"Sustainable construction - Holcim Awards 2005/2006" features expert contributions and prize winning projects

A contemporary snapshot of the global state of sustainable construction

In the first Holcim Awards competition for sustainable construction projects, over 3000 entries were submitted from 120 countries and USD 2.1 million in prize money was awarded to projects to be built in 21 countries. The book Sustainable construction – Holcim Awards 2005/2006 provides an overview of the competition and the winning projects in a contemporary snapshot of the global state of sustainable construction.

Last updated: January 11, 2007 Zurich, Switzerland

The way of building significantly influences the sustainability of our planet because the construction industry consumes one quarter of the current global material and energy use. The book shows that sustainable construction is important in every country, takes many forms, operates at many scales, incorporates many disciplines, and demands the consideration of many aspects: technical, social, political, economic, environmental, even spiritual or philosophical.

The 200-page large-format book commemorates the first cycle of the Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction, held by the Holcim Foundation. It is written for design professionals and the construction industry, but also for a broader audience by giving an overview of the current global status of sustainable construction. The inspirational and extensively-illustrated book is filled with valuable and practical ideas and designs from around the world.

The book describes and illustrates the 46 construction projects selected by independent expert juries for a regional or global Holcim Award as well as the winners of Acknowledgement or Encouragement prizes. It explains the “target issues” for sustainable construction, which serve as evaluation criteria used to judge the competition.

The five juries that assessed the entries in the initial phase of the competition, and the global jury that evaluated the final round are introduced and a taste given of the regional Awards ceremonies held in Beijing, Boston, Geneva, Johannesburg and Rio de Janeiro and the global gala in Bangkok. Detailed chapters of the book are dedicated to each of the four global winners; these behind-the-scene essays show the enthusiasm, care, and technical skill that dedicated teams put into their winning projects located in Canada, Germany, Italy and Venezuela (see box).

Furthermore, the book features contributions from international proponents of sustainable construction

Marc Angélil and Cary Siress, professors of architecture and urban design at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), trace the historic development of sustainable construction as documented by seminal books published since the 1960s.

Klaus Töpfer (Germany), former Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), discusses the urban, environmental, demographic, and energy issues that are shaping the world in which our grandchildren will live.
Baby steps and giant leaps

Yolanda Kakabadse (Ecuador), Joint Coordinator of the United Nations Millennium Project Task Force on Environmental Sustainability, asserts that traditional resources and the associated social values must play a role in solving modern problems, citing a valuable resource that deserves revival – bamboo.
The essence of sustainable construction

Hansjürg Leibundgut, professor of structural engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), explains a pervasive global socioeconomic problem – the correlation between the dissipation of resources and the concentration of capital.
Beyond dissipation and concentration

Ashok B. Lall, Dean of Studies at TVB School of Habitat Studies in India, investigates the environmental consequences of social values and habits that shape cities and urban lifestyle.
Urbanization of emerging economies

Saïd Mouline, General Architect for the Moroccan government, explains that even basic needs are not simple, but involve the full range of concerns of sustainable development.
Basic needs to cultural values and local identity

Donald Bates, principal of LAB Architecture Studio in Melbourne, London, and Beijing, is an artfully illustrated and inspiring story about beginnings and ends, ideas and architecture, dreams and possibilities.
An architectural fable

The second Holcim Awards competition to promote sustainable construction worldwide will open on June 1, 2007. Entries in the competition can be submitted until February 29, 2008 at www.holcimawards.org. The prize money for the five regional competitions and the global Awards totals USD two million.

Book details

Sustainable construction – Holcim Awards 2005/2006 is published by the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction, Hagenholzstrasse 85, CH-8050 Zurich, Switzerland. ISBN 978-3-7266-0076-1. The book can be ordered from the Holcim Foundation. The book can be downloaded: First Awards Book

The stories of the winners 

Gold – Venezuela: The three female architects from Proyectos Arqui 5 CA in Venezuela are considered angels by the residents of San Rafael-Unido, one of the sprawling informal settlements of Caracas that the architects have been working to improve, not replace – the community is socially intact and is home to tens of thousands despite the virtually nonexistent urban infrastructure. 
Just upgrade it! - Upgrading San Rafael-Unido, Urban Integration Project, Caracas, Venezuela

Gold – Germany: A radical design for the new main train station in Stuttgart, Germany has captivated Christoph Ingenhoven and his architecture office in Düsseldorf. Their monumental work of urban design will transform the city center from a complex dissected by rail yards into a beautiful and functional urban-scale place for people.
Aesthetic of disappearance - Main Station Stuttgart, Germany

Silver – Italy: Luigi Centola is leading an international team to realize his master plan for the renovation and adaptive reuse of a string of dilapidated mills along the Canneto River – a project designed to reinvigorate the local economy, preserve the historic structures, and conserve the cultural heritage of the Mulini Valley near Amalfi in Italy.
The power of water - Renewal Strategy for the Mulini Valley, Amalfi, Italy 

Bronze – Canada: Daniel Pearl and the architects of L'OEUF in Montreal, Canada have been comprehensively absorbed – socially, politically, financially, and architecturally – in their project to restore and improve an iconic residential neighborhood of Montreal. Their work certifies that the rare but highly valuable combination of low-cost housing and environmentally-advanced design is possible.
Green, social and complex - Greening the Infrastructure at Benny Farm, Montréal, Canada