Strategies for Sustainable Living

The conceptual award category is for students only and focuses on a sustainable approach to living, providing strong imagery and provoking practical thinking. The issues of post pandemic living, well-being and health should be addressed through the regeneration of inner cities, towns or rural areas, with the adaptive reuse of existing buildings being mirrored by new designs and the sustainable lifestyles they can create. The approach taken should be applicable for use in Aberdeenshire.

2023 award winners

Category winner, distinction


Computer generated timber panel building in front of a real stone building

Highly commended

An Orcadian Orchard

Computer generated, inside of a cider factory with barrels, machines and people working

Highly commended


Computer generated, youth community site with children playing and people walking around

A Renewal is Looming

Computer generated, tall building, person on boke and people walkingThe project addresses a variety of threats such as fast fashion and ocean waste plastic and encompasses the circular economy into the design to provide a new sustainable 100% recycled plastic textile mill. The concept also tackles the issue of decline in industry and promote the traditional weaving craft by creating new jobs. The textile mill can also house exhibition and educational functions to inform visitors on the industrial and recycling process. The embodied carbon of the new building is offset by the benefits the building function bring by clearing the ocean of waste plastic and the operational carbon harnessed from renewable energy resources.  


Computer generated tall buildings in background with groups of people walking around in foregroundLocated in Torry, Makerstreet aims to recover its community based industrial history through closely integrating the needs for living, community, making and recycling to create a strong place for the community. The concept focuses on local making and the micro-manufacturing process, where materials can find a second purpose and where people can come together to take part in the making of items and the well-being benefits which come with it. The medieval organic arrangement of Makerstreet encourages exploration and discovery as well as providing sensory gardens, treescape and allotments.  

Data Powered Affordable Housing

Computer generated, building on left, walkway with benches in centre and body of water with grass area on rightThis project addresses the planet’s growing need for data storage and its unsustainable energy use. Designed with sustainability in mind by reducing embodied energy in construction, promoting circular economy and enhancing biodiversity, this mass timber and cross laminated timber kit placed on a cement-free concrete pontoon provides affordable housing which can be heated by the heat recovery in the pontoon and septic tanks. The data silos are cooled by the seawater, providing free cooling costs and energy savings, with the heat from the data silos being exchanged with the sea. A sedum roof will create a microenvironment above ground while a new microenvironment is provided below the water.