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Wednesday, 25 November 2015 12:29

Student competition to improve building performance

University teams from across English-speaking Africa will compete to find the best solutions to improve the performance of a house on Vilakazi Street in Orlando West, Soweto.

Vilakazi Street is one of the most famous streets in South Africa, having housed two Nobel Laureates - Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela. The building in the centre of this competition is based on the original 1944 design of houses on Vilakazi Street, similar to the original Mandela home.

The aim of the challenge is to provide a competitive forum for student members of the Southern and East African Architectural and Engineering Community. It is expected that tutors of relevant courses in Universities in Africa could use this as part of their teaching material or as a case study in environmental and sustainability building design.

Entries will be judged by a panel of judges headed up by Dr Dru Crawley and members of the International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA) and the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) Building Simulation Groups.

The results will be announced at the IBPSA-England Building Simulation and Optimization Conference on 12 Sept 2016 and the awards will be made at the Southern African Association for Energy Efficiency (SAEE) Conference in Nov 2016.

Judging Criteria
Key factors influencing the judges’ decision:
•    Accurate and intelligent use of building simulation.
•    Most important are the thermal and visual comfort of the occupants.
•    Indoor air quality criteria must be met (CO₂ levels or air changes per hour).
•    The simultaneous demand and production of on-site energy (load matching).

Drawings and partially completed models will be made available to teams to speed the simulation process and lighten the load. The following software packages will be made available for use in the competition only after consultation with the local agents: BSIMAC, DesignBuilder, and IES VE.

For further information or to register a team contact, please email Mike Barker on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

For information on the modelling software, please contact:
IES: Jeanne Parker-Weekes on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
DesignBuilder: Francois Joubert on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
BSIMAC: Dr Alec Johannsen on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..