Holcim Awards winners for North America announced in Montreal

The winners of the second North American Holcim Awards competition for Sustainable Construction projects were announced at a ceremony in Montreal. Total prize money of USD 270,000 was presented to nine projects from Canada and the United States that showcase the latest approaches to address critical topics including housing affordability, employment, renewable energy, and water efficiency.

The competition is run in parallel in five regions of the world by the Swiss-based Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction. Almost 5,000 projects from 90 countries entered the competition which aims to promote sustainable responses from the building and construction industry to technological, environmental, socioeconomic and cultural issues.

The winners are as follows:

Holcim Awards Gold USD 100,000
Solar 2 Green Energy, Arts and Education Center, New York, NY, USA
Main author: Christopher J Collins, Solar One Green Energy, Arts and Education Center, New York, NY, USA

Holcim Awards Silver USD 50,000
Self-Contained Day Labor Station, San Francisco, California, USA
Main author: Liz Ogbu, designer, Public Architecture, San Francisco, California, USA

Holcim Awards Bronze USD 25,000
Living with Lakes Centre for freshwater restoration and research, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
Main author: John Gunn, scientist, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

Holcim Awards Acknowledgement Prizes USD 20,000 each prize
*Evergreen Brick Works Heritage Site Revitalization, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Main author: David Stonehouse, urban planner, Evergreen, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
*Minimal-Impact North Vancouver Outdoor School, North Vancouver, BC, Canada
Authors: Ron Kato, Larry McFarland and Craig Duffield, architects, Larry McFarland Architects, Vancouver, BC, Canada
*Strategy for Environmentally Friendly Integration of Beehives, Detroit, Michigan, USA
Authors: Stphane Orsolini, architect, and Erika Mayr, engineer, Berlin, Germany

Holcim Awards “Next Generation” 1st Prize USD 20,000
Microstructure Research for Building Skins, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Authors: Neri Oxman, architect, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and John Hart, engineer, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Holcim Awards “Next Generation” 2nd Prize USD 10,000
Residential Density for Urban Spaces, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Authors: Chenlong Wang and Lingchen Liu, architects, Beijing, China

Holcim Awards “Next Generation” 3rd Prize USD 5,000
Responsive Urban Downtown Activity Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Author: Andrew Lantz, student, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Competition submissions for projects in region North America were evaluated by an independent jury hosted by MIT: Adle Naud Santos (Head of Jury, USA), Philippe Arto (Canada), Ray Cole, (Canada), Sarah Graham (USA), Reed Kroloff (USA), Mohsen Mostafavi (USA), Hans-Rudolf Schalcher (Switzerland), Marion Weiss (USA) and Mark West (Canada) used the “target issues” for sustainable construction developed by the Holcim Foundation to evaluate submissions. The “target issues” address the triple bottom line of economic, environmental, and social factors together with architectural quality and the potential to apply the innovation in other locations.

The prizes for region North America were conferred at the awards ceremony held at the Montreal Hilton Bonaventure attended by more than 300 representatives of government, business, architecture and related disciplines. Mayor of Saint-Laurent, Alan DeSousa, member of the National Assembly, Russel Copeman, on behalf of the Premier of Quebec, and Chairman of Holcim and of the Advisory Board of the Holcim Foundation, Rolf Soiron welcomed guests. Founding chairman of the World Green Building Council, Kevin Hydes, provided a keynote speech highlighting the pivotal role of the built environment in reducing carbon emissions and redressing other environmental impacts.

The Montreal event was the second of five ceremonies. The results for Europe were celebrated in Madrid, and the results for Latin America, Africa Middle East and Asia Pacific will be announced in the forthcoming weeks. Gold, silver and bronze prize winners from each region automatically qualify for the global Holcim Awards competition. The projects will be further evaluated by a global jury and the winners proclaimed in Switzerland in May 2009.

The Holcim Awards is an international competition of the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction. The competition seeks innovative, future-oriented and tangible sustainable construction projects; offers prize money of USD 2 million per three-year competition cycle; and is run in cooperation with renowned partner universities: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA; Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), Switzerland; Tongji University, China; Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico; and the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

The Holcim Foundation is supported by Holcim Ltd and its Group companies in more than 70 countries, but is independent of its commercial interests. Holcim is one of the world’s leading producers of cement and aggregates, and was recently named “Leader of the Industry” in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the fourth year in succession. Holcim is represented in North America by Aggregate Industries, Holcim US and St. Lawrence Cement.

For more information, please visit www.holcimawards.org.