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July 23, 2021 | Media Release | Venice, Italy

A blueprint for the future

A blueprint for the futureStriatus is an arched, unreinforced masonry footbridge composed of 3D-printed concrete blocks assembled without mortar. The 16x12-metre footbridge is the first of its kind, combining traditional techniques of master builders with advanced computational design, engineering, and robotic manufacturing technologies.

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July 09, 2021 | Media Release | Zurich, Switzerland

July 07, 2021 | Proposition for Circular Construction | Berlin, Germany

Stuart Smith on how to “Reconfigure Parts”

Stuart Smith on how to “Reconfigure Parts”Stuart Smith is emphatic: we must extend the lifecycle of individual components rather than systematically discarding entire structures. He cites a recent anecdote about his coffee machine to illustrate his point: when the appliance suddenly stopped working, he could buy a new one – but this option would send the old machine with all its valuable materials to a scrap heap when a single faulty part was probably to blame. In the same way, we must move beyond the discard/demolish approach to buildings.

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June 21, 2021 | Media Release | Zurich, Switzerland

LafargeHolcim Awards Next Generation prize winners

LafargeHolcim Awards Next Generation prize winners The sixth LafargeHolcim Awards competition cycle is coming to a close: 21 projects by students and young practitioners around the globe have been awarded. They show that members of the next generation are concerned with the sustainable future of construction on many levels – and that they are prepared to go completely new ways to achieve it.

Read more » Lesen Sie mehr (German) » Más información (Spanish) » Pour en savoir plus (French) »

June 18, 2021 | Media Release | Zurich, Switzerland

Announcement of Next Generation prize winners Asia Pacific

Announcement of Next Generation prize winners Asia PacificThe LafargeHolcim Awards are the world’s most significant competition for sustainable design. The Next Generation category recognizes the visionary concepts and bold ideas of young professionals and students. Due to the high quality of the entries in the competition region of Asia Pacific, the jury selected not four but five projects to receive Next Generation prizes. The winning projects from India, Thailand, and Indonesia all share a strong focus on social sustainability.

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June 17, 2021 | Media Release | Zurich, Switzerland

Announcement of Next Generation prize winners Middle East Africa

Announcement of Next Generation prize winners Middle East AfricaThe LafargeHolcim Awards are the world’s most significant competition for sustainable design. The Next Generation category recognizes the visionary concepts and bold ideas of young professionals and students. In the competition region of Middle East Africa, the jury selected four entries to receive Next Generation prizes. The winning projects from Uganda, Jordan, Sierra Leone, and Iraq have one thing in common: an intrinsic optimism about the future.

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June 16, 2021 | Media Release | Zurich, Switzerland

June 15, 2021 | Media Release | Zurich, Switzerland

Announcement of Next Generation prize winners North America

Announcement of Next Generation prize winners North AmericaThe LafargeHolcim Awards are the world’s most significant competition for sustainable design. The Next Generation category recognizes the visionary concepts and bold ideas of young professionals and students. In the competition region of North America, the jury selected four entries to receive Next Generation prizes. The winning projects all address fundamental issues and challenges.

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June 14, 2021 | Media Release | Zurich, Switzerland

Announcement of Next Generation prize winners Europe

Announcement of Next Generation prize winners EuropeThe LafargeHolcim Awards are the world’s most significant competition for sustainable design. The Next Generation category recognizes the visionary concepts and bold ideas of young professionals and students. In the competition region of Europe, the jury selected four entries to receive Next Generation prizes. The winning projects from Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, and the United Kingdom each highlight a different aspect of sustainable construction.

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May 12, 2021 | Proposition for Circular Construction | Zurich, Switzerland

Philippe Block on how to “Produce Leaner”

Philippe Block on how to “Produce Leaner”Philippe Block pushes boundaries. He calls into question the very postulates underlying design and what is currently considered feasible and desirable in construction. He urges all actors in the industry to “produce leaner” and move from a wasteful take-make-throw model to a circular take-make-repeat economy. This transition to circular construction can be achieved systematically by taking into consideration aspects including raw material consumption, environmental impact of a material over its lifecycle, as well as the structural geometry of building design.

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May 06, 2021 | Project Update | Augst, Switzerland

Phase 1 of Roman settlement excavation center completed

Phase 1 of Roman settlement excavation center completedPart workspace, part archive, part exhibition gallery, the Archaeological Center Augusta Raurica represents the first headquarters for a significant cultural institution safeguarding the largest Roman site in Switzerland. Phase one of construction of the excavation center in the village of Augst near Basel, Switzerland of 4,200 square meters is completed – and a further 5,200 square meters are currently being added as phase two of the LafargeHolcim Awards prize winning project by Karamuk Kuo Architects from Zurich.

