Holcim Awards competition accepting submissions

$2 million international competition recognizes sustainable construction projects

News Holcim Inc. June 04, 2007
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The second Holcim Awards competition to promote sustainable construction worldwide is now open for submissions. The Holcim Awards are an international competition that recognizes projects that embody approaches to meet the present-day needs for housing and infrastructure without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs in times to come.

Entries in the competition can be submitted until Feb. 29, 2008 at www.holcimawards.org. The prize money for the five regional competitions and the global awards totals $2 million. The awards are an initiative of the Swiss-based Holcim Foundation to encourage and inspire a built environment that goes beyond convention to address the challenges of sustainability, and are supported in North America by the Holcim Ltd. group companies: Holcim (US) Inc., St. Lawrence Cement, and Aggregate Industries.

The global competition showcases sustainable responses to technological, environmental, socioeconomic and cultural issues affecting contemporary building and construction. The awards are open to anyone involved with projects in the area of sustainable construction, including architects, planners, engineers or project owners. All building projects are eligible for the competition if construction was not started before June 1, 2007. The first phase of the competition will select regional winners in 2008 that will automatically qualify for the global competition to be held in 2009.

In addition to construction projects at an advanced stage of design, the awards competition seeks visions and ideas at a conceptual level. This special category is open for professionals younger than 35 years of age.

Submissions in the awards competition are evaluated by independent juries in five regions of the world, using a five-point definition of sustainable construction. These "target issues" serve as a yardstick to measure the degree to which a building contributes to sustainable development. Three of the five target issues align with the primary goals of the Rio Agenda: balanced environmental, social and economic performance. One target issue applies specifically to building: the creation of good buildings, neighborhoods, towns and cities. A further target issue recognizes the need for significant advancements that can be applied on a broad scale: ecological quality and energy conservation; economic performance and compatibility; ethical standards and social equity; contextual and aesthetic impact and quantum change and transferability.

The juries will be headed by internationally renowned architects and academics: Harry Gugger, architect and author, Switzerland (region of Europe); Adèle Naude Santos, Dean of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA (North America); José Luis Cortés, Dean of Architecture, Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico (Latin America); Joe Addo, architect, Ghana (Africa Middle East) and Ashok Lall, architect, India (Asia Pacific). Charles Correa, an architect from India, will chair the jury of the global Holcim Awards competition. A full list of all members of each jury is available on www.holcimawards.org, where comprehensive information on the competition is available and entries can be submitted on-line in English only.

To carry out the competition, the Holcim Foundation works closely with leading technical universities: the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), Switzerland; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Mass., USA; Tongji University (TJU) in Shanghai, China; Universidad Iberoamericana (UIA) in Mexico City, Mexico and the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg, South Africa. These universities host the jury meeting in their regions. The Universidade de São Paulo (USP), Brazil is an associated university of the Foundation.

The Holcim Awards competition 2005-2006 attracted more than 3,000 submissions from 120 countries. Joint winners of the Global Awards Gold were an urban integration project in Caracas, Venezuela, and the design for a new main railway station in Stuttgart, Germany. The Global Awards Silver went to a regional masterplan and renewal strategy for the Mulini Valley near Amalfi, Italy and Bronze went to a low-cost housing and urban renewal project in Montreal, Canada. Details about all 46 prize-winning projects is available at www.holcimfoundation.org.

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