October 27, 2005 09:41 ET

St. Lawrence Cement Group : Holcim Awards Competition Goes Global for Sustainable Construction Projects

WALTHAM, MASSACHUSETTS and MOUNT ROYAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 27, 2005) - Following five regional competitions, 15 Award-winning projects will now compete in the first global Holcim Awards competition for sustainable construction projects. The global phase of the competition showcases the best entries from more than 1500 submissions from 118 countries, and encourages innovative, future-oriented and tangible approaches within the building and construction industry.

The competition was created by the Swiss-based Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction in collaboration with five of the world's leading technical universities: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), Switzerland; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston, USA; Tongji University (TJU), Shanghai, China; the University of Sao Paulo (USP), Brazil; and the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, South Africa.

As part of the three-year competition cycle with prize money totaling USD 2 million, all projects that received the gold, silver or bronze award in the five regional competitions automatically qualify for the global Holcim Awards. The global Holcim Awards winners will be announced in Bangkok in April 2006.

The challenge of assessing the innovative, future-oriented and tangible sustainable construction projects from around the globe will be performed by a jury of 15 independent, internationally-renowned representatives from science, business and society.

Head of the jury, and Dean of the MIT School of Architecture, Adele Naude Santos, said the selection of the global Awards would be based on further information submitted by each participant using the target issues for sustainable construction that the Holcim Foundation defined in collaboration with its partner universities. "The target issues provide a strong framework for assessing diverse projects - beyond a focus on architecture or the use of specific building materials, the competition is about the broad picture of sustainable construction," she said. The criteria range from environmental and aesthetic quality to high ethical and economic standards.

The 15 global Awards finalists are the three top projects selected by the juries in each of the regions: Europe, Asia Pacific, North America, Africa Middle East and Latin America. At five regional Awards ceremonies in September and October in Geneva, Beijing, Boston, Johannesburg and Rio de Janeiro a total of 31 Acknowledgement and Encouragement prizes were awarded in addition to gold, silver and bronze Awards and confirmed the rapidly growing interest in sustainable construction around the globe.

Chairman of the Holcim Foundation Board, and CEO of Holcim Ltd, Markus Akermann, said the Holcim Foundation encourages sustainable responses to the technological, environmental, socio-economic and cultural issues affecting building and construction: "The Holcim Foundation aims to generate a community of recognized excellence in sustainable construction and plans are already under way for the next international Holcim Forum and Awards competition in 2007," he said.

The objective of the Holcim Foundation in cooperation with its partner universities is to establish the Holcim Awards as an international platform for professionals and specialists of all generations to promote interdisciplinary dialog, bring forward new ideas and examine potential solutions.

An overview of the global Awards entrants (including project descriptions, photos of the participating teams, and a list of the members of the global jury) is available for download and publication at:

The Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction was established in Switzerland in December 2003. The aim of the Foundation is to promote sustainable construction worldwide through the Holcim Awards competition, and forums. The independent Foundation is supported by Holcim Ltd, one of the world's leading suppliers of cement, aggregates, concrete and construction-related services with Group companies and affiliates in more than 70 countries.

Holcim (US) Inc. is a subsidiary of Holcim Ltd, and one of the nation's leading manufacturers and suppliers of cement and mineral components. Holcim (US) has 2,400 employees and operates 14 manufacturing plants and over 70 distribution facilities in the United States.

St. Lawrence Cement Group is a leading producer and supplier of products and services for the construction industry, namely cement, concrete, aggregates and construction. The company operates in Canada and on the eastern seaboard of the United States, and employs a total of 2,900 people.

Participants in the global Holcim Awards competition (by country)

Argentina: "Verde Sobre Gris - Cubiertas Verdes" Buenos Aires. A conceptual project for a public policy to promote roof gardens (green roofs) on existing houses in the city of Buenos Aires on a large scale.

Brazil: "Escola Minima-Energia" Rio de Janeiro. An implementation of minimal energy design in a school building including natural ventilation, natural lighting with protection of direct sun radiation and a roof garden.

Canada: "Material Reduction: Efficient Fabric-Formed Concrete". Project presents a technique using flexible fabrics instead of conventional rigid molds for the production of concrete elements.

Canada: "Greening the Infrastructure at Benny Farm", Montreal. Urban, landscape and architectural project for the sustainable construction and renovation of 187 housing units on four adjacent properties in Montreal.

China: "Design for a Clan Settlement's Regeneration", Hangzhou. Project provides a model for the adaptation and revitalization of an existing urban sector without large-scale demolition or replacement.

Germany: "Main Station", Stuttgart. The project places the railway station underground to recover land to create a new urban area, combining structural and landscape aspects.

Italy: "Waterpower - Renewal Strategy for the Mulini Valley", near Amalfi.
The project uses water as the central theme with the historic preservation of a number of heritage buildings and maintaining aesthetic balance between existing and new structures.

Japan: "Air Suit - Housing Renovation", Hiroshima. Urban housing renovation through the creation of an "air suit", which acts as a new skin/envelope to improve economic and ecological performance.

Morocco: "Equipements Socio-economiques dans un Douar de Montagne", Tamtarga. A community empowerment facility located in a mountain village in Morocco using local materials and construction technology.

Philippines: "Concrete Substrates for Accelerated Coral Restoration". Pre-cast concrete elements used to assist the regeneration of the marine environment using incremental infrastructure.

South Africa: "Caravan Site Upgrade", Nieuwoudtville. Eco-systemic driven design for upgrading an existing caravan site within an ecologically sensitive zone.

South Africa: "Tsoga Environmental Center and Local Sustainability Catalyst", Cape Town. Project aims to catalyze sustainable livelihoods by serving as a demonstration of environmentally-sound construction practices.

Spain: "Metropol Parasol", Seville. Revitalization of an historic town square by combining cultural and commercial requirements in an integrated public space.

USA: "New Sustainable California Academy of Sciences", San Francisco. The project integrates concerns about sustainability and architectural design in the construction of a major public building.

Venezuela: "Proyecto Integral Habilitacion Fisica San Rafael-Unido", Caracas. Urban improvement project including social aspects of a large shanty town in Caracas, Venezuela.

Contact Information

  • Holcim (US) Inc.
    Tom Chizmadia
    Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs
    (781) 647-2521
    St. Lawrence Cement
    Nicole Jarry
    Director, Corporate Communications
    (514) 340-1881