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April 29, 2021 | Proposition for Circular Construction | Paris, France

Anne Lacaton on the philosophy of “Always Transform”

Anne Lacaton on the philosophy of “Always Transform”Celebrated for placing sustainability and humanity at the heart of their practice, Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal are the prestigious Pritzker Prize for Architecture laureates of 2021.

At a time when construction is still generating almost 40% of all waste to landfill globally, and when governments are recognizing the challenges of resource efficiency in the push to achieve sustainability goals, their maxim of “never demolish, always transform” strikes a resounding note in favour of circular construction.

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April 20, 2021 | New European Bauhaus | Brussels, Belgium

LafargeHolcim Foundation joins the New European Bauhaus as an Official Partner

LafargeHolcim Foundation joins the New European Bauhaus as an Official PartnerThe New European Bauhaus is an environmental, economic and cultural project, aimed at combining design, sustainability, accessibility, affordability and investment. The project help to deliver the European Green Deal – a set of policies set out by the European Commission to make Europe climate neutral by 2050.

The LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction has been selected to become an Official Partner of the New European Bauhaus and will act as a promoter and key dialogue stakeholder throughout the initiative.

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April 07, 2021 | The Materials Book | Cambridge, United Kingdom

Bringing together small improvements to deliver transformations in performance

Bringing together small improvements to deliver transformations in performanceConstruction is a ten-trillion-dollar industry that underpins economies and worker productivity. Yet despite its importance, construction sector productivity has been flatlining – and practices that have transformed other sectors, including automation and lean principles, have not yet been adopted. Marginal Gains in Construction (MaGIC) brings together multiple programs of work that examine mainstream construction, rather than its glamorous extremes, to achieve maximum impact.

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March 18, 2021 | The Pritzker Architecture Prize | Chicago, IL, USA

Lacaton & Vassal win “Nobel Prize” for Architecture

Lacaton & Vassal win “Nobel Prize” for ArchitectureAnne Lacaton and Jean-Phillipe Vassal have been selected as 2021 Pritzker Architecture Prize laureates and are acclaimed for their work on public housing and sustainable design. Under the mantra of “Never demolish, never remove or replace, always add, transform, and reuse!” – their approach pursues economic, social and environmental performance that addresses the challenges of building smarter, greener and for all.

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March 11, 2021 | Global LafargeHolcim Awards 2021 | Zurich, Switzerland

Hybrid meeting to select world’s best in sustainable design

Hybrid meeting to select world’s best in sustainable designThe jury of nine experts are currently selecting the global prize winners in the 6th International LafargeHolcim Awards for Sustainable Construction. The 33 finalist projects from 25 countries are displayed as a poster exhibition in Zurich and are also made available via an online platform for jury members who were unable to travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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March 03, 2021 | The Materials Book | San Rafael, CA, USA

The new carbon architecture

The new carbon architectureIn the effort to halt and reverse climate change, the embodied carbon of building materials matters more than anyone had thought. We are in technological reach, within a generation, of creating buildings and cities that generate more energy than they use, reverse the emissions engine, cool the climate and make nicer places to live and work.

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February 24, 2021 | The Materials Book | New Delhi, India

Greener and more circular approaches to building materials

Greener and more circular approaches to building materialsThe Society for Technology & Action for Rural Advancement (TARA), a three-decade- old social enterprise based in New Delhi, develops greener technologies and processes for the construction industry. Three of these – EcoKilns, Limestone Calcined Clay Cement (LC3), and new methods for the reuse of construction waste – have been proven at commercial scale and are being adopted by companies small and large.

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February 22, 2021 | The Materials Book | Lausanne, Switzerland

Monitoring material flows and their regenerative values

Monitoring material flows and their regenerative valuesIn a world where data is ubiquitous, it might seem easy to monitor material and energy flows through urban systems. Policymakers and society as a whole rarely acknowledge resource, energy, or water scarcity. More often than not, they are not properly measured, or only partially so, even though a misleading indicator can be as detrimental as no measure at all: both can steer us in the wrong direction.

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February 17, 2021 | Board Update | Sydney, Australia

Maria Atkinson AM to chair Board of the LafargeHolcim Foundation

Maria Atkinson AM to chair Board of the LafargeHolcim FoundationThe LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction ensures that its activities are aligned with the leading-edge of sustainable development across architectural, scientific, cultural and policy concerns. The important role of setting strategic direction is the responsibility of the Board of the LafargeHolcim Foundation.

