Holcim Foundation



Constructing Sustainability
An Evolving Mission


The Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction is committed to sustainability as an unconditional principle, asserting that environmentally conscious building practices require a mutually reinforcing interplay of responsible ecological, economic, and social objectives. The building sector must drive the transition from a linear to a circular economy of renewable material and energy resources.

To frame this approach, five Target Issues for sustainable construction were identified by the Foundation as guidelines for sustaining the human-made habitat for current and future generations. These targets provide under the headings of Progress, People, Planet, Prosperity, and Place together are critical to making the environments we build and inhabit truly future-viable for all terrestrial stakeholders.

This booklet contains an explanation of the five Target Issues and illustrates the diverse approaches to their application drawn from previous Holcim Awards winning projects and the work of experts associated with the Holcim Foundation, curated by Marc Angélil, former Dean of Architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), and Cary Siress, an architect, urban theorist, and design educator.

The publication also features a more detailed Best Practice example of the Refugio Road Ranch in Santa Ynez, California, USA. The essay by architect Sarah Graham, Founding Partner of agps architecture, explains the design and implementation approach used to get a site “somewhere out there in rural Santa Barbara County” to work in the most ecologically minded way possible. The “cheap materiality” of construction, and flexibility of use illustrate how the site performs in economic and social terms.


Product Information
1st edition | 88 pages | 91 Illustrations (colored)
15cm x 21 cm | Paperback | Language: English

ISBN: 978-3-9524971-2-8


About This Book
Contributing authors
Marc Angélil
Marc Angélil

Marc Angélil is Professor Emeritus of Architecture & Design, ETH Zurich; was Head of the Academic Committee (2013-19) and member of the

Sarah Graham
Sarah Graham

Sarah Graham is a Founding Partner of agps architecture in Los Angeles and Zurich; and was a member of the Holcim Awards jury for North

Edward Schwarz
Edward Schwarz

Edward Schwarz was General Manager of the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction from its inception in 2003 until the end of 2021.

Cary Siress
Cary Siress

Cary Siress is a Senior Researcher in Territorial Organization at the Singapore-ETH Centre (SEC) Future Cities Laboratory, based in Singapore.

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