Passivhaus Affiliate

2021 Icebox Challenge Winners

The design of the Icebox Challenge Glasgow was decided via a competition open to students from across Scotland. The competition challenged students to design innovative and eye-catching structures; one built to Scottish Building Standards and another built to Passivhaus standard.

Icebox Challenge Glasgow: Winning design 

Architecture students from Robert Gordon University are celebrating winning the competition for highly energy-efficient buildings that will feature at the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow later this year. The winning design celebrates a traditional highland building using timber, stained herringbone cladding, stirred by the natural colours of the highlands. Congratulations to the winning team from Robert Gordon’s University which includes Matt Clubb, Lina Khairy, aged 23, Alina Vinogradova aged 28 and Kyle Henderson, aged 23.


I am thrilled with the win. We have worked hard as a team to create a building that is vibrant aesthetically and embraces passive design and prefabrication. We drew inspiration from the Scottish Highlands and incorporated design features and materials that minimise our buildings embodied carbon. It is fantastic that our design will be built at a public installation in Glasgow city centre ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference.

Matthew Clubb, Winning design team member


Construction is currently underway!

Icebox Challenge Glasgow winners Icebox Challenge Glasgow Winners
Icebox Challenge Glasgow Winners

Each of the two icebox structures will now be built by the winning students at the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre in Glasgow. The completed structures will be on public display in St. Enoch’s Square Glasgow from 19 July to 8 August in the run ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26. The installation will remain on show for three weeks, each holding an equal amount of ice. How much ice remains after three weeks will demonstrate how well each icebox keeps out the heat. 


Efficiency is crucial to meet net-zero carbon targets. The Icebox Challenge has travelled the globe, and this year comes to Glasgow in the run-up to COP26. Student design competitions like this offer valuable opportunities for our next generation of architects & designers to get inspired by the climate action they can engage within. We anticipate the public installation will capture peoples attention, facilitate vital discussions, and raise awareness of the impact of simple solutions such as Passivhaus.

Yogini Patel, Passivhaus Trust


In addition to gaining international exposure thanks to the run-up to COP26 and involvement from the International Passivhaus Association, the winning group will be award:

  • £1000 from sponsor the Glasgow Institute of Architects (GIA) after the fabrication and public display stages. 
  • 1-year membership to the Passivhaus Trust
  • Access to the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) tool
  • Free access to the Passive House Fundamentals E-Learning.


Runners Up

Icebox Challenge Glasgow_IBC212_first runner up Icebox Challenge Glasgow_IBC202_second runner up

Further Information

Icebox Challenge Glasgow

Previous PHT story: Icebox Challenge Glasgow student design competition - 23 March 2021

Efficiency First Campaign

17th June 2021

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