26 July 2021

Icebox Challenge Glasgow: Public installation now live

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Currently, 35% of global energy consumption comes from the building sector alone. Energy used to operate buildings, predominantly for heating and cooling, is the worst contributor to carbon emissions within the built environment. Better building design can help us reduce our carbon footprint without changing our behaviour.


Under the patronage of the UNECE and in the lead up to COP26, the City of Glasgow will host the “Ice Box Challenge” from Friday 23 July – Friday 06 August in St Enoch Square, Glasgow.


The public installation presents a visual demonstration highlighting the benefits of adopting a simple efficiency-first approach to buildings. One box is built to the Scottish Building Standard and the other to the Passivhaus Standard (deemed an international gold standard). The structures are on display to the public for two weeks, each holding an equal amount of ice. How much ice will remain? When opened, the amount of ice left in each box will be measured and weighed. How much ice remains demonstrates how well each icebox keeps out the heat passively, without relying on any energy.


How much ice will remain?

Place your bet on how much ice will remain to win great prizes. Which box will retain the most ice? Will it be the super-insulated green Passivhaus box? Or will it be the red box built to Building Regulations? Without relying on any active heating or cooling - can we reduce ice loss with just with high-performance design? The closest ice bet will win! Enter now



  • Weekend stay in a UK Passivhaus B&B.
  • Passivhaus prize packs to be won.


Winning student design

Congratulations to the winning team from Robert Gordon University which includes Matt Clubb, Lina Khairy, Alina Vinogradova, and Kyle Henderson. Currently being fabricated by PHT Patron Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, we look forward to revealing the winning student designs of the ice boxes at the opening ceremony.


Lina Khairy, a winning team member, said: "It is such an amazing experience to get to build these boxes and gain insight into the construction process! It is honestly a dream come true!" 


Dates for your diary

06 August 2021: Closing Ceremony

Join us for the weighing! Find out the winner of the ‘Guess the ice’ competition.


The Icebox Challenge Glasgow forms part of the efficiency-first campaign organised by the International Passive House Association and partners. With this public display, organisers hope to raise awareness for the vital role energy-efficient buildings play in meeting our climate goals in the run-up to the UN Climate Change Conference COP26. Passivhaus is proven to be a robust and cost-effective solution for achieving this in buildings without compromising comfort, health, and wellbeing.


The public installation is free to attend and will be on display for a fortnight from 23 July – 06 August. Volunteers will be available to answer questions and provide information on Passivhaus. 


Find out more about the challenge