Ben is an award-winning architect and director at Architype. He has led more than 300 education and residential projects, including the UK’s first net zero school, Hackbridge Passivhaus Plus; The Entopia Building, a world-leading EnerPHit; and the iconic Enterprise Centre for the University of East Anglia. He is an expert in materiality, net-zero carbon design and shares his knowledge through articles and lectures around the UK.
Jason is Head of Energy and Environment at UPP, and is responsible for the company’s energy and environmental sustainability strategies, policies and plans to reduce energy consumption and cut carbon and costs across its portfolio of 36,000 rooms and 15 university partnerships.
Previously, Jason worked at City University in London where, as Head of Sustainability, he developed the University’s sustainability strategy, policies, and governance structure.
Having been elected 2 years in a row as the VP Community and Welfare at Nottingham Trent Students’ Union, Zoë works across a variety of welfare issues, organising campaigns and supporting communities of students to improve their own university experience. She has had many achievements in the role, notably creating the Safe Place, a service students can access out of hours for support and safety.
Dr Alexis Brown is Director of Policy and Advocacy at HEPI. Prior to joining HEPI, she was a Policy Manager at the Russell Group, where she managed a portfolio of policy issues related to higher education, skills and funding. She holds a PhD in English Literature from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes scholar and has taught at the University of Oxford and the University of Sheffield.
Greg Ducie is director of Estates and Facilities Management at Swansea. He has worked in both private and public sector institutions within the realm of the built environment, from planning policy formulation through to physical infrastructure development and estate management.
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The UK’s leading provider and operator of on-campus student accommodation UPP is searching for architects to redefine the future of student housing.
UPP is working with 15 renowned universities around the country to offer residential and academic infrastructure. Since 1998, it has invested over £3b in the UK’s higher education sector and provided homes to more than 400,000 students.
Universities across the country are continuing to grow and there’s a need to replenish ageing housing stock with student accommodation that stands the test of time.
The panel comprises:
· Jason Clarke, Head of Energy and Environment at UPP
· Zoë Mallett, VP of Community and Welfare at Nottingham Trent Student Union
· Greg Ducie, Director of Estates at Swansea University
· Ben Humphries, Director at Architype
· Dr Alexis Brown, Director of Policy and Advocacy at HEPI
Each architect will have three minutes to give a synopsis of their ideas with the challenge to convince the panel that their design is the most inspiring response to the brief.
The pitch presentation should:
- Reflect the principles of UPP to deliver the very best student experience in partnership with universities.
- Convince the panel that you have the vision to deliver an inspiring home for young adults
The winning architect will be offered to work as a paid consultant to UPP. The architect will also have the chance to participate in a series of thought leadership activities.
The accommodation concept should push boundaries on what students expect from their university home – ensuring sustainability, student experience and wellbeing are at the forefront.
The design should focus on a single cluster of flats, which could be replicated and scaled up.
The design needs to demonstrate:
- High sustainability credentials, where possible targeting Passivhaus accreditation and net zero carbon in operation.
- Consideration of how mental health and wellbeing can be incorporated into design
- Catering for the breadth of student needs, including work, leisure and social spaces
Despite the usual limitations that can be found on a university campus, UPP student accommodations are always built to high standards and above minimum space standards. As such, we expect designs to meet these parameters:
- An eight-bedroom flat with shared kitchen and social space
- Mostly ensuite bedrooms (max. 13 sq. m each)
- Other bedrooms must have no more than one bathroom shared between two rooms
- Kitchen space for eight people
- Social space for eight people
- Potential for other social space combined with other clusters
Increased awareness around student wellbeing and mental health, as highlighted in the recent UPP Foundation ‘Student Futures Manifesto’, and the growing movement to address the climate crisis within the built environment, have added urgency to finding new, innovative ways of supporting our students. The way in which accommodation is built must change, taking into account:
- Sustainability - ensuring that the carbon of the building process (embodied), as well as its life time carbon use (operational), is minimised - for example, by building to Passivhaus standards.
- Student needs - accommodation must provide for students varied life styles and consider their need for an equal balance of rest, work and socialisation.This means providing anticipated requirements from workspaces to social spaces and quiet zones, and offering high-quality and reliable services tailored to their needs.
- Well being and mental health - where students live is central to their quality of life while at university. As a result of the pandemic, there has been a decline in student mental health, and UPP want to rebuild student communities post-pandemic with an increased focus on supporting student wellbeing.
Applying to the Architect Pitch
If you would like to apply, please fill in the form by April 27th.
Successful architects will be contacted by email immediately after the shortlisting stage.
The Pitch will take place on May 18th and may be filmed.
To apply to be in the audience, please go to Ticket Tailor.