environmentally-friendly housing design competition

Aylesbury students win best environmentally-friendly housing design competition

Year 8 students in Aylesbury were challenged to design environmentally-friendly homes, that were accessible to wheelchair users.

Out of over 50 entries, the winners were Thanesa Maheswaran, Isabel Newman and Darcey Sheridan, who wowed the judging panel with their innovative ‘shipping container’.

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Thanesa Maheswaran, Isabel Newman and Darcey Sheridan, with Julie Porter from Fairhive Homes

Fairhive Homes and Bucks Skills Hub organised the competition, with a majority of the entries coming from Aylesbury High School.

Other criteria outlined that the home should be energy efficient, comfortable, practical to live in, energy efficient, and feasible to build.

Thanesa, Isabel, and Darcey’s eco-friendly project was created to home a family of five, which included solar panels and windmills to harness nature’s power and 16 glass panels to maximise natural light.

The winning design

The ‘shipping container’ design also featured the collection of waste water which is cleansed and reused, and a detailed two-floor blueprint design including a children’s room and a garage for electric vehicles.

All 50-plus entrants were given six weeks to come up with their proposals, which could be submitted in any form they chose.

Industry experts visited the students to offer tips and a bit of gentle guidance.

Sarah Saunders, head of Year 8 at Aylesbury High School said: “The students enjoyed the project, particularly the teamwork, and they liked using some of the professional design websites to help create floor plans and graphics to make their work pop.”

Thanesa, Isabel and Darcey all received shopping vouchers for their winning proposal, while the school itself won some wildlife friendly planters as part of an initiative to improve biodiversity across the whole school site and to form ‘bug bridges’.

Julie Porter, Fairhive Homes executive director of development said: “Sustainability and environmental impact are critical issues in the world at large at the moment, and are having a huge effect on the house building industry.

“We received entries from over 50 teams and were very impressed by the ideas and innovation included in the designs, which ranged from wheelchair friendly homes and treehouses to the winning design based on converted shipping containers.”

“It was great to see the students thinking about design and how to draw up plans as well as environmental issues in construction, hopefully we’ve inspired future architects and construction professionals.”