Holcim Foundation


Mentoring and supporting emerging professionals

Research in Practice Grant recipients report on progress to the Academic Committee of the LafargeHolcim Foundation

The first LafargeHolcim Research in Practice Grant (RPG) recipients updated members of the Academic Committee (AC) of the LafargeHolcim Foundation on the progress of their research. The RPG update meeting was held at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) and followed on from an initial meeting in April 2019 at the 6th Forum in Cairo. The core aim of the RPG program is to mentor and financially-support emerging professionals to conduct leading edge, practice-related research in the field of sustainable construction.

The grant recipients are Heidi Boulanger, University of Pretoria, South Africa, who is furthering her research on integrating production facilities for construction material into rural communities, creating new urban nodes. Stefano Romagnoli, Juan Cruz Serafini, and Tomás Pont are using their grant to advance an infrastructure-landscape project for the generation of electric power by harnessing tidal currents they co-developed at the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina. Nada Nafeh, American University in Cairo, Egypt is developing an approach to improve living conditions in informal settlements.

RPG2020-ETH-143648.jpgState-of-the-art research

RPG recipients were also shown state-of-the-art research on sustainable construction and materials technology across Switzerland at the Arc-Tec-Lab and NEST. The excursion was hosted by Head of the AC, Marc Angélil, Architect and Professor of Architecture & Design, ETH Zurich, members of the AC Harry Gugger, Professor of Architectural & Urban Design and Head, Laboratoire Bâle (laba), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), Dirk Hebel, Professor of Sustainable Construction, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie in Karlsruhe, Germany and Guillaume Habert, Professor of Sustainable Construction, Department of Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering, ETH Zurich as well as Mariana Popescu, PhD researcher, Block Research Group, ETH Zurich.

Arch_Tech_Lab is a new building for the Institute of Technology in Architecture at ETH Zurich’s Hönggerberg Campus. The new building will be characterized by digital fabrication, the implementation of building information modelling (BIM), and the zero-emissions concept and in the process forge new paths within digitalized and process-oriented construction systems in the building industry. The Arch_Tech_Lab allows the most recent findings from research to be tested and ultimately introduced as possible new building systems in the construction industry’s innovation process.

LafargeHolcim Awards – Opportunity for the next generation

The LafargeHolcim Awards seek bold ideas from the next generation that combine sustainable construction solutions with architectural excellence. The recipients of the two-year LafargeHolcim Research in Practice Grant (RPG) of USD 75,000 based on the evaluation of their project were selected from Next Generation prize winners of the 5th LafargeHolcim Awards in 2017.

Last Updated: September 11, 2019
Article Details
Zurich, Switzerland
Related Information
Related News
LafargeHolcim Research in Practice Grants for young professionals in Argentina, Egypt and South Africa
LafargeHolcim Research in Practice Grants for young professionals in Argentina, Egypt and …

More than 50 young architects and engineers participated in the international LafargeHolcim Next Generation Awards Lab hosted by Universidad…

Holcim Foundation

Search Help

Our website search engine covers the web pages including project descriptions and expert profiles, PDFs, images and videos on the Holcim Foundation website. To improve your search results, here are some tips:

Basic search

Our search defaults to term-pairing AND. If you search sustainable construction - then the search engine will look for any items containing sustainable AND construction


photovoltaic OR solar

Looks for either word


(clay OR mud) AND (school OR university)

Combine alternative terms for more specific searching


geothermal -heating

Excludes a term from results, automatically ANDs other terms listed


"zero carbon"

Use quotation marks to search for a specific phrase or combination

Wildcards (one or more characters)


Asterisk (*) matches any word or phrase - so archit* will find architect, architecture, architectural as well as architrave