Definition – Ethical standards and social inclusion – People
Projects must adhere to the highest ethical standards and promote social inclusion at all stages of construction, from planning and building to use and servicing. To ensure an enduring positive impact on communities, proposals must demonstrate how they enhance the collective realm and contribute to an affordable and socially inclusive habitat, including the fair distribution of any related revenue.
- Adherence to ethical standards in all phases of the project.
- Contributions to the formation of socially-viable environments, strengthening of shared values and empowerment of communities.
- Participation of stakeholders, including users, clients, neighborhood affiliations, co-operative members, local authorities, and non-governmental organizations.
- Quality of working conditions in the construction industry, including requisite on-site amenities for workers; and specific attention also given to fair compensation, adequate benefits, sanitation, safety, as well as gender and ethnic equality.
- Political transparency, unbiased tender processes, commitment to principled interaction among involved parties, code of conduct for contractors and suppliers, and just business practices, all in the effort to prevent corruption at every level.
May 18, 2019 | "People" Example | Constitución, Chile
Tragedy as opportunity: The master plan for the reconstruction of the Chilean city of Constitución which was struck by a tsunami in 2010 produces new and enhanced urban space by responding to “geographical threats” with “geographical answers”, as architect Alejandro Aravena (Elemental, Santiago de Chile) describes it. His project (pictured) won Holcim Awards Silver 2011 Latin America and includes public infrastructure and housing.
January 12, 2017 | "People" Example | Zurich, Switzerland
Focusing on “people-centered performance” is important for increasing sustainability of the built environment. One of the five “target issues” created by the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction is “PEOPLE”. The “target issues” are used in the Holcim Awards competition to evaluate and compare all entries. The human factor of sustainability is supported by projects that reflect a sensitive understanding of their unique social and political contexts, and generate the potential for long-lasting positive impacts on the local community.
Within the many facets of ethical standards and social inclusion that form the people “target issue”, the process of community consultation is crucial in many projects. By enabling the active participation of stakeholders in the design and implementation phases of a project – including users, clients, neighborhood affiliations, local authorities and non-governmental organizations – there is a significant opportunity for strengthening shared values and empowering communities.
Community consultation enhances the capacity of the design team to identify and more sufficiently understand locally significant factors, and encourages design solutions that address the distinctive elements of each specific context. The community-centered approach avoids designing from a “clean slate”, but uses its understanding of the well-established community social system to design and implement interventions that are intertwined with improving lives.
Going with the flow
An urban water transport system for Bangkok, Thailand by DI Designs proposes to revive the ancient canals of the city to create a modern network of waterways that will supplement the existing Metropolitan Rapid Transit system. After winning a Holcim Acknowledgement prize in 2014, the project authors are engaged in community consultation with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to ensure the waterways are part of a sustainable urban master plan for the city.
DI Designs were part of a team set the task of studying and finding ways to improve the housing of the many informal communities that live along Ladprao and Bang Sue canals. The process included many meetings and workshops with community leaders, government organizations, universities and private sector companies who were interested to be a part of the urban development along the canal. The objective of DI Designs is to work in detail with the related organizations so that their Resurrected Canals concept is included in the nation’s Thailand 4.0 smart city plan.
Read project overview: Resurrected Canals: Urban water transport system, Bangkok, Thailand
Information driven design
The Dryline (BIG U) addresses New York City’s vulnerability to coastal flooding with a protective ribbon in Southern Manhattan. The 12 km-long infrastructural barrier incorporates public space with the high-water barrier doubling as parks, seating, bicycle shelters or skateboard ramps. Through the greater understanding developed by consulting with the communities in lower Manhattan, the project not only looked at the water situation, but was also able to ask: What else do the local communities need? Can the design combine water management measures with solutions to other problems and deficiencies identified by the community?”
In partnership with LESReady! (a coalition of more than 25 community groups coordinating planning efforts for the Lower East Side neighborhood in Manhattan), a series of public outreach work sessions with community end-users were conducted. Residents were invited to build their own resilient waterfront through drawings and interactive models with an array of options for creating a collective vision for their waterfront.
