Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction to award $2 million USD

The recently established Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction have been created to promote sustainable construction worldwide. Entries in the Awards are now open. Sustainable construction projects can be submitted for the Awards online until March 31, 2005 at www.holcimawards.org. The prize money for the five regional competitions and the global awards totals $2 million USD.

The Holcim Awards are an initiative of the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction based in Switzerland. The independent Foundation is supported by Holcim Ltd., one of the world’s leading suppliers of cement, aggregrates, concrete and construction-related services with Group Companies and affiliates in more than 70 countries. The Holcim Group employs more than 45,000 people. Holcim is represented in Canada and in the Northeastern United States by St. Lawrence Cement.

Philippe Arto, President and CEO of St. Lawrence Cement said that the competition is an opportunity for those involved in sustainable construction to be recognized and present innovative ideas to a wider audience. "Through sharing innovative concepts between regions and cultures, the Holcim Awards will not only bring notoriety to outstanding achievements, but also potential benefits from groundbreaking methods adapted to our own local climatic, economic and cultural contexts" he said.

The Holcim Awards are open to individuals and organizations who pursue projects in the area of sustainable construction, including architects, planners, engineers, project owners and students. These Awards recognize any contribution to sustainable construction irrespective of scale in architecture, landscape and urban design, civil and mechanical engineering, and other related disciplines. At the date of submission, the project must have reached an advanced design stage prior to the beginning of our construction.

To carry out the competition, the Holcim Foundation is working closely together with five renowned technical universities: the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Zurich, Switzerland); the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Boston, USA); Tongji University (Shanghai, China); the University of Sao Paulo (Sao Paulo, Brazil); and the University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa). These universities will lead the independent juries in their regions. The universities have also assisted in defining the five "target issues for sustainable construction" which will be used to evaluate the submitted projects. Descriptions of these criteria are available at www.holcimawards.org, along will full information on the competition. Entries can be ONLY submitted via the website.

The Holcim Awards were conceived to be a permanent and progressive program. New competition cycles will be held regularly. In addition to the prize money, the Holcim Foundation will provide funding of $1 million USD in each cycle to support the execution of one or more sustainable construction projects and to enable otherwise under-funded projects to be carried out.

The submitted design must demonstrate proof of sustainability according to the five target issues which have been defined by the Holcim Foundation and its partner universities. Three regional awards and additional recognition and encouragement prizes will be awarded in each of the five geographic regions: Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa, Middle East, and Asia Pacific. The regional award winners will automatically qualify for the global competition to be held in 2006. At the awards ceremony, an independent jury will announce the three worldwide best projects, exemplary works that are genuine milestones in the advancement of sustainable construction.

The Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction was established in Switzerland in December 2003. The aim of the Holcim Foundation is to promote sustainable construction worldwide through the Holcim Awards program, publications and forums (www.holcimforum.org). The activities of the Holcim Foundation are governed by an advisory board comprised of internationally renowned experts in sustainable construction. For additional information about the Holcim Foundation, please visit www.holcimfoundation.org.