WAF Research Programme

WAF Research Programme


WAF Water Research Prize

Supported by WAF's Founder Partner:


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, will once again support the Water Research Prize. GROHE is supporting research into tackling unique challenges that water presents, with the winning initiative awarded £10,000 of funding. The results of this work will be presented at WAF 2019 on the Festival Hall Stage.

The 2019 winner has been revealed:
Recycle Build Brazil

The 2019 prize was awarded to ‘Recycle Build Brazil’, the first phase of a wider research initiative to implement intelligent rainwater management in the city of Saõ José dos Campos, Brazil. The Austrian team behind the winning project will receive a £10,000 prize from GROHE. 

The prize money will allow Recycle Build to create a new wing for a local school where they can implement and raise awareness of intelligent rainwater harvesting systems. The project aims to pioneer these sustainable measures to be rolled out on a wider scale in low-income housing in Brazil.

The winner will present live on the festival hall stage at World Architecture Festival 2019, and will be awarded their prize at the Gala Dinner on the final day of the festival.

Read more about the 2019 winner.

The Water Research Prize entry criteria:

The research, current or proposed, should:

- Identify a new challenge or opportunity, unresearched 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


Winner 2018: Rainwater Collection System as a Bioclimatic Curtain Wall for the Amazon Rainforest by Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú

Watch the 2018 winner present live at WAF 2018:



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