CIF Challenge

CIF Schools Challenge 2021/22

Building the Future



Building the Future

There has never been a more exciting time to work in the construction industry as it can offer an exciting career in many varied roles.

Everywhere you look – the construction industry has designed and built all that you see – the hospital you were born in, the house you live in, the roads you travel on, your school, shops, other key life enhancing “built” infrastructure.

All this been designed, engineered and constructed by people like you.

Life as we know it would not exist without the people who create our built environment – i.e.  all the things that are constructed by people that make our lives better.

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Now it’s your turn to make the future a better place!

We know that we need to build a lot more homes – houses and apartments, for our community.

We are inviting students to plan, design and market, a new residential development that is environmentally friendly and designed to enhance wellbeing of your community.

The Construction Industry Federation (CIF), in partnership with Sherry Fitzgerald, are challenging you and your team, to design a residential development (a development of houses or apartments – you decide), in an urban setting or rural setting (you decide), that meets the following design criteria:

  • Has a positive impact on the environment.
  • Considers climate change by minimising greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Enhances your locality / community
  • Provides a healthy environment for its occupants.

Can you rise to the challenge and design a development in your community that meets this brief?

  • Site selection and building layout.
  • Use of sustainable materials in its construction (See: 17 UN Sustainable Goals:
  • Innovation in construction techniques – for example, Off-site construction techniques
  • Alternative energy sources – solar / wind etc.
  • Energy efficient heating systems.
  • Interior design
  • Landscape design for enhancement of the development
  • Marketing the development to potential customers

Your team should deliver the following to enter:

  • Produce a clear and concise written project report
    • Describe your construction project team and their role and responsibilities
    • How your design has met the brief.
  • Create a series of outline drawings outlining your proposal to include – site plan, elevations and floor plans, interior design and
  • Develop a digital or physical scale model
  • Create a marketing plan outlining how you will promote the properties to potential buyers using traditional and social media
  • Submit a short video outlining your team and your design

Please fill out the form on this page to register, and a member of our team will be in touch to confirm your team’s details.

This year, the CIF Schools Challenge has teamed up with Autodesk (and their partners Diatec), a global leader in design and make technology with expertise in architecture, engineering and construction, to offer teams access to design software and a collaborative digital work environment to allow team members to work together to create their designs.

The Construction Industry Federation members and Sherry FitzGerald offices are here to help. If you would like to talk about the challenge and discuss some ideas, let us know and we can arrange a zoom call with your team – email us on [email protected] and we will arrange a call.

Autodesk and Diatec will provide a tutorial on use of the design platform and support.

Register for the CIF Challenge

Please fill out the form below to register for the 2021/2022 challenge.
Once you have submitted this form, a member of our team will be in touch to guide you through the next steps.

Information submitted in this form, will be used for the sole purpose of registering and taking part in the CIF challenge.


The winning teams and their schools will receive the following prizes. All entries and team members will receive a certificate of merit in recognition of their work

1st Place

Present their winning designs at the Ireland Skills Live Event in the RDS in March 2022

A days “Construction Experience” provided by Technical University Dublin

A TOPCON Complete construction package to include most up to date laser equipment and ½ day instruction

Prize for each team member

2nd Place

Present their design at Ireland Skills Live Event in RDS in March 2022

TOPCON Construction package to include most up todate equipment plus ½ day instruction

Prize for each team member

3rd Place

Present their design at Ireland Skills Live Event in RDS in March 2022

TOPCON Measuring equipment

Prize for each team member

A message from Tom Parlon

Director General , CIF


Welcome to the construction industry!

Thank you for taking in part in our challenge and I look forward to seeing your amazing designs in the coming months.

We hope that your involvement in this challenge will inspire your imagination and encourage you to consider the world changing careers that are available in the construction sector.

I want to encourage you to reach out to the industry for help in this challenge – we can be contacted on [email protected]

I wish you all the best of luck.

A message from Mark FitzGerald

Sherry FitzGerald

Good architecture and sustainable design enhance humanity in the world.  Every generation in Ireland will benefit from your creativity and your ideas. Let’s create a vision of an Ireland for all.

We need to build a better and more sustainable society through the built environment. We’ve got many of the big things right in Ireland, but we’ve under-estimated the challenge of getting the built environment right. It is the biggest challenge of the 21st century.

You don’t just need accommodation, you need really interesting jobs and careers.  This is your country, this is your society.  We owe it to your generation to give you the opportunity to make a difference.

Competition Videos

See some videos from our partners below

Competition FAQs

The competition is open to all students in Senior Cycle in second level and Youthreach.

Teams can register up until 31st January 2022.

No, you don’t have to use Autodesk software to make an entry.

Yes – there is no restriction on team sizes.

Learning Resources

Get Access to Autodesk Products

*Free Autodesk software and/or cloud-based services are subject to acceptance of and compliance with the terms of use or other applicable terms that accompany such software or cloud-based services. Software and cloud-based services subject to an Educational license may be used solely for Educational Purposes and shall not be used for commercial, professional, or any other for-profit purposes. Learn more.

Access to the Autodesk Construction cloud will be provided to Teachers through CIF Challenge Registration

FormIt is an intuitive 3D sketching tool for the conceptual design phase: Design anywhere, anytime within a simple and powerful design environment.

Make informed design decisions with site context, solar impact, and energy analysis. Connect conceptual designs to BIM workflows with native Revit integration.

Revit is BIM software that brings all architecture, engineering, and construction disciplines into a unified modeling environment, driving more efficient and cost-effective projects.

Autodesk Construction Cloud connects workflows, teams, and data at every stage of construction to reduce risk, maximize efficiency, and increase profits.

  • Free Learning Resources for the Autodesk Construction Cloud:

ReCap™ Pro is a 3D scanning software to transform the physical world into a digital asset. With reality capture data you can better understand and verify existing and as-built conditions to gain insights and make better decisions.

Autodesk will provide three short tutorials as listed below to participants to explain the use of the software;

  1. For  IT administrators / Teachers: how to install Autodesk Software
  2. For Teachers / Students: Manage & Submit Student Projects using the Autodesk Construction Cloud
  3. For Teacher / Students: An Introduction to Formit 3D

Should further clarification be required, CIF can organise a Q&A session

The CIF Schools Challenge Supporters

See our Supporters >

A look back at last years event