Passivhaus Affiliate

Icebox Challenge Glasgow: Student Design Competition

We seek student designs for the #IceBoxChallengeGlasgow – a public installation in the run up to COP26 to demonstrate the benefits of high-performance energy-efficient building. Great prizes to be won!

In response to the priority action points set by the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, hosted in the City of Glasgow, Scotland this coming November, the Passivhaus Trust and the International Passive House Association (iPHA) in partnership with Edinburgh Napier University (ENU) is launching an Ice Box Challenge and accompanying student competition to demonstrate the benefits of an energy-efficient fabric-first design approach. 



The #IceBoxChallenge is a contest and an experiment to demonstrate how a building can be super energy efficient AND comfortable. #IceboxChallengeGlasgow seeks design entries where one-box will be built to Scottish Building Standards and another to the Passivhaus standard. The boxes shall be left outside for three weeks, each holding an equal amount of ice. When opened, the amount of ice left in each box will be measured. How much ice remains will demonstrate how well each ice box keeps out the heat. Better building design can help us reduce our carbon pollution without changing our behaviour. Buildings that prioritise efficiency first are comfortable and healthy.

The boxes will form a public installation, on display from 19 July – 08 August 2021, in St Enoch’s Square, Glasgow.


Student Competition

To create awareness and inspire young designers and architects this student competition invites students to submit design entries for the creation of the two small icebox structures. The designs should be eye-catching, draw public attention and reflect the unique aspects of modern building design in Glasgow.



The initial stage of the student competition asks groups of students and recent graduates from all built environment and Architecture Schools and Universities in Scotland to submit an entry for the design of the iceboxes. The boxes will be displayed in St Enoch’s Square in Glasgow City Centre, and the winning group will be involved in the fabrication & construction of the installation. Groups of a maximum of 4 can enter the competition.


How to enter

#IceboxChallengeGlasgow Brief
  • REGISTER: Registration is free. Each team must register a primary contact for the team, and obtain an entry code by the 16th of May 2021. 

  • SUBMIT: The deadline for submissions is the 23rd of May 2021. Final submissions are to be made electronically, in pdf format no larger than 20MB to The top three submissions will be invited to present their designs to a jury at the end of May.


Great prizes to win!

  • All finalists will get free access to the Passivhaus Fundamentals e-learning content, the latest Passivhaus Planning Package (PHPP) energy balance tool and a year membership to the Passivhaus Trust.
  • The winning design will be built and placed in St Enoch Square, Glasgow, gaining international exposure thanks to the run-up to COP26 and involvement from the international Passivhaus House Association.
  • The winning team will actively be involved in the construction, gaining practical fabrication skills, mentorship, and making local contacts.
  • The winning group will be awarded £1,000 by the Glasgow Institute of Architects (GIA) after the fabrication and public display stages.
  • Cash prizes are available for runners-up:
    • £300 for second place
    • £200 for third place


Late March 

Student competition launch

16 May

Deadline to register interest.

23 May 

Submission Deadline

24-28 May 


28 May

3 Shortlisted finalists online presentations

Late May 

Announcement of winners

June – July 

Mentorship and fabrication with winning team


Who is involved?



Further Information

Efficiency First Campaign

2021 Student Engagement

Previous Icebox Challenge 

23rd March 2021

Never miss UK Passivhaus news by joining the Passivhaus Trust mailing list Follow us on twitter @PassivhausTrust

< Back To News