4th International Holcim Awards offers USD 2 million for projects, materials, and technologies for sustainable construction

11 December 2013


The Holcim Awards is one of the most significant competitions in its field in terms of reputation and international scope. The fourth cycle of the competition offering a total of USD 2 million in prize money and submission is open until March 24, 2014. The competition seeks leading projects from industry professionals that contribute to sustainability within architecture, building, civil engineering, landscape and urban design, as well as construction materials and technologies.

The Holcim Awards is open to architects, planners, engineers, project owners, builders and construction firms that showcase sustainable responses to technological, environmental, socioeconomic and cultural issues with contemporary building and construction. Projects must have reached an advanced stage of design, have a high probability of execution, and the construction should not have started before July 1, 2013.

Organized by the Swiss-based Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction the competition is conducted in parallel in five regions of the world in 2013/14 followed by a global phase in 2015. Regional winners will be announced at Holcim Awards ceremonies in late 2014 in Moscow (for region Europe), Toronto (North America), Medellín (Latin America), Beirut (Africa Middle East) and Jakarta (Asia Pacific).

Apart from the prize money, Awards winners will also benefits from the publicity and recognition of the project’s achievement in the realm of sustainability.


Holcim Awards in Singapore

Compared to the other countries in region, Singapore is considered highly developed, equipped with the latest technologies, and having many prestigious buildings. This is a special opportunity for Singapore. In 2011,the Regional Holcim Awards prize-giving ceremony for Asia Pacific was held in Singapore for the reason that Singapore is the hub of technologial advancement in the region.


Learning from 3rd Holcim Awards winning project

One of the winning projects from Malaysia from the 3rd Holcim Awards serves as a good reference on how technology plays a key role in green buildings. The 14-level commercial and retail building is located on the main boulevard of Malaysia’s planned city and federal administrative center, Putrajaya, 25 km south of the capital, KualaLumpur. The building concept is based on a sophisticated, well-elaborated and integrative merger of eco-friendly state-of-the-art technologies appropriate for high quality use.

Vegetation is actively integrated to reduce energy consumption, provide solar shading, and create comfortable spaces considering all requirements of utilization. A double-skin façade system assimilates a numberof functions acting as a ventilated air cavity, improving thermal performance. Active water management collects and treats surface runoffwater via bioswales and is stored on-site forirrigation. The lighting concept balances economic demands of the urban surroundingwith the aim to minimize energy consumptionby introducing grading modes that become a beneficial aesthetic soft design element.


Streamlined online entry process

Taking part in the competition has been streamlined by an interactive online entry form. Entries must be made in English using the web-based form to provide information on authors, a project summary and response to the ‘5 target issues’ for sustainable construction, technical details, as well as project images or illustrations.


To make sustainable construction easier to understand, evaluate, and apply, the Holcim Awards uses 5 target issues to serve as a yardstick to measure the degree to which building contributes to sustainable development:

  • ‘Progress’: The project must demonstrate innovation at the forefront of sustainable construction, irrespective of scale, and transferable to other applications.
  • ‘People’: The project must adhere to the highest ethical standards and support social equity at all stages of construction, from planning and building to long-term impact to the community.
  • 'Planet’: The project must exhibitis a sensible use and mangement of natural resources throughout its life cycle, including operations and maintenance.
  • ‘Prosperity’: The project must prove to be economically feasible or innovative as far as the deployment of financial resources in concerned.
  • ‘Proficiency’: The project must convey a high standard of architectural quality. The construction must have a lasting aesthetic impact on its surrounding environment.


With global coverage of the Awards, project entries are not strained to geographical boundary. Particicipants could be based in Singapore while working on the project or technology for another country.

Entries must be submitted online at www.holcimawards.org by March 24, 2014. A comprehensive ‘step-by-step’ guide explains the steps of preparing an entry at:www.holcimawards.org/guide


Internationally renowned architects and academics in juries

Independent jury panels of experts evaluate all entries against the five “target issues” for sustainable construction which cover economic, social and environmental performance as well as contextual/aesthetic impact, and innovation/transferability. The juries are headed by Jean-Philippe Vassal (for region Europe), Toshiko Mori (North America), Bruno Stagno (Latin America), Howayda Al-Harithy (Africa Middle East) and Rahul Mehrotra (Asia Pacific). A full list of jury members is available at: www.holcimawards.org/juries


Support by world-renowned technical universities

The Holcim Awards is conducted in partnership with some of the world’s leading technical universities which host the jury meetings. The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) leads the Technical Competence Center of the Holcim Foundation. Other partner universities are: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA), Tongji University (China), Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil), University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa), Universidad Iberoamericana (Mexico), Ecole Supérieure d’Architecture de Casablanca (Morocco), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Bombay), American University of Beirut (Lebanon), Tsinghua University (China) and University of Melbourne (Australia).


More than 150 prize winning projects over ten years

Previous Holcim Awards prize winners in more than 40 countries range from the provision of basic needs in developing communities through to complex technical solutions. Details about all previous Holcim Awards prize winners are available at: www.holcimfoundation.org/projects-search