Princeton University student Georgian Baronian is examining how large-scale structures can benefit from using water on the roof as a thermal insulator and solar reflector. She was presented with her Global LafargeHolcim Awards Ideas prize by Roland Köhler, Chairman of the Board of the LafargeHolcim Foundation and Maria Atkinson, founding CEO of the Green Building Council of Australia, and member of the Board of the LafargeHolcim Foundation.
Georgina Baronian had already won the LafargeHolcim Awards Next Generation 1st prize in North America for her project that aims to find how to reduce the energy load of cooling “Big Box” structures such as warehouses. The Global LafargeHolcim Awards jury then selected three of the 40 Acknowledgement and Next Generation prize-winning projects from the regional phase of the competition to receive LafargeHolcim Awards Ideas prizes. “We felt that they offer exciting and novel ideas, even within proposals that are not yet fully developed,” said jury head Alejandro Aravena. The prizes were awarded ex aequo to Baronian’s project “Cooling Roof” as well as to “Refrigerating Jar” in Ghana and “Territorial Figure” in Argentina.
“Cooling Roof” considers the relationship between energy infrastructures and the spaces they serve, developing an integrated solution that not only engenders efficiencies, but also proposes a new methodology for the construction of atmosphere. By creating a climatic device that modifies both interior comfort and spatial experience, her proposal seeks to conceptualize a new way of producing sustainable building systems – based on the evaporative cooling properties of water. The project through its use of radiant cooling (which does not alter air temperature but modifies its perception) also questions our assumptions of how comfort is created and indeed what comfort is.
Since winning selection by the jury in March, Baronian has developed a full-scale mock-up of the evaporative roof prototype. Installed at the Princeton University School of Architecture in May 2018, the mock-up takes the form of a circular pavilion 7m in diameter that was exhibited on the campus for one month. The pavilion itself is entirely unclosed, consisting only of an elevated roof – the air underneath the roof is the same temperature as its outdoor surroundings. Cooling is possible through the principle of radiative heat exchange between the human body and a (cool) surface, demonstrating a new paradigm through which to understand the production of thermal conditioning and proposing a building-without-walls model for generating ‘interior’ climate.See more
Georgina Baronian, Princeton University, School of Architecture, Princeton, NJ, USA
I have been developing a full-scale mock-up of the evaporative roof prototype, installed at the Princeton University School of Architecture in May 2018. The mock-up takes the form of a circular pavilion 23ft in diameter (approx. 7m) and will be exhibited on campus for one month at the end of the academic year.
The intention of the mock-up is, first of all, to further pursue a study of indirect evaporative cooling as a technology that can be enabled through both formal and technical development. To this end, the mock-up will explore the aesthetic implications of the design while at the same time testing the evaporative cooling potential of the prototype with both of these objectives challenged to operate in real-life environmental conditions. Sensors will be installed and thermal comfort surveys are to be undertaken to study the radiative heat transfer of the installation in ambient conditions.
Furthermore the pavilion installation aims to push the notion of how we understand the enclosure as it relates to the thermal performance of a building. The pavilion itself is entirely unclosed, consisting only of an elevated roof – the air underneath the roof will be same temperature as its outdoor surroundings, yet cooling is possible through the principle of radiative heat exchange between the human body and a (cool) surface, demonstrating a new paradigm through which to understand the production of thermal conditioning and proposing a building-without-walls model for generating ‘interior’ climate.Constructing Climate: Prototype for Evaporative Cooling Roof (PDF, 30.47 MB) »
For the first time, the global Awards jury selected three of the 40 Acknowledgement and Next Generation prize-winning projects from the regional phase of the competition to receive LafargeHolcim Awards Ideas prizes. “We felt that they offer exciting and novel ideas, even within proposals that are not yet fully developed,” said jury head Alejandro Aravena. The prizes go ex aequo to “Refrigerating Jar” in Ghana, “Cooling Roof” in California, USA, and “Territorial Figure” in Argentina.
Global Holcim Awards Gold 2018 goes to “Hydropuncture”, a publicly accessible water retention and treatment complex in Mexico. The project team is led by design director Loreta Castro Reguera at Taller Capital, and researcher Manuel Perló Cohen from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. The infrastructure project in an underprivileged area of Mexico City intermingles flood basins and public amenities with spaces that follow the gravitational logic of flowing water. The jury stated that the sophisticated design addresses an urgent issue at a scale with real impact.
“Legacy Restored”, the Awards Silver winner, is a religious and secular complex in Niger that reinterprets traditional local construction for a new mosque and a community center. The project was designed by architects Mariam Kamara, atelier masomi, Niger; and Yasaman Esmaili, studio chahar, Iran. It creates a civic space open to all in the village of Dandaji, supporting the education of women and strengthening their presence within the community. The design strategy champions local artisanship, traditional building techniques and materials produced on site.
