Holcim Foundation : Competition for Sustainable Construction Projects
Edward Schwarz , Holcim
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 5000 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.
Gold Award to New York City's first carbon-neutral building
Head of Jury and Dean of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) School of Architecture and Planning, Adèle Naudé Santos, commented that the project will feature innovations that can be applied in homes and other buildings, and motivate visitors to consider how they can personally contribute to the solution of today's energy and climate challenges. "This project brings the eco-building vision into reality and shows how 'green' design and sustainable construction can achieve massive energy and environmental savings without forgetting the importance of architecture and aesthetics," she said.
Silver Award for a self-contained day labor station in San Francisco
Freshwater lake restoration and research facility in Ontario wins
Acknowledgement prizes for projects in Toronto, Vancouver and Detroit
The comprehensive planning of a minimal-impact North Vancouver Outdoor School by local firm Larry McFarland Architects was recognized for its performance in terms of zero net energy and carbon emissions performance. The center uses elevated buildings to avoid potential damage from flooding and take advantage of the views of the beautiful surrounding landscape.
A strategy to augment honeybee populations in Detroit by architect Stéphane Orsolini and engineer Erika Mayr of Berlin, Germany was praised for transforming open urban spaces into green parks that provide buffer zones between industrial and residential precincts. The integration of beehives creates employment and also pollination services for the important Michigan fruit and vegetable production sector.
"Next Generation" prizes for project visions
"Next Generation" 2nd prize was awarded to an urban residential densification project in Toronto, designed by architects Chenlong Wang and Lingchen Liu of Beijing, China. The proposal creates a series of unusual housing designs that perfectly utilize small gaps in the urban fabric.
The 3rd prize was awarded to Harvard Graduate School of Design student Andrew Lantz for his proposal for an urban fitness, cultural and housing center that collects energy from kinetics, such as running on a treadmill, to power the structure.
Independent jury of international experts in architecture and sustainability
International series of five ceremonies
The Montreal event was the second of five ceremonies to be held. 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 are 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.
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