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WIT School of Engineering Team Win the Passive House National Design Charette

Published: Thursday, November 20, 2014

Caption: Professor Gregory O’Hare, Director of the UCD Earth Institute presenting the prize to the WIT winning team of Matthew Keating (Architecture), David Hoban (Construction Management & Engineering), Danny Murphy (Sustainable Energy Engineering), Tom O’Brien (lecturer and mentor for the day) and Cian Gilligan (Architectural Technology)


An interdisciplinary team of four students from the School of Engineering at WIT were victorious in the first Annual National Passive House Association of Ireland (PHAI) Design Charette, held as part of the PHAI ‘See the Light 2014 conference . The event was hosted by the UCD Earth Institute. Nine teams participated in the competition from University College Dublin, Dublin Institute of Technology, Cork Institute of Technology, University College Cork, Carlow Institute of Technology, University of Limerick and Waterford Institute of Technology.

The competition was a 24 hour Design Charette with the objective of proposing a design for a specific site in Dublin with the main driver of low energy design incorporating the Passive House design standard. The Passive House standard is the world’s leading standard in energy efficient construction. It requires little energy to achieve year round comfort in housing making conventional heating or cooling unnecessary.

Juergen Bauer of the Architecture Department and John Carney of the Built Environment were instrumental in helping Tom O’Brien to prepare the students for the intensive competition. Eoin Carroll who is a student of Construction Management and Engineering gave great support to the team in preparation for the event.

Understanding the passive house design principles was key for the students and since this has been integrated into the courses of study within the school of engineering for many years now the students were very comfortable going to the competition that each had a valuable skill to bring to the 24hr competition period and the winning proposal proved this was indeed the case.

It was agreed by all present that the student Design Charette was a huge success in promoting the PHAI and that the WIT team were a much deserved winner of this prize. The future for those working in the business of energy in buildings whether at design, construction or operation of buildings will be well supported by talented students such as these coming out into the industry and the PHAI are to be commended for creating such an initiative as the Design Charette.

The WIT team was made up of students from four separate undergraduate final year degree courses. These are Architecture; Matthew Keating, Architectural Technology; Cian Gilligan, Sustainable Energy Engineering; Danny Murphy and Construction Management; David Hoban and the students were mentored during the competition by Tom O’Brien, course leader of the degree in building services engineering.

The prize for the winning team was presented by Professor Gregory O’Hare, UCD Earth Institute Director and with the result only being announced at 11am on Friday the students quickly prepared an electronic presentation of their paper based design proposal and in front of a packed Astral hall at 3:30 that afternoon the students demonstrated an ability to explain to, engage with and entertain the crowd. It was agreed by all present that the student Design Charette was a huge success in promoting the PHAI and that the WIT team were a much deserved winner of this prize. The future for those working in the business of energy in buildings whether at design, construction or operation of buildings will be well supported by talented students such as these coming out into the industry and the PHAI are to be commended for creating such an initiative as the Design Charette.

For more information on the School of Engineering, visit www.wit.ie

Categories: Architecture | Education


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