New Delhi, India â€“ The winners of the second Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction from across region Asia Pacific were announced at a ceremony in New Delhi. Total prize money of USD 270,000 was presented to ten projects that show future-oriented and tangible approaches to urban renewal and development, energy efficiency and affordable housing.
The Swiss-based Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction conducts the competition in parallel across five regions of the world. 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 ceremony in New Delhi featured a diverse and international group of project teams and demonstrated that sustainable construction is truly of global concern.
Sustainable planning for a rural community in China wins Gold Award
A rural planning design for a suburban village in Beijing, China received the top prize of USD 100,000 and the Holcim Awards Gold 2008 for effectively combining heritage preservation, traditional knowledge, local materials, modern technology and professional project management. The comprehensive urban planning strategy led by Yue Zhang and Feng Ni improves logistics, public utilities and services while meeting stringent ecological and energy-saving targets for new buildings.
Head of Jury and acclaimed Indian architect Ashok B Lall praised the detailed approach to challenges of pollution, urban sprawl, loss of agricultural land and limited resources. â€œThe project has a high potential to become a role model for the sustainable development of rural communities and urban districts in emerging economics experiencing rapid change,â€ he said.
Low-impact greenfield university campus in Vietnam receives Silver Award
The Holcim Awards Silver was presented to a project to build a new 40ha university campus in the suburbs of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam designed by Japanese architect Kazuhiro Kojima. The campus design proposal blends with its natural environment and uses prevalent winds for natural ventilation of buildings and open circulation areas to reduce air-conditioning use. The striking design strategy creates a robust system that is adaptable to the changing needs of the university community.
Bronze Award for an energy-efficient office complex in India
The submission by American architect Mark Igou, of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and Indian builder Sanjay Chawla was commended for optimizing shading and daylighting in a planned office building on the outskirts of Hyderabad, India. The building reduces energy consumption by 35-40% compared to conventional designs by using courtyards and optimizing building orientation towards the sun. Angled vertical walls on the southern faÃ§ade create self-shading effects that minimize solar heat gain while maintaining views and high daylight levels.
Acknowledgement prizes for projects in Pakistan, China and India
Four submissions received Acknowledgement prizes for their approaches to building design, urban development and urban renewal. The advocacy of traditional earthquake-resistant construction was praised for blending advanced engineering with traditional techniques and local materials to provide appropriate housing in an earthquake-prone and remote area of North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan. Two projects from China were also awarded an Acknowledgement prize: an eco-city urban concept to create a sustainable, resource-efficient and culturally-rich environment for Dongtan in Shanghai; and a strong vision to preserve the historical heritage and cultural traditions through careful relocation and rebuilding of the ancient â€œGhost Cityâ€ of Fengdu. In addition, a low-cost low-maintenance school extension in Bangalore/BengalÅ«ru, India was selected for its outstanding capacity to deliver a cost-effective, durable, aesthetic and structurally sound yet also environmentally compatible school building.
â€œNext Generationâ€ prizes for project visions
For the first time, the Holcim Awards competition included a category for the visions of young architects and designers up to the age of 35. First prize was awarded to an ecosystem revitalization blueprint for Suzhou Creek, Shanghai, China by Taiwanese student Boon Ting Teo. Second prize for a redevelopment strategy for the Dharavi slum in Mumbai, India, was conferred upon German students Jens Kaercher and Lukas Schwind. A development proposition incorporating low and dense urban elements by American-resident Finnish architect Eero Puurunen received the â€œNext Generationâ€ 3rd prize.
Independent jury of international experts in architecture and sustainability
Competition submissions for projects in region Asia Pacific were evaluated by an independent jury hosted by Tongji University, Shanghai: Ashok B Lall (Head of jury, India), Olivia la O’ Castillo (Philippines), Wowo Ding (China), Kazuo Iwamura (Japan), Mark Lee (China/USA), HansjÃ¼rg Leibundgut (Switzerland), Zeenat Niazi (India), Hans-Rudolf Schalcher (Switzerland), and Gunawan Tjahjono (Indonesia) used the â€œtarget issuesâ€ for sustainable construction developed by the Holcim Foundation to evaluate submissions. The â€œtarget issuesâ€ 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.
International series of five ceremonies
The prizes for region Asia Pacific were conferred at the awards ceremony held at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi, attended by more than 350 representatives of government, business, architecture and related disciplines from 23 countries. The event marked the culmination of five regional Holcim Awards ceremonies. Gold, Silver and Bronze prize winners from each region automatically qualified for the global Holcim Awards competition. The projects are further evaluated by a global jury and the winners will be proclaimed in Switzerland in 2009.
Holcim CEO and Chairman of the Management Board of the Holcim Foundation, Markus Akermann welcomed guests. The vast opportunities for sustainable construction to make a tangible difference in both developing and developed countries alike was illustrated in speeches by: Member of Indiaâ€™s Parliament, former governor of the Reserve Bank of India, and economist, Bimal Jalan; President of IUCN, Chairman of Development Alternatives, and Co-President of the Club of Rome, Ashok Khosla; and, Chairman of Ambuja Cements, Suresh Neotia. Head of the regional jury for Asia Pacific Ashok B Lall explained the jury process and the criteria leading to the selection of the winning projects and introduced the projects on which the Holcim Awards were conferred.
The Holcim Awards is an international competition of the Holcim Foundation which seeks innovative, future-oriented and tangible sustainable construction projects and offers prize money of USD 2 million per three-year competition cycle. The competition is run in cooperation with renowned partner universities: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), Switzerland; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA; Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico; Universidade de SÃ£o Paulo, Brazil; the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa; and Tongji University, China.
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 worldâ€™s leading producers of cement and aggregates, and was recently named â€œLeader of the Industryâ€ in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the fourth year in succession. Holcim is represented in India by ACC and Ambuja Cements.
Images: Holcim Foundation
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