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July 31, 2020 | The Materials Book | Cairo, Egypt

Harvesting Materials in a World of Finite Resources

Harvesting Materials in a World of Finite ResourcesA global discourse on materials must address the issue of the harvesting and repurposing of waste. Traditional waste management systems in the Global South are embedded in realities that are often too complex for systems based on the European model to understand. These informal, socially constructed systems are difficult for city planners to accommodate because they developed from the needs and realities of urban inhabitants and were not determined or implemented on a governmental level. They derive from the residents’ knowledge of informal markets and trading systems and provide the most destitute segments of society with incomes, livelihoods, trades, occupations, and economic growth opportunities that other sectors do not provide.

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July 21, 2020 | The Materials Book | Madrid, Spain

Sustainability is inseparable from nature

Sustainability is inseparable from natureTo speak about the materials of construction, as a designer, is to take into account the context of the materials. Starting with history: it’s been said that if you want to look far into the future, first look far into the past. History is inseparable from place. Sustainability, similarly, is inseparable from nature.

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July 15, 2020 | LafargeHolcim Awards | Eclepens, Switzerland

LafargeHolcim Awards juries nominate winners in world’s most significant competition for sustainable design

LafargeHolcim Awards juries nominate winners in world’s most significant competition for ...For each region of the world, nine jurors spent two to three days reviewing submissions and selecting the best projects and visions in sustainable construction. The expertly managed process nominates the potential winners and runners-up in the 6th International LafargeHolcim Awards competition. A multi-step verification process must confirm the winners now which will be communicated in 2021. Physical jury meetings and prize hand-over events had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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July 09, 2020 | The Materials Book | Zurich, Switzerland

Flexibility is essential for economic and environmental efficiency

Flexibility is essential for economic and environmental efficiencyThe well-known triad of environment, economy, and society depicts the many dimensions of sustainability in an understandable yet complex way. Architects must plan buildings – and cities – where people feel comfortable, find their manifold needs satisfied, and treat others with respect. As its needs evolve, a community must be able to identify with, take care of, and reuse buildings and cities instead of tearing them down. How long does a structure need to last? How easily can it be repurposed?

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June 29, 2020 | The Materials Book | Paris, France

Considering the existing as a valuable resource

Considering the existing as a valuable resourceMaking do is about using what we already have. It is about considering the existing as a valuable resource, not as unsatisfactory or constraining. Each existing situation is an opportunity consisting of elements, qualities, and capacities that can be integrated, reactivated, and reused. Each existing structure offers materials that can drastically reduce the need for new materials. Each site permits invention and imagination.

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June 25, 2020 | The Materials Book | Chennai, India

Paradigm shift: The city of 1,000 tanks – Chennai

Paradigm shift: The city of 1,000 tanks – ChennaiWater is a vital resource for all life, yet it is also associated with many of the greatest threats to humanity, from melting ice caps to toxic rivers. A holistic approach to water management can be an emblem for a culture of sustainability. 

Chennai currently works with a perception of scarcity – water is transported across long distances from unsustainable sources to nourish the city. India’s fourth most populous urban agglomeration receives more than enough rain to supply its population of almost ten million people, but the rainwater is quickly expelled into the sea. Wastewater is not reused as an asset; but is allowed to pollute the aquifer. By closing the water loop locally through rainwater harvesting and wastewater recycling, Chennai can become resilient.

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June 24, 2020 | Project Update | Mexico City, Mexico

Global LafargeHolcim Awards Gold winning project in Mexico City completed

Global LafargeHolcim Awards Gold winning project in Mexico City completedHydropuncture: La Quebradora Waterpark in Mexico City is about to open. Supplying enough clean drinking water on the one hand and mitigating urban flooding on the other is a problem that is as commonplace as it is paradoxical in Mexico City. A project to tackle both infrastructural and social challenges of urban water management is already a success story – because for a long time it seemed it would be stopped, mainly by bureaucratic hurdles.

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June 17, 2020 | The Materials Book | Karlsruhe, Germany

Reuse and recycling: Materializing a circular construction

Reuse and recycling: Materializing a circular constructionEver since the industrial revolution, the global economic system has been based on a single linear pattern: the “take – make – throw” model. Companies manufacture products using harvested or extracted materials and consequently sell them to consumers who – once the products are broken, old, or out of fashion – dispose of them, including all their embedded raw materials, water, energy, and knowledge.

To break this pattern, there must be a paradigm shift in the underlying approach, one that will radically change our economic and ecological understanding and decouple economic growth and resource consumption: a shift from a linear to a circular economy.

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June 15, 2020 | LafargeHolcim Awards | Eclépens, Switzerland

Region by region: First-ever virtual meetings of LafargeHolcim Awards juries

Region by region: First-ever virtual meetings of LafargeHolcim Awards juriesEvaluating projects in a virtual meeting across up to five time zones and continents is a new experience for many members of the regional LafargeHolcim Awards juries. The panels that are usually physical meetings hosted by associated universities of the LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction are being replaced by multi-day online sessions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

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May 25, 2020 | The Materials Book | Stuttgart, Germany

Changing paradigms: Creating the future without destroying the world

Changing paradigms: Creating the future without destroying the worldIs the idea of building more with less a Utopia? Maybe. But to me, it’s the key to our future and a challenge we must urgently address. We must all tackle the social, economic, and environmental problems created by population growth, migration, climate change, and dwindling supplies of resources. How do we do this? By building differently and by reforming a construction industry that is famously resistant to change while creating a built environment that requires significantly less material.

