Construction software in a climate crisis


ARTICLE · By Timber Trade Federation · 13 December 2021

Following the announcement of Timber Development UK’s 2022 University Design Challenge last week, we are excited to hear from our software supporters for our upcoming precursor event ‘Construction in a Climate Crisis’ this Tuesday.

During this event, we will hear from leading industry information technology experts who are committed to taking positive action in response to climate breakdown and biodiversity collapse.

The speakers will share with us the details of the software, tools and training that they will provide, free of charge, to each team taking part in Timber Development UK University Design Challenge: Southside Hereford.

If you want to calculate operational and embodied energy as well as model to Passivhaus standards,  join us tomorrow to hear more from our speakers.



Software Supporters


Trimble Inc. is a software, hardware, and services technology company that supports global industries in building & construction, agriculture, geospatial, natural resources and utilities, governments, transportation and others.

Trimble Software

SketchUp: SketchUp is a 3D modeling computer program for a broad range of drawing and design applications — including architectural, interior design, industrial and product design, landscape architecture, civil and mechanical engineering, theatre, film and video game development.


Allyson McDuffie: Allyson has spent the past 10 years with Trimble and is the Director of Education & Outreach Programs across the company leading a team of program/product managers who promote the adoption of a breadth of Construction, Geospatial, and now Natural Resources solutions within education institutions worldwide. Premiere program offerings include the Trimble Technology Lab and Visiting Professionals Programs, in addition to many other outreach efforts.


The AECB (Association for Environment Conscious Building) is a network of individuals and companies with a common aim of promoting sustainable building.

AECB Software

AECB CO2 calculator: The AECB Embodied Carbon Calculator calculates Whole Life Carbon, that is Embodied CO2 from Cradle to Grave. It was developed by Tim Martel, a Certified Passivhaus Designer, Chartered Architectural Technologist and AECB expert who is also a course tutor for the Carbonlite Retrofit course.


Tim Martel: Tim has several areas of expertise, he is a Chartered Architectural technologist, Retrofit Coordinator and Passivhaus Designer. He has coordinated 90 retrofits in London through being a qualified Retrofit Coordinator. This is a Level 5 Diploma required as part of the new PAS2035 standard for retrofit design. He is also a tutor for two modules of the similar AECB Retrofit course, Moisture Risks and Economics. The core of this work is energy calculations in PHPP, Passivhaus Planning Package (PHPP) which leads most of the design decisions.

Passive House Institute

The Passive House Institute (PHI) is an independent research institute that has played an especially crucial role in the development of the Passive House concept – the only internationally recognised, performance-based energy standard in construction.

Passive House Software

designPH: The designPH plugin has been developed by the Passive House Institute to provide a 3D model interface for entering building geometry into PHPP.


Dave Edwards: Dave is the developer of the designPH software. Prior to this development, he spent 10 years in architectural practice, including a period in the Netherlands, with experience working on a range of typologies and projects, from one-off bespoke housing to large social housing schemes, and multi-million pound commercial and cultural projects. David has provided designPH professional training for the AECB Carbonlite programme and in-house CPD for architectural practices. He has been a regular academic guest tutor, teaching PHPP and designPH to students on the ‘Low Energy Housing Retrofit’ course at UCL.

We would like to thank our supporters & sponsors


AECBdesignPH, Trimble and Ufi VochTech Trust


Transforming Timber, PEFC UKTDCAStora EnsoPassivhaus HomesAccoyaWood for Good and Rothoblaas

Southside Hereford:University Design Challenge 2022

Timber Development UK – the organisation formed from the merger of TRADA and Timber Development UK is partnering with New Model Institute of Technology and Engineering (NMITE), Edinburgh Napier University (ENU) and the Passivhaus Trust to challenge built environment students, as well as recent graduates, to form multidisciplinary teams to create a ‘net-zero community centre’ based on timber and timber-hybrid systems.

Students from all built environment courses at UK universities, from first to final year, along with 2021 graduates are invited to enter the competition which launches on the 30 November in person at the Building Centre, Store St, London and online. The 2022 challenge – is to design an exemplary community building that produces more energy than it consumes, at Southside in Hereford.

Teams must produce designs that sites the community centre within the local context and landscape integrating the clients’ and communities’ interests. The detailed designs must be ‘net zero’, creatively employing sustainable building materials and construction methods, and be energy and resource efficient, focusing on the health and well-being of people, the community, and our planet.

Join thousands of people who get the latest insights and stats from experts across the timber industry by subscribing to our newsletter, and by following us on Twitter and LinkedIn.


* indicates required