Bat House Competition (Brief) G#15142

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Bat House Competition Brief

Bat House Competition Brief

Bat House Competition Brief



In Texas some bat lovers have excavated caves and built towers on their land to encourage bat settlement.

I’m interested in initiating a project suitable for bats in London.

The partners mentioned below have joined me to launch an open competition to design an urban bat house to give a much-needed year-round habitat to bats in the London area.

There is great pressure on bat numbers in London as buildings get redeveloped and home improvements leave little space for bats to live in.

In this structure the bats are the client and we hope to be able to accommodate different species that have different housing needs, the raising of a family, hibernation etc.

Jeremy Deller, artist and competition initiator The Bat House Partnership invites you to enter an open competition to design a Bat House for London, to be built at the WWT London Wetland Centre in Barnes.

We intend to realise the winning proposal: a building of aesthetic and environmental excellence, built with sustainable materials, that both offers homes to bats and is a building that the public can engage with.

Competitors are invited to consider the relationship between art, architecture and biodiversity in urban locations.

Ideas that allow for replication on further sites around the UK are encouraged.

The entries will be judged anonymously.

The project will build on the work of the Bat Conservation Trust, the London Bat Group and the Greater London Authority to raise awareness of the importance of bats in the UK’s (and London’s) environment, and to support the survival of the UK’s seventeen bat species.

The Bat House Partnership comprises Jeremy Deller, the Arts Council England, the Bat Conservation Trust, the Greater London Authority, plusequals, the RSA and the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust.

The competition is being facilitated by architect Pascale Scheurer RIBA, Director of Surface to Air Architects.

It is endorsed by the RIBA Competitions Office who will administer the competition to ensure a fair and anonymous process.

Competition endorsed and administered by the RIBA Competitions Office Bat House partners Media partners



Brown Long-Eared sat on log (top) Noctule in flight (bottom)

photos: Hugh Clark



Entrants are asked to design a purpose-built structure that will provide the maximum diversity of specialised features to attract roosting, breeding and hibernating bats, and the possibility for visitors to engage with the bats and learn more about them.

It should incorporate existing knowledge of relevant bat species’ roosting requirements, but also be innovative by suggesting new ways this might be interpreted.

Your proposal should include two elements:

  • the bat house itself (incorporating a range of accommodation spaces),
  • and a display element for visitors to learn more about the bats.

Above all, it should be an inspirational piece, exemplary in its aesthetic and environmental aspirations.

It should also be credible in terms of build-ability, practical in use, offer potential for replication and address broader sustainability issues.



Bats require secure, undisturbed places (‘roosts’) for shelter when not flying, and many species choose to do this in the roof area of suitable buildings.

Bat colonies also roost in bridges, trees, abandoned mines, tunnels and caves.

Around the world, people have built structures for bats to roost in – from small bat-boxes similar to domestic bird-boxes, to the Campbell Towers in Texas and a Gothic folly in Leicester.

A Bat House can take many forms, and we invite you to explore the possibilities.

It could be one integral structure or several separate ones clustered together.

A dedicated bat house should provide a wide range of roosting opportunities for several species – for example ideal conditions for maternity roosting in the roof or wall cavities, and for hibernation in cooler chambers below or in an underground ‘cave’ space.

As an indication, a footprint of approximately 5 x 4 m total would be a minimum, capable of housing several hundred individual bats.

A raised position 3 – 5 m above ground is ideal for access by bats flying in from below, and will give good visibility – both for bats and people.

The Bat House itself requires a minimum internal height of 750 mm and could be several meters tall.

The seasonal use of roosts by bats tends to be: May to August:

high use of maternity roosts, particularly during June and July.

September to October: high use of mating roosts.

November to March: high use of winter hibernation roosts, particularly when daytime temperatures drop below 10 degree C.

March to October: some species use habitual feeding roosts to devour larger prey.

A range of openings and internal spaces will be required.

Smaller bats can squeeze in through a 13 mm-wide gap, while others prefer spaces they can fly into.

Many bats like to fly in from below, land at the entrance and climb up inside tight nooks – for example, between timber boards spaced 20 mm apart.

Most bats prefer to fly out into cover (e.g. trees) so you may wish to include the adjacent landscaping as part of your design.

The Bat House should not be accessible except by authorised staff, as the bats must not be disturbed by visitors.

Appropriate fencing or other protection should be part of your design.



Summer roost temperatures should be stable and in the range of 25-35 degrees C, while winter hibernation requires temperatures of 2-10 degrees C with stable humidity around 80%, similar to an underground cave.

