People-focused sustainable designs at heart of Holcim Award winners

Source: Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction, Switzerland

Ten winning entries of the 3rd International Holcim Awards competition for sustainable construction projects and visions from North America shared a total of $300,000 at a recent ceremony in Washington, D.C. The Holcim Foundation conducts the competition in five regions across the world. More than 6,000 submissions for projects located in 146 countries entered the Holcim Awards, which aims to promote sustainable responses to contemporary technological, environmental, socioeconomic and cultural issues from the building and construction industry.

The top prize Gold Award ($100,000) went to an infrastructure network for Inuit communities in Canada, a socio-architectural project to create regional food-gathering nodes and a logistics network in Canada’s high arctic territory. The Silver Award ($50,000) was presented to a design for a two-level, zero energy certified school building to be constructed on multiple campuses throughout Los Angeles. Led by architects Swift Lee Office of Los Angeles, the project 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.

The Washington, D.C., awards ceremony followed the presentation of winners in Milan, Casablanca and Buenos Aires. In November, the series of events will conclude in Singapore. The projects that receive Gold, Silver and Bronze awards in each region automatically qualify for the Global Holcim Awards, which will be announced in April 2012.