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The Challenge Cup


A new challenge for tomorrow's AEC design professionals

Project Brief Context

The construction sector is facing global scale challenges; housing shortages, demand in the social infrastructure space, lagging productivity, tight labour markets, ageing populations and reduced numbers of school leavers choosing to pursue a career in the construction sector. These are just a few of the headwind forces shaping
the future of the sector, highlighted in multiple reports from Mark Farmer’s UK Government Review of the Construction Labour Market Model, ‘Modernise or Die’ to Mc Kinsey and Company’s ‘The Construction Industry is Ripe for Disruption’ and closer to home the
Shergold and Weir ‘Building Confidence’ 2018 report. These challenges are further compounded by environmental factors; resource scarcity, sustainability and the climate emergency. Drivers for sensitive design
solutions that engender resilience.

A significant response to addressing these fundamental issues facing the construction sector is the increased promotion and development of prefabrication and offsite manufacturing. Modern methods of construction (MMC), and the industrialisation of the construction sector. As key representatives of the offsite manufacturing sector Fleetwood and prefabAUS are looking to play an industry leadership role in championing the development of Architects, Engineers and other AEC design professionals of tomorrow. The linkage of industry and academia is vital in preparing for, and investing in the future of the Construction sector.

Each year select Universities are invited to participate in “The Challenge Cup”. Aspiring students from each University representing the  Architectural, Engineering and other AEC design streams will form collaborative and cross disciplinary teams of between 4 to 6 students.
Through an appointed representative steering committee, the competition will articulate a contemporary design challenge topic, with competition submission requirements to be assessed by an expert judging panel of cross disciplinary AEC professionals.

Addressing the shortage of affordable housing in Australia, opportunity exists for the use of excess land holdings to establish temporary residential accommodation. Offsite construction and prefabrication solutions are ideally placed to develop affordable housing solutions that meet a cost-effective relocation requirement.

Design solutions for a multi-level unit typology shall comprise a block plan providing 8 x two-bedroom and single bathroom units and 4 x one-bedroom and single bathroom units as a unit building design that can be readily modified, delivered in multiple configurations and with maximum flexibility to accommodate more than one façade type. This provides for a solution that will be responsive to various site locations over a 50-year period. The competition’s design concept will address the building life cycle cost equation.

The prize

The Challenge Cup

$10,000.00 AUD

$3,000.00 AUD

$2,000.00 AUD

Finalist teams and selected Competition Presentation highlights showcased at the Conference Industry invitation event held after the close of Conference Day session.



The Challenge

How can the implementation of offsite construction and modern methods of construction effect innovation in the delivery of affordable housing to the Australian market? Leveraging prefabrication and modular offsite construction technologies, develop an original project “design” that responds to this question through the exploration of Industry 4.0 and emerging strategies in the construction sector, embracing;

• advanced design that delivers community and client value
• the potential of new technologies
• DfMA + D processes and smart engagement with changing       construction sites
• new construction systems and smart materials
• high building performance across the whole building lifecycle
• advanced & efficinet manufacture of building components,     digitisation, robotics, LEAN manufacturing and operational efficiency
• processes and professions in transdisciplinary design approaches
• innovative business models and development and financing models e.g. circular   economy
• resilience and sustainability responses to the climate emergency

The project must be a low-rise accommodation typology of between 2 to 4 storey construction. Emulating “real world” challenges, the cross disciplinary project team will need to demonstrate the “design” effectively integrates building science principles, construction sector best practice, and adherence to the principles of national building codes and regulations.

The Brief

Key Dates

The year ahead...


• Commencement of competition
• Online Competition
Q&A portal opens


• University team nominations close


• Online Competition Q&A portal closes, final requests must be received by 4pm AEST


• Online Competition Q&A portal final post uploaded by 4pm AEST


• Competition submission deadline 4pm AEST


• 4 finalist teams announced


• 4 finalist teams to deliver an online presentation