Thermal stability is critical for both winter hibernation and summer maternity roosting.

A range of temperatures within the building is ideal, such that the bats can choose their preferred conditions.

Artificial maternity roosts are often covered in a dark-coloured material with a south-facing aspect to absorb heat from the sun.

Solar- and mains-powered electric heating has been successfully used in bat boxes.

Ventilation – the design should allow air in but not light.

External lighting is to be avoided.

Bats cohabiting in a loft (top) Bat house structure (bottom) REQUIREMENTS – FOR BATS MATERIALS Materials should be selected on the basis of their suitability for bats, sustainability aspects

(e.g. whole-life cost, local sourcing, toxicity, reducing waste, recycled content, recyclability), cost, durability and ease of maintenance.

Landing areas and internal walls should be rough or textured to allow the bats to climb up.



Once the Bat House is installed, a certain amount of experimentation and adaptation is likely depending on roost uptake, and should be addressed by the design.

Equally, the Bat House must be capable of being maintained in use, and the numbers of bats monitored, without disturbing its occupants.

We seek solutions that can be replicated throughout the UK.

We therefore welcome designs that explore their future inclusion, in whole or in part, into existing or new-build structures.



The WWT London Wetland Centre is an educational resource and one of the key aims of the Bat House Project is to encourage visitors to engage with the bat population and to learn more about them.

For instance, WWT currently organise summer ‘bat walks’ where visitors use bat detectors to find bats as they fly nearby.

Disturbance of bat roosts is prohibited by law so competitors are invited to explore ways in which human-bat interaction can be facilitated by their design, whilst not disturbing the bats.

This may include remote viewing of bats via CCTV/webcam or other equipment.

Consider how and where information about the bats may be exhibited.

  • Should it be located at the entrance to the centre with the main buildings, or near the Bat House itself?
  • Will it be covered/protected or open- air?
  • Will a hidden observation ‘hide’ be appropriate?
  • What facilities and access will be required?
  • How might web-based observation be enabled?



The London Wetland Centre is a unique example of post-industrial landscape restoration involving extensive wildlife habitat creation at a former man-made reservoir.

Over 40 hectares of wetlands were designed and created by the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, who lease and manage the site as an ecotourism visitor attraction.

Besides being a statutory Site of Special Scientific Interest for its birdlife, the site is also one of Greater London’s most important sites for feeding bats.

To supplement various other species projects at the site, there has long been an intention to construct a dedicated roost structure for bats.

The Bat House will be located in the South-West corner of the London Wetland Centre, adjacent to the river.

Competitors may choose to locate their design on the raised retaining bank or lower down beside the lake.

While the visibility of the structure from outside the LWC site could be a positive asset, competitors are advised to bear in mind the planning implications.

The retaining wall is an integral part of London’s flood defences that must not be undermined, and your design should take this into consideration.

Supporting information and further images can be downloaded from:

The London Wetlands Centre, Berkeley Homes (top), Google Earth images of the site (bottom).

Reserve Plan (left) Google Earth images (below) DXF CAD plan & scaled JPGS are available on the website



Up to £120k construction cost.

A funding strategy has been identified.


Entries will be judged in a single-stage process by a Jury Panel comprised of:

Jeremy Deller – Artist and initiator of the Bat House Project

Rowan Moore – Director, the Architecture Foundation

Amanda Levete – Director, Future Systems

Mike Waite – GLA Senior Policy Adviser (Biodiversity) and trustee of the London Bat Group

Carol Williams – Bats & Built Environment Officer, Bat Conservation Trust

Kevin Peberdy – Director of Centre Developments, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust

Pascale Scheurer – Director, Surface to Air Architects (Jury Chair and RIBA Adviser)



Brief available : 10th May 2007

Question deadline : 15th June

Replies to questions : 25th June

Registration Deadline: 3rd September

Submission deadline: 10th September

Selection of Winners : 26th September

Announcement of Winners: 11th October



The competition is open to professionals and the wider public, in distinct categories:

Category A – Architects and Design Professionals (multidisciplinary teams welcome)

First Prize £3000 Second Prize £1000 Third Prize £500

Category B – Students/General Public

First Prize £1000 Second Prize £500 Third Prize £250

Category C – Schoolchildren (aged 17 or under at 10th September 2007)*

First Prize £500 Second Prize £250 Third Prize £100

[*these prizes will be awarded to the school of the winning entrant]

An overall winner will be selected from the First Prize winners in the three categories.