The Dryline was created from the specific knowledge of external specialists, as well as the local community. The founder of BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) emphasized how the design work of his office is driven by information. “Our role was to take these inputs and synthesize a design solution that is informed by this wealth of knowledge,” explains Bjarke Ingels, winner of the Global Awards Bronze for 2015.
Read project overview: The Dryline: Urban flood protection infrastructure, New York, USA
What is the right question?
The Sustainable Post-tsunami Reconstruction Master Plan from Elemental led by Alejandro Aravena was developed after the 2010 earthquake and tsunami that struck Constitución, a city of 46,000 people in southern Chile. The masterplan responds with “geographical answers” to the “geographical threats” of the earthquake and tsunami risk.
By bringing the community into the process to understand the problems – the design process ensures that the “right questions” are the focus. Through community consultation, the design team broadened the scope of the project to address issues of seasonal flooding and public space: using a forest band between the city and the sea that would dissipate the force of future tsunami waves, but would also address the more immediate concerns of the community. Five years after implementation began, most elements of the project have been implemented to improve the quality of the city. The approach was able to negotiate private benefit with common good.See more
January 21, 2015 | "People" Example | Beit Iksa, Palestine
Reviving the historic center of a village of 1,600 people, the project responds to isolation and limited resources. Two abandoned buildings will be adapted for reuse as working spaces with an eco-kitchen, followed by the rehabilitation of surrounding spaces. The new facilities will include interactive educational playgrounds for children, winter and summer seating areas, and a protected bird habitat – combining design, planning, restoration, landscaping, and infrastructure.
The project is based on a year-long process with the community prior to its implementation. Women led the way in the training on grey water and green roof installation. The building itself has been leased free-of-charge to the women for 12 years. Local landlords offered the surrounding spaces for communal use. The project is based on local knowledge in construction, combining high-tech features using low-tech means. Traditional building materials on site are recycled. Rammed earth and gabion wall techniques were tested as alternatives to concrete. Since Palestine is one of the busiest corridors for bird migration in the world, hosting around 500 million birds every season, and Beit Iksa is located along the bird route – part of the project is a decorative bird folly that provides a nesting and rest-area.
The project is a collective effort; Riwaq initiated and fund-raised for the project, the community contributed from its own resources, individuals offered their properties, and the Village Council offered public works. Once completed, the eco-kitchen will support 35 women bread-winners, contributing to long-term economic and social life through the reclamation of the historic space and reintroduction of communal practices.See more
August 18, 2012 | "People" Example | Chwiter, Morocco
These principles are enhanced by combining design-inherent shading and natural ventilation with modern technologies such as heat pumps and solar panels all of which enable low energy requirements in both construction and operation.
The design approach for this training center in the Marrakesh satellite suburb of Chwiter concentrates on the use of nearby resources including the workforce and earth as the primary construction material.
The new center was winner of a Holcim Awards Bronze in 2011, and will provide jobs and vocational training to the community of Chwiter as well as youth from Marrakesh. As the future users of the Center will be involved in the construction, they can apply construction techniques towards improving informal housing in the satellite town.
The construction of the Center will enhance the local economy, through providing meaningful and fairly-paid labor. The building technology using earth as the principal building material is low-cost and widely-available and therefore is accessible to people from every economic level.See more
November 23, 2009 | "People" Example | Thulhiriya, Sri Lanka
This clothing factory in Sri Lanka is a visionary departure from standard approaches. It claims to be the world’s first clothing factory powered solely by carbon-neutral sources, with the payback period for the extra cost of making the building sustainable of only five years.
The health and well-being of staff is central to the design of the factory. The building offers a comfortable, healthful, and attractive indoor environment for all users. As part of its service to employees, the plant provides bus transport to and from the factory for staff, as well as on-site meals, medical care and banking.
The production floor is divided into separate areas where works collaborate in autonomous teams, enhancing productive and employee satisfaction. The eco-factory is an ethical response to consumers who called for stronger environmental stewardship. The beautiful and stimulating environment is uplifting: the factory is a place where people are considered with respect and dignity.See more