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February 17, 2021 | The Materials Book | Paris, France

Reducing the embodied emissions of the built environment

Reducing the embodied emissions of the built environmentThe global urban population is projected to increase by 57% to 2.4 billion in the next 30 years – and material consumption is predicted to grow even faster. Without a new approach, the high demand for raw materials far exceeds what the planet can sustainably provide. A promising opportunity for reducing carbon emissions in the built environment and infrastructure is incorporating the principles of the circular economy into all phases of a building’s cycle, which can help meet the needs of the built space while contributing to the goal of carbon neutrality.

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February 12, 2021 | Video series | Zurich, Switzerland

Ideas on how to build greener and smarter

Ideas on how to build greener and smarterBuildings and infrastructure account for almost 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions and the sector consumes finite resources at the rate of 40 billion tons of raw material every year. The LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction has produced six short videos that each focus on an important aspect of circular materials flows. The videos follow-on from expert discussions at the LafargeHolcim Forum on Re-materializing Construction and cover a selection of solutions to help reach net-zero targets for the building and infrastructure sector.

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February 10, 2021 | LafargeHolcim Awards | Zurich, Switzerland

Focus on low-carbon construction and circular material flows in LafargeHolcim Awards competition

Focus on low-carbon construction and circular material flows in LafargeHolcim Awards competitionA jury of nine experts will meet to select the global prize winners of the 6th International LafargeHolcim Awards for Sustainable Construction. 33 finalist projects from 25 countries will take part in the global phase of the competition. The LafargeHolcim Awards promotes innovation in how the built environment is engineered and designed – a crucial requirement to enable the transition to low-carbon construction and circular material flows.

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December 30, 2020 | Promoting Sustainable Design since 2003 | Zurich, Switzerland

Wishing you all the best for a safe, happy and prosperous New Year

Wishing you all the best for a safe, happy and prosperous New YearThe LafargeHolcim Foundation for SustainableConstruction looks forward to doing its part in 2021 to promote Carbon Neutral Construction that reduces CO2 in materials and processes; Circular Construction that recycles materials such as building and demolition waste; and Design Innovation & Digital Design to build more with less.

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December 09, 2020 | The Materials Book | Cairo, Egypt

An urban metabolism study in Cairo

An urban metabolism study in CairoAlthough cities are engines of economic development and concentrations of human activities, they are also hubs for consumption with the resulting environmental degradation. An urban metabolism study of two diverse districts of Cairo – a formal district and an informal one – aims to understand flows in these districts and propose locally-responsive interventions.

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December 04, 2020 | The Materials Book | Zurich, Switzerland

Reconnecting energy and climate to architectural design

Reconnecting energy and climate to architectural designBuildings consume energy in two main ways. Firstly, through their use of building materials and the energy required for the construction process, and secondly through the operation of the building. A large (and growing) contributor to this skyrocketing energy demand is the rapid growth and reliance on mechanical air-conditioning.

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November 13, 2020 | LafargeHolcim Roundtable | Zurich, Switzerland

Experts from academia and LafargeHolcim shape the next Forum of the LafargeHolcim Foundation

Experts from academia and LafargeHolcim shape the next Forum of the LafargeHolcim FoundationExperts including members of the Academic Committee (AC) of the LafargeHolcim Foundation and from top management of the LafargeHolcim Group took an active role in the first ever “internal” Roundtable for Sustainable Construction led by Marilyne Andersen, professor at EPFL Lausanne. The virtual meeting was the launchpad to define topics and speakers for the next symposium of the global LafargeHolcim Foundation – the LafargeHolcim Forum on “Re-manufacturing Construction” is scheduled for early 2022 in São Paulo, Brazil. The Forum will focus on sustainable construction in the scientific field to promote interdisciplinary dialog, bring forward new ideas, and examine potential solutions.

