WAF Research Programme

WAF Research Programme



The 2020 Winner is revealed!

Researchers from the University of Patras and the University of West Attica, Greece, have won a £10,000 research prize to investigate how rainwater can be used to help cool facades of buildings in super-hot cities. The winning project is a suspended modular lightweight facade system for evaporative cooling with harvested rainwater. A light-weight structure which can be retrofitted to existing building facades will now be developed with façade consultants. Rainwater will be collected in a roof-tank and used within the system which will spray some of it onto the building, while retaining as much as possible. Learn more about the winning project.

About the Prize:

The Water Research Prize was developed from the WAF Research Programme. This was launched to promote the ideas highlighted in the WAFX Manifesto, marking WAF’s 10-year anniversary in 2017. The manifesto identified key challenges architects will need to address over the next ten years, comprising Water; Climate, Energy and Carbon; Ageing and Health; Re-use; Smart City Technology; Power and Justice; Cultural Identity; Ethics and values; Building Technology and Virtual Worlds.

We are delighted that WAF’s headline partner, GROHE, once again supported the Water Research Prize in 2020. GROHE is supports research into tackling unique challenges that water presents, with the winning initiative awarded £10,000 of funding. The winner will also present their research on the Festival Hall Stage at WAF 2021. 

Universities or other research institutions investigating the architectural implications of water in respect of buildings or the built environment were invited to enter for free. The research could be current or proposed.

Entry criteria:

The research, current or proposed, should:

- Identify a new challenge or opportunity, un-researched or under-researched, related to design and water
- Advance an understanding of water in relation to the built environment, for example in relation to storage, management, distribution, use, recycling etc
- Explain how the research is addressing the issue(s) identified
- Outline the potential outcome of the research
- ​Say how the research award would contribute to the outcome



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