Help

Evaluation criteria

The LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction is committed to the underlying principles of sustainability, which assert that long-term development of the built environment requires a balanced interplay of responsible economic, ecological, and social agendas.

To achieve this objective, the LafargeHolcim Foundation and its associated universities have identified five “target issues” that aim to clarify principles for sustaining the human habitat for future generations. These “target issues” serve as criteria for projects submitted for the LafargeHolcim Awards and as a road map for all other related activities of the Foundation.

Innovation and transferability – PROGRESS

Projects must demonstrate innovative approaches to sustainable development, pushing the envelope of practice and exploring new disciplinary frontiers. Breakthroughs and trend-setting discoveries must be transferable to a range of other applications. Materials should be recyclable and integrated within circular economies. The production of waste should be avoided throughout a structure’s use-cycle.

  • Innovative concepts regarding design, integration of materials and methods, structure, enclosure and mechanical systems.
  • Outstanding contributions to construction technologies and building processes, operation and maintenance.
  • Advancements in the disciplines of architecture, urban and landscape design, civil, urban and environmental engineering, and other fields involved in the production of the built environment.
  • Long-term monitoring methods to evaluate whether expectations and goals have been met.
  • Dissemination of knowledge, including project documentation, communication, education and training.

Ethical standards and social inclusion – PEOPLE

Projects must adhere to the highest ethical standards and promote social inclusion at all stages of construction, from planning and building to use and servicing; to ensure an enduring positive impact on communities. Proposals must demonstrate how they enhance the collective realm and contribute to an affordable and socially inclusive habitat.

  • Adherence to ethical standards in all phases of the project.
  • Contributions to the formation of socially-viable environments, strengthening of shared values and empowerment of communities.
  • Participation of stakeholders, including users, clients, neighborhood affiliations, local authorities and non-governmental organizations.
  • Quality of working conditions in the construction industry and including on site; with specific attention given to fair compensation, adequate benefits, safety and gender equality.
  • Political transparency, unbiased processes and commitment to principled interaction, just practices, all in the effort to prevent corruption at every level.

Resource and environmental performance – PLANET

Projects must exhibit a sensible use and management of natural resources throughout their entire life cycle. Long-term environmental concerns, especially pertaining to stocks and flows of material, water and energy, should be an integral part of the design philosophy.

  • Minimizing a project’s ecological footprint and maximizing its positive impact on the environment; reduction of harm and increase of beneficial effects.
  • Environmentally-conscious land use strategies and policies that preserve the natural landscape, while taking water and land reclamation into account.
  • Emphasis placed on the use of renewable energy in construction, use and upkeep of the built fabric to reduce CO2 emissions and avoid toxicity.
  • Innovative deployment of material resources in construction with an emphasis on cradle to cradle cycles, mining existing building stocks, minimizing the consumption of water and reduction of waste.
  • Resilient products, robust construction details, smart interaction of building systems and environmentally sound technologies.

Economic viability and compatibility – PROSPERITY

Projects must be economically feasible and able to secure financing – whether from public, commercial, or concessional sources – while having a positive impact on society and the environment. Avoiding the wasteful consumption of material resources and limiting CO2 emissions, an economy of means in construction is to be promoted. Construction must adhere to the logic of circular economies.

  • Funding sources and profits earned must be legitimate and transparent.
  • Projects should cover operating costs over their lifetime and generate an acceptable rate of return.
  • Integration of the project into the wider economic framework of local, regional, and global monetary flows.
  • Demonstrate flexibility to adapt to future changes of user needs, ownership, laws, regulations, and economic fluctuations.
  • Robust economic models are sought that take unpriced external costs into consideration from the outset.
  • Contribute positively to reducing emissions and to the overall CO2 balance of a structure’s use-cycle.

Contextual and aesthetic impact – PLACE

Projects must convey a high standard of architectural quality as a prevalent form of cultural expression. With space, form and aesthetic impact of utmost significance, the material manifestation of the design must make a positive and lasting contribution to the physical, human and cultural environment.

  • Improvement of existing contextual conditions responding to the natural and built environment.
  • Interdependencies of landscape, infrastructure, urban fabric and architecture.
  • Working with the given building stock through sensitive restoration, re-use or re-modeling of the built environment.
  • Inventive programming strategies in terms of use, multiplicity of functions, short-term flexibility and long-term adaptability.
  • Architectural quality and aesthetic impact, specifically concerning space, spatial sequences, movement, tactility of materials, light and ambiance.

For more information see: “target issues” for sustainable construction