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November 02, 2020 | Foundations 24 | Eclepens, Switzerland

October 21, 2020 | Foundations 24 | Zurich, Switzerland

October 20, 2020 | Foundations 24 | Eclepens, Switzerland

October 18, 2020 | Publication Announcement | Zurich, Switzerland

September 30, 2020 | Project Update | Wellesley, MA, USA

The re-imagined greenhouse is growing on its residents

The re-imagined greenhouse is growing on its residentsConstruction of the LafargeHolcim Awards winning net-zero energy greenhouse at Wellesley College, USA was completed in 2019. Sustainable design is at the very core of the structure, form, and system – meeting sustainability metrics as a matter of course and then goes much further to achieve a virtuosity of integration. The Global Flora conservatory at the Margaret C Ferguson Greenhouses will open to the general public when renovation of the Science Center is completed, planned for early 2022. More than 1,000 varieties of plants are housed in the bio-friendly greenhouse – and are showing signs of handling the transition well.

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August 27, 2020 | LafargeHolcim Awards | Zurich, Switzerland

July 31, 2020 | The Materials Book | Cairo, Egypt

Harvesting Materials in a World of Finite Resources

Harvesting Materials in a World of Finite ResourcesA global discourse on materials must address the issue of the harvesting and repurposing of waste. Traditional waste management systems in the Global South are embedded in realities that are often too complex for systems based on the European model to understand. These informal, socially constructed systems are difficult for city planners to accommodate because they developed from the needs and realities of urban inhabitants and were not determined or implemented on a governmental level. They derive from the residents’ knowledge of informal markets and trading systems and provide the most destitute segments of society with incomes, livelihoods, trades, occupations, and economic growth opportunities that other sectors do not provide.

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July 21, 2020 | The Materials Book | Madrid, Spain

Sustainability is inseparable from nature

Sustainability is inseparable from natureTo speak about the materials of construction, as a designer, is to take into account the context of the materials. Starting with history: it’s been said that if you want to look far into the future, first look far into the past. History is inseparable from place. Sustainability, similarly, is inseparable from nature.

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July 15, 2020 | LafargeHolcim Awards | Eclepens, Switzerland

LafargeHolcim Awards juries nominate winners in world’s most significant competition for sustainable design

LafargeHolcim Awards juries nominate winners in world’s most significant competition for ...For each region of the world, nine jurors spent two to three days reviewing submissions and selecting the best projects and visions in sustainable construction. The expertly managed process nominates the potential winners and runners-up in the 6th International LafargeHolcim Awards competition. A multi-step verification process must confirm the winners now which will be communicated in 2021. Physical jury meetings and prize hand-over events had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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July 09, 2020 | The Materials Book | Zurich, Switzerland

Flexibility is essential for economic and environmental efficiency

Flexibility is essential for economic and environmental efficiencyThe well-known triad of environment, economy, and society depicts the many dimensions of sustainability in an understandable yet complex way. Architects must plan buildings – and cities – where people feel comfortable, find their manifold needs satisfied, and treat others with respect. As its needs evolve, a community must be able to identify with, take care of, and reuse buildings and cities instead of tearing them down. How long does a structure need to last? How easily can it be repurposed?

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June 29, 2020 | The Materials Book | Paris, France

Considering the existing as a valuable resource

Considering the existing as a valuable resourceMaking do is about using what we already have. It is about considering the existing as a valuable resource, not as unsatisfactory or constraining. Each existing situation is an opportunity consisting of elements, qualities, and capacities that can be integrated, reactivated, and reused. Each existing structure offers materials that can drastically reduce the need for new materials. Each site permits invention and imagination.

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June 25, 2020 | The Materials Book | Chennai, India

Paradigm shift: The city of 1,000 tanks – Chennai

Paradigm shift: The city of 1,000 tanks – ChennaiWater is a vital resource for all life, yet it is also associated with many of the greatest threats to humanity, from melting ice caps to toxic rivers. A holistic approach to water management can be an emblem for a culture of sustainability. 

Chennai currently works with a perception of scarcity – water is transported across long distances from unsustainable sources to nourish the city. India’s fourth most populous urban agglomeration receives more than enough rain to supply its population of almost ten million people, but the rainwater is quickly expelled into the sea. Wastewater is not reused as an asset; but is allowed to pollute the aquifer. By closing the water loop locally through rainwater harvesting and wastewater recycling, Chennai can become resilient.

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June 24, 2020 | Project Update | Mexico City, Mexico

Global LafargeHolcim Awards Gold winning project in Mexico City completed

Global LafargeHolcim Awards Gold winning project in Mexico City completedHydropuncture: La Quebradora Waterpark in Mexico City is about to open. Supplying enough clean drinking water on the one hand and mitigating urban flooding on the other is a problem that is as commonplace as it is paradoxical in Mexico City. A project to tackle both infrastructural and social challenges of urban water management is already a success story – because for a long time it seemed it would be stopped, mainly by bureaucratic hurdles.

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