It is intended that the overall winner of the competition will be appointed to work closely with the Bat House Partnership to take the project forward to completion.

Where necessary and in consultation with the winner, the Bat House Partnership reserves the right to supplement the expertise of the winner in order to ensure the deliverability of the project.

Non-UK residents are welcome to enter.

However, all entrants should be aware that unfortunately the Bat House Partnership will not be able to provide travel or accommodation expenses at any stage.

Employees of the Bat House Partners or the assessors, and partners, associates or employees of them are not eligible to compete or to assist a competitor.



All entries will be judged anonymously.

Any entries that have identifying marks (including logos, text, insignia, or images that could be used to identify the submissions author) will be automatically disqualified.

Entries for Category A (Architects and Design Professionals) will be on two A1 foamboards, showing as a minimum:

  • Concept drawings/images.
  • Project Statement – maximum 300 words.
  • 1:50 plans, sections and elevations.
  • Details and/or information on the materials and construction proposed.

Entries for Category B (students/ non-professionals) should be a minimum one A4 sheet of paper, up to a maximum of two A1 foamboards.

These can show anything from a simple concept drawing to full architectural drawings.

Entries for Category C (schoolchildren) should be one or two A4 or A3 sheets per entry – either a single concept drawing or a more detailed design.

Your entry must have the unique registration number issued upon registration prominently displayed on the front face(s) of each and every page/ board of your submission material.

Your submission should not bear any other name, motto or distinguishing mark of any kind.



The winner will be selected on the basis of: ï Suitability for bat roosting requirements.

  • Aesthetic quality and innovation.
  • Engagement with relevant sustainability issues.
  • Replicability in other locations.


HOW TO REGISTER Registration fees per entry (non-refundable):

  • Category A – Professional £35
  • Category B – Student/Non-Prof. £7.50
  • Category C – Schoolchildren Free

(schools/classes may submit up to 10 entries together to reduce postage costs – please tick the ‘School Group Entry’ box on the registration form.)

To register, please complete the Registration Form (last page of this Brief, also available to download from RIBA Competitions Office web site, and send, together with a cheque made payable to ‘RIBA’ and a self-addressed A4 envelope, to the address below:

  • Bat House Competition,
  • RIBA Competitions Office,
  • 6 Melbourne Street,
  • Leeds LS2 7PS
  • T : +44 (0) 113 234 1335 F : +44 (0) 113 246 0744
  • E :

Please note that the RIBA does not have credit card facilities.

On registration, each competitor will be issued with a unique registration number which must be prominently displayed on the front face(s) of all submission material.

Classes of school children may submit up to 10 entries together to reduce postage costs.

The registration form must be completed by the teacher and the ‘School Group Entry’ box ticked.

A batch of 10 registration numbers will then be issued, and it will be the responsibility of each teacher to keep a record of individual pupil names and their corresponding registration numbers.

Registrations will close on Monday 3rd September 2007.

Design submissions must arrive at the RIBA Competitions Office in Leeds (address above) no later than 2pm on Monday September 10th 2007.


QUESTIONS RELATING TO COMPETITION BRIEF AND OTHER ENQUIRIES All questions regarding the Brief should be emailed to: by Friday 15th June 2007, with ‘Bat House Competition – Question’ in the subject line.

Answers will be available on the Bat House Project website ( from Monday June 25th

All other enquiries should be addressed to RIBA Competitions at the address/email above.

The Bat House Partnership should not be solicited for information as this may lead to disqualification from the competition.


  1. TERMS & CONDITIONS The RIBA Competitions Office is organising the competition on behalf of the Bat House Partnership.

The Bat House Partnership is fully committed to building the winning design and intend to appoint the winning designer to work closely with them in developing the scheme to construction.

The fundraising process is underway, but the project’s progression will be dependent upon the necessary funds being raised, successful planning applications etc.



In the event that a Jury Panel member is unable to continue to act through illness or any other cause, the Bat house Partnership in consultation with the RIBA, reserves the right to proceed without them or to appoint another Jury Panel member to replace them.

A Competitions Officer from the RIBA will also attend the Jury Panel meetings to answer procedural matters, but will not be a voting member of the Panel.



Entries should be contained in a single package and are to be sent, carriage paid to:

Bat House Competition

RIBA Competitions Office

6 Melbourne Street

Leeds LS2 7PS

Entries must arrive no later than 2pm on Monday 10th September 2007.

Late submissions will not be accepted and it will not be possible to submit entries via e-mail.

