Only dry firewood burns well – Urban Woodshed challenges the wood pile under a tarpaulin​

1. Competition Invitation

1.1.Organizer, Character and Target of the Competition

Aalto University, Department of Architecture, the Work Efficiency Institute TTS, Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority  HSY with the support of EU European Regional Development Fund arrange a student competition in order to improve tangible solutions for wood storage for the urban households.

The winning proposal will be developed during summer 2016 and built as a pilot project in autumn for possible production.

1.2 The Right to Participate

All students studying at Aalto University can participate.

1.3 Prizes

One first prize 1 500 €  
+ 1000 € when the workdrawings of the developed project have been delivered.

One second prize 1 000 €
One third price 500 €          

The jury reserves a right to award the sum differently.

1.4 Jury Panel

Members of the jury are appointed by the competition organisers:

Matti Kuittinen, architect and research manager, Aalto University, (chair)
Minna Kuusela, architect and research manager, Work Efficiency Institute TTS (Työtehoseura)
Maria Myllynen, specialist, Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority HSY (Helsingin seudun ympäristöpalvelut)
Elias Rainio, architect, Helsinki City Planning Department
Anne Nurmio, architect, Espoo City Building Department
Kari Aurimaa, Vantaa Single-house Owners Associations
Henri Lappalainen, Halkotupa Oy
Vesa-Pekka Tervo, Central Uusimaa Fire Department

1.5 Announcement of the Competition and Info meeting

The competition programme and appendices are announced on 1st April in the Aalto University  post list and  on this webpage.

An Info meeting will be arranged 8.4. at 10:00 o’clock in Puupaja , Metallimiehenkuja 4, Otaniemi,  where the completion will be presented and questions answered.

1.6 Language of the Competition

The language of the competition programme is in English. The competition entry can be in either Finnish or English.

1.7 Competition Schedule and Deadline

1.4. Competition program announced in e-mail lists and
8.4. Kick Off meeting / Questions and Answers PuuPaja at 10:00 o’clock 
8.6. Deadline for submissions at 16:00 o'clock
13.6. Winner announced

The deadline for the competition is 8 June 2016 at 16:00 o´clock. By this time the required documents must be submitted to

The winner will be announced 13.6.2016 at a reception in Aalto University,  Otakaari 1, Otaniemi at 14:00 o’clock and at the competition webpage.

2. Competition procedures

2.1 Programme Documents

The programme documents consisting of its appendices can be found at the competition  webpage

2.2 Competition Questions

Eventual questions about the competition to the jury, using a pseudonym, can be sent to Kristjana Adalgeirsdottir Department of Architecture, by 1th of May.

Answers can be found on the Q & A page at the latest 6th of May.

2.3 Competition Decision, Publishing of the Results, and the Exhibition

The aim is to resolve the competition by 13th June 2016.

Prize class entries and the minutes from the Jury will be published on this webpage and in the Aalto university aula, Otakaari 1, Otaniemi.

This is also where the prize winning entries will be exhibited.

The organizer has the right to published all entries for communication purpose.

2.4 Actions Following the Competition

The project contents will be further developed according to the competition entries; the jury will then suggest further actions. 

2.5 Right of Use for the Competition Entries

The competition organizer owns the right to the prize winning entries; the copyright remains with the creator.

3. Competition task

3.1 Background

This student design competition is a part of the “The Urban Woodshed”- project, which is a EU funded project organized by Work Efficiency Institute TTS, Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority HSY and Aalto University. 

The aim of the Urban Woodshed project is to develop new and functional wood storage- and service solutions for the urban households and to increase the inhabitants awareness of the importance of correct storage of wood, its moisture content and its effects on energy efficiency, air quality and sustainable energy use.  The effects of the incorrect wood burning on the respiratory air and human health in the long term are widely recognized.  This model will help reduce the serious climate effects from black carbon emissions.

The Woodshed model will be introduced and implemented as a commercial  “Do-it-yourself” model, in cooperation with the industry.  The product can also be ordered as an “all-inclusive” service package and delivered fully constructed at the site.  The model will facilitate the delivery of firewood logistics and refill of the shed.  This will support the burnwood-business of small entrepreneurs. 

Information and pictures of woodsheds currently in use in the Helsinki region have been collected through a picture competition organized by the “The Urban Woodshed”- project.  The results can be found from the Docs page.

3.2 Competition goals

The competition calls for a design proposals that give fresh ideas for storing fire wood at tight urban single-family household sites.

The solution must at the same time take into account the technical aspects of drying wood, fire regulations and the architectonic overall quality.

In the design the following factors should be considered:

  • Urban woodshed is max 5 m2.
  • The life span and sustainability of the presented solution.
  • How the solutions could be developed with the delivery of firewood logistics and refill of the shed. 
  • How the solution fits to urban surroundings and small sites.
  • Use of moduls.
  • Ventilation and drying-physics.

3.3. Adjudication Principles of the Competition

When judging the competition entries the jury panel especially takes notices of the following:

  • the entry fulfils the competition criteria
  • the entry is realizable and its maintenance and handling is possible
  • the manner of presenting the ideas is precise and clear.

4. Manner of presentation

4.1 Documents required

The competitor is free to choose the competition material so that it epitomizes the characteristics of his/her work. The material should consist of the following:

  • site plan
  • layout plans, sections and elevations  1:20
  • details clarifying the idea
  • perspective drawing, one or more
  • a text  attachment giving a short description of the solution’s basic ideas.

4.2 Presentation of the Drawings

Proposals are to be submitted on max three (3) horizontal A3-size pages  with drawings and text.

4.3 Competition Secrecy

All drawings and documents should be labelled with a pseudonym. An separate email with contact information and the same pseudonym should be sent together with the entry to .

5. Links

The Picture Competition Of Current Woodsheds and other documents