Following five regional competitions, 15 Award-winning projects will now compete in the first global Holcim Awards competition for sustainable construction projects. The global phase of the competition showcases the best entries from more than 1500 submissions from 118 countries, and encourages innovative, future-oriented and tangible approaches within the building and construction industry.
The competition was created by the Swiss-based Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction in collaboration with five of the world’s leading technical universities: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), Switzerland; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA; Tongji University (TJU), Shanghai, China; the University of São Paulo (USP), Brazil; and the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, South Africa.
As part of the three-year competition cycle with prize money totaling USD 2 million, all projects that received the gold, silver or bronze award in the five regional competitions automatically qualify for the global Holcim Awards. The global Holcim Awards winners will be announced in Bangkok in April 2006.
The challenge of assessing the innovative, future-oriented and tangible sustainable construction projects from around the globe will be performed by a jury of 15 independent, internationally-renowned representatives from science, business and society.
Head of the jury, and Dean of the MIT School of Architecture, Adèle Naudé Santos, said the selection of the global Awards would be based on further information submitted by each participant using the target issues for sustainable construction that the Holcim Foundation defined in collaboration with its partner universities. “The target issues provide a strong framework for assessing diverse projects – beyond a focus on architecture or the use of specific building materials, the competition is about the broad picture of sustainable construction,” she said. The criteria range from environmental and aesthetic quality to high ethical and economic standards.
The 15 global Awards finalists are the three top projects selected by the juries in each of the regions: Europe, Asia Pacific, North America, Africa Middle East and Latin America. At five regional Awards ceremonies in September and October in Geneva, Beijing, Boston, Johannesburg and Rio de Janeiro a total of 31 Acknowledgement and Encouragement prizes were awarded in addition to gold, silver and bronze Awards and confirmed the rapidly growing interest in sustainable construction around the globe.
Chairman of the Holcim Foundation Board, and CEO of Holcim Ltd, Markus Akermann, said the Holcim Foundation encourages sustainable responses to the technological, environmental, socio-economic and cultural issues affecting building and construction: “The Holcim Foundation aims to generate a community of recognized excellence in sustainable construction and plans are already under way for the next Forum and Awards competition in 2007,” he said.
The objective of the Holcim Foundation in cooperation with its partner universities is to establish the Holcim Awards as an international platform for professionals and specialists of all generations to promote interdisciplinary dialog, bring forward new ideas and examine potential solutions.