The community-driven neighborhood planning project “Grassroots Microgrid” wins Awards Bronze for re-imagining empty lots as collective infrastructure for energy and food production as well as for civic engagement in Detroit, USA. The large team of authors is led by Constance C. Bodurow, founding Director of studio[Ci], a transdisciplinary design collaborative in Detroit. The project enables neighborhoods to reach energy autonomy through micro-infrastructure, leverages vacancy as an asset, and creates a new economic paradigm for community renewal.
The strength of sustainable design
Jury head Alejandro Aravena commented that the global Gold and Silver winning projects act as role models: “They are masterful pieces that demonstrate what sustainable design and construction can achieve. As a community-driven initiative, the Bronze winner opens a path, innovating an approach that will need to be developed further,” said Aravena. The global Awards winning teams are diverse in every sense of the word. “Although not something considered during the evaluation process, the jury was delighted by the strong representation and success of women in the Holcim Awards,” said Aravena. Traditionally, the Awards competition enjoys a strong level of both participation and success in the competition by female professionals and students.
Aravena explained that the jury selected the water treatment project in Mexico for Gold because it builds large urban infrastructures that serve multiple purposes and become civic spaces. “Using architecture to give dignity to fragile rural communities losing population to urban migration, was a main reason for awarding Silver to the project in Niger," said Aravena. The Bronze winning project in the USA, finally, uses light and local infrastructure as a means of community building. “The context of the three global Awards winning projects is complementary, providing models for megacities, urban communities, and remote rural villages,” added Aravena: “They indicate two tendencies within the discourse on sustainability: a focus on infrastructure and new explorations of traditional ways of building.”
Prizes for exciting ideas in Argentina, Ghana and the USA
For the first time, the global Awards jury selected three of the 40 Acknowledgement and Next Generation prize-winning projects from the regional phase of the competition to receive Holcim Awards Ideas prizes. “We felt that they offer exciting and novel ideas, even within proposals that are not yet fully developed,” said jury head Alejandro Aravena. The prizes go ex aequo to “Refrigerating Jar” in Ghana, “Cooling Roof” in California, USA, and “Territorial Figure” in Argentina.
Architects Wonjoon Han and Gahee Van of VHAN together with Sookhee Yuk from Make Africa Better led a South Korean team designing shea butter storage towers in Nyingali, Ghana; they enable passive cooling that enhances the economic viability of agriculture and an aesthetic that alludes to traditional local architecture. Georgina Baronian, student at Princeton University in the USA, developed a prototype of a large-scale structure using water on the roof as a thermal insulator and solar reflector in one. The infrastructure-landscape project for the generation of electric power based on tidal currents at Punta Loyola in Argentina was developed by three students from the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba in Argentina: Stefano Romagnoli, Juan Cruz Serafini, and Tomás Pont Apóstolo.
From more than 5,000 submissions down to 6 global winners
The 5th International Holcim Awards competition attracted 5,085 projects and visions to be implemented in 131 countries. 1,836 projects passed the formal and quality checks and were assessed by independent juries in five competition regions: Europe, North America, Latin America, Middle East Africa and Asia Pacific. 11 prizes carrying a total of USD 330,000 per region were handed-over to winning teams in 2017. The three main winners per region automatically qualified for the global Awards; and the 40 Acknowledgement and Next Generation prize-winners were eligible for the Awards Ideas prizes 2018. The prize pool for the global phase of the Awards totals USD 350,000. The International Holcim Awards cycle spans three years, the 6th competition will open for entries in mid-2019.
Members of the Global Holcim Awards jury 2018
Winners of the Global Holcim Awards and Ideas prizes 2018
Follow web links for project presentations by authors, and appraisal and video statements by the jury
Global Holcim Awards Gold 2018
Hydropuncture – Publicly accessible water retention and treatment complex, Mexico City, Mexico.
Project intermingling flood basins and public amenities in an underprivileged area, with spaces arranged to follow the gravitational flow of water.
By Loreta Castro Reguera, Taller Capital; and Manuel Perló Cohen, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico.
Global Holcim Awards Silver 2018
Legacy Restored – Religious and secular complex, Dandaji, Niger.
A re-interpretation of traditional local construction for a new mosque and community center, creating a space in the village open to all.
By Mariam Kamara, atelier masomi, Niamey, Niger; and Yasaman Esmaili, studio chahar, Tehran, Iran.
Global Holcim Awards Bronze 2018
Grassroots Microgrid – Communtiy-driven neighborhood planning, Detroit, USA.
This neighborhood-scale project re-imagines empty lots as collective infrastructure for energy and food production as well as for civic engagement.
By Constance C. Bodurow, director and Eric Mahoney, designer, studio[Ci], Detroit, USA, and a team of further authors.
Global Holcim Awards Ideas prize 2018
Refrigerating Jar – Shea butter storage for Nyingali community, Karaga District, Ghana.
The striking towers of the storage units are designed for passive cooling and allude to traditional local architecture.
By Wonjoon Han, Gahee Van, VHAN; and Sookhee Yuk, Make Africa Better, Seoul, South Korea.
