Over 6,000 Holcim Awards entries highlight global importance of sustainable construction

The diverse geographic spread of entries and growth in submissions from developing countries confirms the importance of creating a more sustainable built environment.

April 15, 2014 |

The fourth cycle of the USD 2 million International Holcim Awards competition attracted more than 6,000 projects and visions in sustainable construction from 152 countries. The diverse geographic spread of entries and growth in submissions from developing countries confirms the importance of creating a more sustainable built environment. Entries will be screened for compliance before evaluation by independent juries in five regions of the world. The results will be announced at prize-handover events in the last quarter of this year.

The Holcim Awards recognizes innovative projects and future-oriented concepts, and is conducted in parallel across five regions. The broad range of submissions includes Main category projects at an advanced stage of design and “Next Generation” visions and ideas across architecture, building and civil engineering, landscape, urban design and infrastructure, as well as materials, products and construction technologies.

The 6,103 entries registered within the competition period reflect the growing importance of sustainable construction in emerging markets as well as a high awareness of this critical topic among young professionals and university students. Compared to previous cycles, the largest increase in participation was registered in Africa Middle East and the highest volume of entries came from Asia Pacific. The growing number of submissions in the “Next Generation” category for the first time balances the distribution of entries between the two competition categories.

All fully-completed entries will now undergo a formal check by Berlin-based architecture and urban design consultants, [phase eins]. Valid entries will then be presented to an independent jury panel in the region where the project is to be constructed (or where the project was conceptualized for the “Next Generation” category).

Evaluation by international experts

The Holcim Awards juries consist of internationally-renowned representatives from science, business and society and will be hosted by a Partner University of the Holcim Foundation and headed by: Jean-Philippe Vassal, Principal, Lacaton & Vassal Architectes (Europe); Toshiko Mori, Principal, Toshiko Mori Architect (North America); Bruno Stagno, Principal, Bruno Stagno Arquitecto y Asociados (Latin America); Howayda Al-Harithy, Professor of Architecture, American University of Beirut (Africa Middle East); and Rahul Mehrotra, Principal, Rahul Mehrotra Associates (Asia Pacific). A full list of members of each jury is available at: www.holcimawards.org/jury

The juries will evaluate entries using the five “target issues” implemented by the Holcim Foundation which examine each project’s contribution to sustainable construction across a broad spectrum of themes including the “triple bottom line” of environmental, social, and economic performance. An additional “target issue” applies specifically to architecture and place; and a final element recognizes the need for innovation and transferable approaches. A definition of the five “target issues” can be found at: www.holcimawards.org/target

Announcing the winning projects around the world

Winners will be informed as soon as the jury decisions are verified and the jury reports validated. The results of the regional Holcim Awards will be announced at prize-handover events and communicated via the Holcim Awards website on September 5 for Europe, September 19 for North America, October 3 for Latin America, October 17 for Africa Middle East and November 14 for Asia Pacific.

Winners of the gold, silver and bronze awards from each of the five regions automatically qualify for the Global Holcim Awards in 2015. Information regarding the next steps of the competition as well as on the first three cycles of the Holcim Awards featuring more than 150 winning projects is available at: www.holcimawards.org

Promoting sustainable construction

The Holcim Awards encourage architects, planners, engineers, project owners and students to share their projects and visions that go beyond conventional notions of sustainable construction. The competition is an initiative of the Swiss-based Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction. The Foundation promotes sustainable responses to the technological, environmental, socioeconomic and cultural issues affecting building and construction. It works closely with its Partner Universities: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich/EPFL), Switzerland; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA; Tongji University, China; Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil; University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa; Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico; Ecole Supérieure d’Architecture de Casablanca, Morocco; Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Bombay), India; American University of Beirut, Lebanon; Tsinghua University, China; and University of Melbourne, Australia.

The initiatives of the Holcim Foundation are supported by Holcim Ltd, a global leader in the manufacture and distribution of cement and aggregates (crushed stone, gravel, and sand), as well as other activities, including ready-mix concrete, asphalt, and associated services. Holcim Ltd holds majority and minority shareholdings in some 70 countries and on every continent.

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