CIBSE
Severine Demaude (far right) pictured alongside the other finalists.

A Heriot-Watt student has won a national competition for her innovative living space design that uses plant life to create an energy efficient home.   

Severine Demaude has been awarded first prize in the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) Scotland ‘Building of the Future’ competition.

The final-year MEng Architectural Engineering student presented her research on “The Biological Passivhaus”: a concept that marries trends in intelligent systems and biophilic design with some hard building science.

This kind of interdisciplinary innovation is exactly what we aim to instill in our engineering graduates.

Alex Maclaren, Senior Director of Studies for Architectural Engineering at Heriot-Watt University

Her proposal integrates plants into the house as a means of humidifying the fresh air intake, increasing the comfort and wellbeing of occupants.

She attended the CIBSE Scotland Conference in Glasgow with the other shortlisted entrants where she received the award.

Afterwards, Severine said: “It was a great opportunity to be able to take part in the CIBSE.

"The Building of the Future" poster competition and to be able to share my design with everyone at the CIBSE Scotland conference. I am now looking forward to attending the EasyIO World Conference in Amsterdam later this year, which will be an excellent opportunity to learn more about future trends in the construction industry."

The competition challenged students to research any highlight innovations in building services to enhance building performance. The use of Smart technology was encouraged but had to be backed-up by solid research and academic argument.

Alex Maclaren, Senior Director of Studies for Architectural Engineering at Heriot-Watt University, said “We congratulate Severine on her success in this competition. I’m particularly impressed by the cross-sector thought put into this proposal: using strategies from nature and biological processes to enhance high-tech building services design. This kind of interdisciplinary innovation is exactly what we aim to instill in our engineering graduates.”

Image: Courtesy of CIBSE