June 5, 2007
by Canadian Architect
The second competition of the Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction was launched at the first annual symposium Greening and Densifying – How to envision sustainable cities. The symposium, organized by the Quebec Chapter of the Canada Green Building Council, gathered renowned specialists from the engineering, architectural and urban planning professions.
The first Holcim Awards competition in 2005/2006 attracted more than 3,000 submissions from 120 countries, and resulted in 46 prizes being won. In North America, the Green Energy Benny Farm project received the Holcim North American Gold Award and the Holcim Global Bronze Award.
The Holcim Awards competition showcases sustainable responses to technological, environmental, socio-economic and socio-cultural issues informing contemporary building and construction. Entries in the competition can be submitted online from June 1, 2007 until February 29, 2008, in English only.
All building projects are eligible for the competition if construction had not started before June 1, 2007. The winners of the North American competition will be announced in Montreal next year (fall 2008) and will automatically qualify for the global competition to be held in 2009. The prize money for the five regional competitions and the global awards totals USD $2 million.
In addition to construction projects at an advanced stage of design, the Awards competition seeks visions and ideas at a conceptual level. This special category called Next Generation is open for professionals younger than 35 years of age.
Submissions in the Awards competition are evaluated by independent juries in five regions of the world, using a five-point definition of sustainable construction. These so-called target issues serve as a yardstick to measure the degree to which a building contributes to sustainable development. Three of the five target issues align with the primary goals of the Rio Agenda: balanced environmental, social, and economic performance. One target issue applies specifically to building: the creation of quality buildings, neighbourhoods, towns, and cities. A further target issue recognizes the need for significant advancements that can be applied on a broad scale: ecological quality and energy conservation; economic performance and compatibility; ethical standards and social equity; contextual and aesthetic impact; and quantum change and transferability.
The juries will be headed by internationally renowned architects and academics: Harry Gugger, architect and author, Switzerland (region of Europe), Adele Naude Santos, Dean of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA (North America), Jose Luis Cortes, Dean of Architecture, Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico (Latin America), Joe Addo, architect, Ghana (Africa Middle East), and Ashok Lall, architect, India (Asia Pacific). Charles Correa, architect, India, will chair the jury of the global Holcim Awards competition.
A full list of all jury members is available on www.holcimawards.org, as well as comprehensive information on the competition.
To carry out the competition the Holcim Foundation works closely with leading technical universities: the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), Switzerland; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, USA; Tongji University (TJU) in Shanghai, China; Universidad Iberoamericana (UIA) in Mexico City, Mexico; and the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg, South Africa. These universities lead the independent juries in their regions. The Universidade de Sao Paulo (USP), Brazil is an associated university of the Foundation.
The Holcim Awards competition is an initiative of the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction, which is supported by Holcim Ltd but is independent of its commercial interests. Holcim Ltd is one of the world’s leading suppliers of cement and aggregates (crushed stone, sand and gravel) as well as downstream activities such as ready-mix concrete and asphalt including services. The Holcim Group holds majority and minority interests in more than 70 countries on all continents.
St. Lawrence Cement is a leading producer and supplier of products and services for the construction industry, namely cement, concrete, aggregates and construction. The Company operates four cement plants that are certified ISO 14001 and 9001, concrete plants, quarries and sand pits, and offers construction services. Sustainable development is an integral part of its business strategy and planning process. It operates in Canada and on the eastern seaboard of the United States, and employs 3,300 people.