For the past six years, West Fraser (formerly Norbord), has partnered with RIBA Journal to hold an annual competition that challenges architects to use the industry’s most popular OSB brand, SterlingOSB Zero. With a different brief each year, the competition has been hotly contested by some of the industry’s most creative architectural practices, all vying to win the top prize of £2,500.
The interest from architects in West Fraser products, and the company’s environmental credentials, has led to the development of a specific architect hub on the website https://uk.westfraser.com/resources/architect-support/. The new page details the competition as well as providing tailored information such as CPDs, downloadable product datasheets and BIM objects. The architect can also order product samples.
As one of the world’s leading manufacturers of engineered wood-based panel products,West Fraser’s OSB, particleboard and MDF products are used extensively by architects.Crucially, all West Fraser’s engineered wood panels have been certified as being net carbon negative which means that they lock up more carbon in the products than is emitted making them, helping the UK construction sector comply with net zero targets. The company is also committed to sourcing all timber from responsibly managed forests, and the European manufacturing facilities manufacture products that are certified to Forest Stewardship Council standards.
Off Grid 2030 – 2021
The 2021 challenge, named “Off Grid 2030”, saw RIBAJ asking entrants to design a family home of no more than 200m² GIA that adheres to the RIBA’s 2030 Climate Challenge principles. SterlingOSB Zero was to form the mainstay of the material’s palette, and designs had to look at the board’s capabilities, limitations and intrinsic properties. The home could accommodate either single or extended families in urban or rural contexts while attempting to meet the demands of the 2030 Climate Challenge, such as minimal operational energy use and water consumption, non-reliance on fossil fuels, limited waste, and offset residual carbon emissions.
The 2021 winner is Kevin Sulca’s Ventanilla House – a modular solution to the unique challenges of living in Lima, Peru.
Second Skin – 2020
Reimagining existing structures, breathing new life into them by adding or removing layers of their fabric, was the theme of the 2020 competition. Entrants were tasked with peeling back and substituting dilapidated building elements, layer by layer, with SterlingOSB Zero. Paper Architecture and Bethan Watson’s designs for Hilder’s Yard, a disused site of a former garage in Sevenoaks, Kent, transformed it into a mixed-use retail scheme for small local businesses and social enterprises in a supportive commercial model. The integration between the original Victorian structures and a prefabricated SterlingOSB Zero insertion won over with the judges.
Raise The Roof – 2019
In 2019 the competition was all about making the most of the urban roof, an exciting space that is often overlooked. Architects were challenged to design a rooftop space of up to three storeys on an existing urban building of their choice. The winner was Reed Watts Architects’ Rooftop Refuge, a dual use roof extension that operated as a bar in the summer to fund its use as a homeless shelter in the winter. Judges appreciated both the experimental concept and the clarity of the submission.
Room Within a Room – 2018
Entrants were invited to create a proposal for a portable, transformable workspace made from SterlingOSB Zero in a room within a house, public building, school or office. The winners, Tom Gregory and Fraser Wallis, created The Playwright’s Retreat, an isolated SterlingOSB Zero workspace eyrie set up from the ground, which unfurled back to earth to act as a performative space for the playwright’s work.
For further information, call 01786 812 921 or visit Uk.westfraser.com