Competitors should note that First Class post does not necessarily guarantee next-day delivery and should plan their submission schedule accordingly.

Competitors requiring proof of delivery should enclose in their package a stamped, sealed envelope addressed to a third party.

This will be posted upon receipt of the submission.

Overseas Competitors should note that for Customs purposes no commercial value should be assigned to the design submission.

Failure to do so may result in your submission being delayed or returned to you unopened.

The RIBA will not be liable for any charges incurred.

Competitors are advised to retain copies of all design material submitted.

Entries will not be returned.

Whilst the Bat House Partnership and the RIBA Competitions Office will exercise all reasonable care, they will not be liable for loss or damage to drawings that may occur either in transit, during exhibition, storage or packing.



Your entry must have the unique registration number issued upon registration prominently displayed on the front face(s) of each and every page/board of your submission material.

Your submission should not bear any other name, motto or distinguishing mark of any kind.

A successful competitor must be able to satisfy the Promoters that he/she is the bona fide author of the design he/she has submitted.



A submission shall be excluded from the competition:

  • If it is received after the latest time stated under Submission Method.
  • If, in the opinion of the Jury Panel, it does not substantially meet the requirements of the Competition Brief.
  • If a competitor shall disclose his or her identity, or improperly attempt to influence the decision of the Jury.
  • If the submission does not bear the unique number issued at registration.
  • If any of the mandatory requirements of the Competition Brief and Rules are disregarded.



The ownership of Copyright in the work of all competitors will be in accordance with the Copyright and Patent Act 1988, that is Copyright rests with the author.

By entering the competition, the entrant grants a licence to the Bat House Partnership and the RIBA to publish illustrations of their design, either separately or together with other designs, with or without explanatory text.

All the designs may, by agreement, be retained for a further period by the Bat House Partnership for the purposes of exhibition and publicity.



Following the Jury selection, the RIBA will notify all competitors of whether they have won a prize, and the full list of prize-winners, prior to publication of the list.



All enquiries regarding these terms and conditions will be made to

RIBA Competitions Office: RIBA Competitions Office 6, Melbourne Street Leeds LS2 7PS

T          +44 (0) 113 234 1335

F          +44 (0) 113 246 0744



The Bat House Partnership should not be solicited for information as this may lead to disqualification from the competition.

Competition endorsed and administered by the RIBA Competitions Office Bat House partners Media partners Bat House Competition – Registration Form


Name(s)/Title(s) _.

Email: _

Tel No: _.

Address: _

Category (please tick one box only)

Category A (Architects & Design Professionals) (registration fee £35.00) .

Category B (Student / General Public) (registration fee £7.50) .

Category C (School child – 17 or under at 10/09/07)* (registration free) .


  1. I/we will comply with and accept the regulations and conditions, which apply to this competition.
  2. I/we agree to accept the decision of the Jury Panel as final, and agree to permit free publication and exhibition of my /our designs.
  3. I/we declare that the design we submit will be my/our work and that it has been prepared by myself/ourselves.

Signed: _

Date: _.


* Note for Category C entrants: – Individual entrants should have their form signed by a parent, guardian or teacher.

– School classes can send up to 10 entries as a group to reduce postage costs.

The teacher should submit one registration form and will be issued with a batch of 10 reference numbers.

It will be the responsibility of the teacher to keep a record of individual pupil names and their corresponding entry reference numbers.

Please tick here for ‘School Group Entry’: .

This completed registration form and payment should be sent with an A4 SAE to:

Bat House Competition RIBA Competitions Office 6 Melbourne Street Leeds LS2 7PS

T: +44 (0) 1132 341335 F: +44 (0) 1132 460744 E:

Cheques should be made payable to ‘RIBA’.

Registrations will close on 3 September 2007.

On receipt of this form and the appropriate registration fee, the RIBA Competitions Office will issue each competitor with a unique entry reference number.

The entry reference number must be clearly displayed on the front face(s) of your entry and the artwork should be submitted without any other identifying marks or motifs.

Competition entries submitted without a clearly displayed official entry reference number shall be excluded from the competition.

Submissions must be received at the address above no later than 2.00pm on 10 September 2007.

© GBE NGS ASWS BrianMurphy
aka BrianSpecMan
12th February 2017

Bat House Competition Brief


© GBE NGS ASWS BrianMurphy
aka BrianSpecMan
12th February 2017

Bat House Competition Brief
See Also:

GBE Brief

GBE Courses

GBE Lectures


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© GBE NGS ASWS BrianMurphy
aka BrianSpecMan
12th February 2017

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