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May 18, 2020 | Covid-19: A push for sustainable construction | Zurich, Switzerland

Long-term programs instead of a reactive flurry of separate action

Long-term programs instead of a reactive flurry of separate action How will the Covid-19 pandemic affect the built environment? Will we have to rethink concepts such as urban densification – or will we simply return to “business as usual” once the crisis abates? Experts from the network of the LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction from around the globe share their views.

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May 12, 2020 | LafargeHolcim | Zug, Switzerland

Philippe Block joins the Board of Directors of the LafargeHolcim Group

Philippe Block joins the Board of Directors of the LafargeHolcim GroupIn his capacity as member of the Academic Committee of the LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction since 2014, Philippe Block has been instrumental in realising exemplary projects and in leading debates to promote and enhance sustainability in how and with which materials we build. Philippe Block is Professor of Architecture and Structure at the ETH Zurich in Switzerland and was elected as a member of the Board of Directors of LafargeHolcim Ltd at its Annual General Meeting 2020.

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April 23, 2020 | The Materials Book | San Francisco, CA, USA

Mushroom materials named under the sun

Mushroom materials named under the sunThe ability to grow synthetic wood, open cell foams, and leather analogs is only a small demonstration of what mushroom materials are capable of. Our knowledge of mushrooms is fractured between different industries, areas of expertise, and histories of study. In this new field of applied materials, there is an urgent need for basic measurements and standardized physical parameters at the microscopic level. If we are to fully understand this emerging area of husbandry, it’s going to require significant investment – as well as smart people focused on thinking about rotten things.

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April 18, 2020 | LafargeHolcim | Zug, Switzerland

LafargeHolcim's global response to Covid-19

LafargeHolcim's global response to Covid-19To promote the health and well-being of communities, LafargeHolcim – sponsor of the LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction – is implementing an extraordinary range of measures at country level. Everyone has their part to play in the fight against the Coronavirus (Covid-19), from big to small.

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April 13, 2020 | The Materials Book | Karlsruhe, Germany

Changing paradigms: Materials for a world not yet built

Changing paradigms: Materials for a world not yet builtThe 21st century needs to face a radical paradigm shift in how we produce materials for the construction of our habitat. While the first industrial revolution resulted in a conversion from regenerative (agrarian) to non-regenerative material sources (mines), our era may experience the reverse – a shift toward cultivating, breeding, raising, farming, or growing future resources that goes hand-in-hand with a reorientation of biological production methods and goals.

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March 11, 2020 | LafargeHolcim Awards | Zurich, Switzerland

February 17, 2020 | LafargeHolcim Awards | Zurich, Switzerland

LafargeHolcim Awards Evaluation Criteria

LafargeHolcim Awards Evaluation CriteriaThe 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.

The five “target issues” aim to clarify principles for sustaining the human habitat for future generations and serve as criteria for projects submitted for the LafargeHolcim Awards.

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February 14, 2020 | LafargeHolcim Awards | Zurich, Switzerland

Members of jury announced – Competition open for entries until February 25

Members of jury announced – Competition open for entries until February 25A jury of nine experts headed by Hashim Sarkis, Dean of the MIT School of Architecture & Planning, will evaluate entries in the Global phase of the 6th International LafargeHolcim Awards in 2021. The competition is currently open for submissions at the regional level. The USD 2 million Awards seek projects by professionals as well as bold ideas from the Next Generation that foreground design excellence and sustainability in the built environment.

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February 07, 2020 | Roundtable & Workshop | Madrid, Spain

Towards a low-carbon urban environment

Towards a low-carbon urban environment The “Towards a low-carbon urban environment” panel discussions and workshops in Madrid and Barcelona brought together key actors in the construction sector to examine the challenges and responsibility to reduce carbon emissions. Hosted by LafargeHolcim Spain, the workshop commenced with welcome addresses by Isidoro Miranda, CEO of LafargeHolcim Spain who explained the steps being taken to reduce carbon emissions, and Mariano Garcia, Industrial Director of LafargeHolcim who outlined low carbon products and solutions.

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February 04, 2020 | Organization of the LafargeHolcim Foundation | Zurich, Switzerland

Rejuvenation of the Board and Academic Committee of the LafargeHolcim Foundation

Rejuvenation of the Board and Academic Committee of the LafargeHolcim FoundationThe Board of the LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction has welcomed three new members to further support defining the strategies to encourage innovative approaches to sustainable construction. In addition, the Academic Committee (AC) of the Foundation has been augmented with a new member and a coordinator. The AC is based at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich/EPFL Lausanne) and provides support by developing, implementing, and monitoring initiatives of the Foundation.

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