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Fleetwood Challenge Cup 2021 finalists showcase designs from leading AEC students

A glut of empty commercial premises exist in inner city areas thanks to the pandemic-induced mandate of working from home.  The volume of empty properties has triggered an unprecedented need for vast numbers of commercial buildings to be redesigned and reconfigured to meet a mix of residential and commercial needs using adaptive re-use.

The Fleetwood Challenge Cup was developed by Fleetwood Australia in partnership with the peak body for Australia’s prefabricated commercial building industry, prefabAUS, to address some of Australia’s most significant construction challenges. The competition is open to faculty teams with a cohort of Architectural, Engineering and Construction (AEC) Management students from Universities across Australia.

Cash prizes totalling $15,000 attracted an outstanding field of entries in the 2021 Fleetwood Challenge Cup.


Fleetwood Challenge Cup winners

The inaugural 2020 Fleetwood Challenge Cup winners from the University of Melbourne

2021 Fleetwood Challenge Cup. Following on from the 2020 inaugural Fleetwood Challenge Cup, the 2021 cross-faculty design competition addresses the global issue of adaptive re-use, needed to make use of empty buildings.


The 2021 Challenge Cup explored the proposition of adaptive re-use in the built environment. Teams were asked to retain, incorporate and extend buildings at a local site into a vibrant mixed-use development with retail and residential elements and explore the role of offsite manufacturing and prefabrication methodologies in supporting the development of solutions.

This year’s competition presented the unique opportunity for some of Australia’s most inspired young AEC minds to grapple with and develop clever a design response using adaptive re-use.

Each multidisciplinary team consisted of four to six students who worked collaboratively through the design process to produce innovative solutions to meet a challenging brief and then verify their approach.

Fleetwood Australia CEO Bruce Nicholson commented, “With more than 100 students and 26 teams involved, we were inspired by the quantity and extraordinary calibre of submissions. The 2021 competitors, who are the industry’s next generation of change makers, drew great inspiration from the challenge set and delivered some outstanding solutions.  It has been exciting to see great use of innovation, design knowledge and creativity deliver cutting edge designs to support adaptable re-use of vacant building stocks.”

“In 2020 we had a fantastic turnout of entries in the Fleetwood Challenge Cup but this year it got even better with some very unique concepts presented that have never been seen before in this competition.”

“We were pleased to hear that student teams enjoyed the experience of working collaboratively to solve real-world issues and were delighted to hear some University students involved have used the experience to help secure job offers.”


2021 Fleetwood Challenge Cup Finalist – Fremantle Springs (Curtin University)

2021 Fleetwood Challenge Cup Finalist – Think Tank (Deakin University)

prefabAUS Executive Chair, Damien Crough commented, “As the peak body for Australia’s offsite construction industry, we are proud to partner with Fleetwood Australia to deliver the Challenge Cup and showcase ingenuity in action.

“With the highest building vacancy rates world-wide following the COVID-19 peak, the need to find sustainable ways to adapt, extend and reconfigure existing buildings with prefabrication and offsite manufacturing is a critical part of the solution.”

“We assembled a diverse Fleetwood Challenge Cup judging panel that includes a leading Architect, Mechanical Engineer, Structural Engineer and a Physicist who determined the finalist teams.  When the judging panel met and blended those unique perspectives to determine the finalists, there was apparently some passionate debate about the merits of many of the top entries.

“Whilst many of the entries were on par with each other, the judging panel advised there were some absolute standouts at the pointy end of the competition.  The variation in approach of the top four finalists was quite vast and each was very strong in their design. They were all well thought out concepts and very deserving finalists, who demonstrated great innovation and novelty.“

2021 Fleetwood Challenge Cup Finalist – Team Asian Persuasion (Curtin University)

2021 Fleetwood Challenge Cup Finalist – Shipping House (Curtin University)

“We would like to thank the judging panel, all of the brilliant entrants and of course our partner and co-creator of the event, Fleetwood Australia.”

This year’s top four finalist projects are, in no specific order:

The winners of this year’s Fleetwood Challenge Cup will be announced in September.

See: https://www.fleetwood.com.au/the-fleetwood-challenge-cup



For further information please contact:

Susie Pantall
National Marketing & Communications Manager
E: susiep@fleetwood.com.au
M: 0403 330 020