USD 220,000 in prize money was presented to the best submissions from Asia Pacific in the Holcim Awards competition for sustainable construction projects. The competition run by the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction in collaboration with five of the world’s leading technical universities aims to promote sustainable approaches to the built environment.
At the awards ceremony held in Beijing, China’s Vice Chairman of the Environment and Resources Protection Committee and member of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, Feng Zhijun, said that sustainability had become a critical issue globally. Using the example of China, he showed how maintaining the momentum of economic development in balance with environmental performance and social responsibility demanded sustainable construction as one part of the solution. “In a rapidly developing economy such as China’s, reaching a balance between the needs of humanity and the environment was a critical need now - and also in the future,” he said.
Contribution to sustainable development
The awards ceremony for the region of Asia Pacific was held at the historic Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing. More than 300 politicians, diplomats, architects, and business people from 12 countries in the region attended the event. In his welcome address Holcim Ltd Chairman and Holcim Foundation Advisory Board Chairman, Dr. Rolf Soiron (Switzerland), stressed that progress and sustainable development are closely linked to the name Holcim: “Through the Holcim Foundation we are significantly promoting public understanding of sustainable construction.”
Head of the Holcim Awards jury for Asia Pacific and Director of Lab Architecture Studio, Donald Bates (Australia), emphasized in his keynote address the absolute necessity for architecture and urban design professionals to adapt their concepts to meet the economic, environmental and social demands that emerge through the design process. “Understanding the social and economic shifts that have lead to the emergence of new urban lifestyles out of the intersections and fusions in the traditionally segregated domains of work, culture, leisure and the home was part of the broader framework of sustainable construction,” he said.
Gold Award to regeneration project
The first prize of USD 100,000 went to a design project for the regeneration of a clan settlement at Hangzhou, China, by architect Professor Chang Qing of Shanghai. The project was selected by a panel of internationally renowned representatives from science, business and society from almost 300 entries submitted from the Asia Pacific region. Member of the Holcim Awards jury for Asia Pacific and Professor, TVB School of Habitat Studies, Ashok B. Lall (India), said that the entry showed an innovative response to the issue of ageing cities in China. “The scheme successfully demonstrates how new urban spaces can be integrated within the texture of traditional neighborhoods,” he said. The project was also praised for its ethically sensitive engagement with local residents, and ecological approach.
Silver Award to coral restoration
The second prize of USD 50,000 went to a project to construct substrates for accelerated coral restoration in the Philippines, by Ronald Roland Cesar Rodriguez. This project provides a habitat for marine life by assisting the regeneration of coral reefs. Jury member Ashok B. Lall said that the project showed sensitivity to economic issues by promoting a low-cost incremental infrastructure that did not rely on large-scale investment. “The project yields not only a positive environmental impact by encouraging coral growth, but also increases the quantity and diversity of fish species for nearby fishing communities,” he said.
Bronze for urban housing renovation “air suit”
Third prize of USD 25,000 went to a urban housing renovation project to create a building envelope “air suit” in Hiroshima, Japan, by architect Kazuhide Doi of Hiroshima. Ashok B. Lall said that the “air suit” project showed a highly transferable and context sensitive approach and provided a solution to extending building life that is beneficial on both an economic and ecological level. “More than merely a cosmetic alteration, this technique of renovation assures that the living quality of the city is enhanced at the same time as the life expectancy of its buildings is increased,” he said.
Three Acknowledgment prizes and three Encouragement prizes
Three Acknowledgment prizes of USD 10,000 were also awarded in Beijing. The Acknowledgement prizes went to a public utilities project in China, and two housing projects in China and India. In presenting the prizes, Tongji University Dean of Architecture and Planning, and member of the regional Holcim Awards jury, Wu Zhiqiang (China), said that all three projects may well prove to be pioneers in sustainable construction. “The projects showed innovative approaches to ethical, energy consumption and stakeholder engagement, and could equally be applied in other locations,” he said.
Encouragement prizes which recognize the achievements of young professionals whose projects are particularly inspirational were also presented at the Holcim Awards. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Regional Director and Representative (Asia and the Pacific), and member of the regional Holcim Awards jury, Surendra Shrestha (Thailand/Nepal) said that including the next generation in approaches to sustainable construction was an important element of the Awards competition. “Including the young in the approach is especially important because sustainability must always be forward-looking,” he said when presenting the prizes. An agricultural education campus (Philippines), a community concept plan (China) and a higher-density housing project (China) received Encouragement prizes of USD 5,000 each.
Independent, first-class jury
The projects submitted in the competition were judged by an independent jury comprising leading architects, engineers, and university professors. The ten-person jury used as a measure the five criteria for sustainable construction that the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction has adopted. These criteria were defined in collaboration with renowned universities including Tongji University, Shanghai, China, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich, Switzerland), and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, USA). The criteria range from environmental and aesthetic quality to high ethical and economic standards.
A fifth of the global entries from Asia Pacific
The competition drew great interest in Asia Pacific, with almost 300 entries from 17 countries spanning from Kazakhstan to New Zealand. Globally, over 1,500 projects from 118 countries were submitted. The spectrum of entries was enormous. It ranged from innovative materials and construction elements to sustainable concepts for large buildings and urban development plans.
The Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction is recognizing this year the regional winners in the five regions Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa Middle East, and Asia Pacific. The three best projects from each region will participate automatically in the global Awards competition to be celebrated in April 2006 in Bangkok.
Winners of the Holcim Awards competition 2005 in Asia Pacific
Holcim Award Gold 2005
Project: "Design for a Clan Settlement's Regeneration"
Winner: Prof. CHANG Qing, Head of Department of Architecture, Tongji University, China
Holcim Award Silver 2005
Project: "Concrete Substrates for Accelerated Coral Restoration"
Winner: Ronald Roland Cesar Rodriguez, Manager Diamond Marketing, Philippines
Holcim Award Bronze 2005
Project: "Air Suit - Housing Renovation"
Winner: Kazuhide Doi, Architect from Hiroshima, Japan
WANG Shu and LU Wenyu, architects from Hangzhou for project "Five Scattered Houses, Ning Bo, China"
Satya Sheel, Industrialist and Ms Anamika, green building design consultant, for project "Chaupal - Eco House, New Delhi, India"
ZHANG Hongru and LIU Chao, architects from Shanghai, for project "SRIBS Minimal-Energy Link House, Shanghai, China"
LI Zhigang, urban planner from Shanghai for project "BARN-ing Community Concept Plan of Dongzhou, Fuyang, China"
Artessa Niccola D. Saldivar-Sali, civil engineer and Aaron Julius Morado Lecciones, student at the University of the Philippines for project "Ivatan Agricultural Campus, Itbayat, Philippines"
SHEN Yongde and WANG Yanyu, students at Southwest Jiaotong University and their teacher WANG Wei for project "2+2+1 House, Chengdu, China"
The Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction promotes innovative approaches to sustainable construction mainly through international Awards competitions. Architectural excellence and enhanced quality of life are integral parts of the Holcim Foundation’s vision of sustainable construction. The Holcim Foundation is supported by, but independent of the commercial interests of Holcim, one of the world’s leading suppliers of cement, aggregates (crushed stone, gravel and sand), concrete and construction-related services. The Group holds majority and minority interests in more than 70 countries on all continents.