Global Holcim Awards Ideas prize 2018
Cooling Roof – Prototype for an evaporative roof for radiant cooling, Cherry Valley, CA, USA.
Research investigation on cooling large-scale structures using water on the roof as a thermal insulator and solar reflector.
By Georgina Baronian, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA.
Global Holcim Awards Ideas prize 2018
Territorial Figure – Tidal energy landscape, Punta Loyola, Argentina.
Infrastructure-landscape project for the generation of electric power based on tidal flow in the Río Gallegos estuary.
By Stefano Romagnoli, Juan Cruz Serafini, and Tomás Pont Apóstolo, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Córdoba, Argentina.
The lightweight membrane roof cooled by water is an exciting new idea for the pervasive phenomenon of the big box warehouse. As the design is developed, a number of pragmatic concerns will need to be addressed before this can be considered a viable scheme: is the water sourcing sustainable, how is silt managed, what could a correlate be in regions with water scarcity?
Four prizes were awarded in the increasingly popular Next Generation category for students and professionals up to 30 years. This category seeks visionary projects and bold ideas, and gives young professionals public exposure and a platform to gain recognition. The first of four Next Generation prizes in North America went to Georgina Baronian from Princeton University, NJ, USA. She developed a universally applicable roof design with a cooling function. Second prize was won by Jason Heinrich from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, for a set of rules for establishing a sustainable urban neighborhood in the city of Vancouver. Sarah Gunawan from the University of Buffalo, NY, USA, received third prize in this category. She investigated the potential for people and wildlife to coexist based on an example in Markham, ON, Canada. Fourth prize went to Peteris Lazovskis of Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, USA. His experiments investigated climate control in buildings using the example of the Commonwealth Mental Health & Wellness Center.Read more »
Taking on the challenges of logistics centers at the periphery of cities as a point of the departure, the project unfolds as a research undertaking investigating the question of how to cool large structures with minimal means. With the objective in mind to reduce the building’s energy load, (particularly the deployment of non-renewable resources), a thin layer of water is introduced as an additional roof layer – acting as a solar reflector, while providing thermal insulation. Whereas technical considerations are at the core of the project, the study culminates in a design of a big box structure that is as reduced in its formal manifestation as it is beautiful in its aesthetic simplicity.
The project’s visionary stance caught the jury’s attention. Acknowledging the research’s underlying critique pertaining to the inefficiency of complex and complicated mechanical systems in the contemporary building sector, the jury applauded the project’s thesis as well as choice of case study. Particularly valued was the set of ideas put forth concerning the detrimental impact of climate control technology on human-induced climate change. Moreover, the jury appreciated the relation established between the project’s scientific method of approach and the design’s formal appearance – the poetry of construction details and the presence of the architectural object at the territorial scale.See more
An integrated approach to energy, climate & aesthetics
The project considers the relationship between energy infrastructures and the spaces they serve, developing an integrated solution that not only engenders efficiencies but proposes a new methodology for the construction of atmosphere. The modernization and mechanization of architecture over the course of the 20th century has resulted in complex buildings systems, progressively removed from the spatial experience and obtuse to the user. This separation of occupant and system accounts in part for the misuse of energy resources within the built environment today. Through the establishment of a climatic device that modifies both interior comfort and spatial experience, linking to “Progress” and “Place” the proposal seeks to conceptualize a new way of producing sustainable building systems.
Reconsidering the production of interior comfort
At the heart of the project is the desire to harness the latent potential of natural systems, in place of the ever- increasing use of energy demanding mechanical systems, connecting to the target of “Planet”. Through understanding the evaporative properties of water in the context of the psychometric chart and creatively interpreted in the design of a passive building system, the project strives to provoke new directions and methodologies for the construction of climate. In analogue with the target of “People”, the project through its use of radiant cooling (which does not alter air temperature but modifies its perception) also questions our assumptions of how comfort is created and indeed what comfort is.
Energy infrastructures as landscape
Architecture’s ever-increasing reliance on secondary infrastructures of scale renders explicit a growing disjunction of needs, resources and design. This leads to a necessary reevaluation of our programmatic, climatic and energetic relationships. Speculating on the complete elimination of the requirement for a secondary infrastructural architecture, the case study shows that when considered at scale the prototype would act an independent infrastructure – the energy needs of the total floor area would be met within the architecture itself, using a volume of water comparable in magnitude as that of a cooling tower constructed to serve that same area. Furthermore, the case study considers a climatic envelope deployed as a beautiful, shimmering moonlike landscape, linking “Planet” and “Place”.See more
Ideas prize for “Cooling Roof” in the USA: Global LafargeHolcim Awards jury member, Stuart Smith, believes the …
Global LafargeHolcim Awards jury member, Marc Angélil, considers the micro-level detail of the LafargeHolcim Awards …
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:
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
Excludes a term from results, automatically ANDs other terms listed
Use quotation marks to search for a specific phrase or combination
Asterisk (*) matches any word or phrase - so archit* will find architect, architecture, architectural as well as architrave