North American winners of 2011 Holcim Awards competition announced

Last week in Washington, DC, the North American winners of 2011 Holcim Awards competition were announced, where it became clearly apparent that people-focused designs are at the heart of sustainable construction.

The Holcim Awards Gold 2011 for North America and $100,000 US was awarded to the Arctic Food Network (AFN) regional food-gathering nodes and logistics infrastructure for the scattered Inuit communities in Northern Canada. The project – by Lateral Office/InfraNet Lab based in Toronto and Princeton, New Jersey – enables a better distribution of local foods, serves as a series of bases for the reinforcement of traditional hunting, and also establishes new foundations for a sustainable, more independent economy.

Holcim Awards Silver went to a two-level zero-energy-certified school building design to be constructed on multiple campuses throughout Los Angeles. The project led by architects Swift Lee Office of Los Angeles uses “off-the shelf” components and modular panels to create a pre-fabricated system that features a double-layered façade for solar, acoustic, and environmental control and achieves a climate-responsive solution for each site.

Holcim Awards Bronze was presented to Julie Snow Architects of Minneapolis, for a border control station on the US frontier to Canada at Van Buren, Maine. The approach meets a range of stringent regulations for safety, operation and durability, sets zero-net-energy and water-saving targets, and yet is a highly aesthetic structure marking the national frontier.

Four Acknowledgement prizes were shared between projects in Chicago, Honolulu, Fort Leonard Wood (Missouri), and Lawrence (Kansas).

The “Next Generation” (student category) prizes were awarded to project teams from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the University of Toronto.

Details about all winners including the respective design teams, project submissions and images are available at: