LafargeHolcim Foundation International Examples of Sustainable Construction

Project updates

Latest progress reports

This section of the website reports on the progress of sustainable construction projects associated with the Holcim Awards competition. The updates explain how the winning projects have evolved from inspired ideas into tangible flagships of sustainable construction. The project updates also report on actual performance in comparison to that which was projected, and the extent to which further innovation or adaptation has taken place.

March 16, 2017 | Material Reduction: Efficient Fabric-Formed Concrete | Abingdon, United Kingdom

Routledge publishes “The Fabric Formwork Book” by Mark West
Material Reduction: Efficient Fabric-Formed Concrete

“The Fabric Formwork Book: Methods for Building New Architectural and Structural Forms in Concrete” is the first comprehensive monograph on the emerging technology of flexible molds for reinforced concrete architecture. 

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March 10, 2017 | Zero net energy school building | Yuba City, CA, USA

Net Zero Energy schools are best in class
Zero net energy school building

Swift Lee Office’s Net Zero Energy (NZE) High-Performing School Prototype has been successfully built on three sites in California. SLO is now a contender to design and manufacture the prototype classroom buildings for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) at various school sites, where it is shifting the discussion on building cost away from the short term to examine sustainability across the building’s life cycle.

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February 23, 2017 | Re-Made Fabric | Chittagong, Bangladesh

"The LafargeHolcim Awards encouraged us and extended our network internationally" – Meriem Chabani
Re-Made Fabric

Winning a LafargeHolcim Awards Next Generation prize has had a significant impact on Meriem Chabani, a young French-Algerian architect: “It has given rise to publications and brought us numerous invitations to present this work,” she explains in an interview series by French/English magazine L’Architecture d’Aujhourd’hui (‘A’A’).

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February 22, 2017 | Coastal fog-harvesting tower | Huasco, Chile

A tower of strength
Coastal fog-harvesting tower

The spiralling towers created by Alberto Fernández and Susana Ortega capture the moisture from the clouds of the “Camanchaca”, a coastal fog originating from the anticyclone of the Pacific. The towers are planned for the dry coastal fringe of Chile where agriculture is constrained by water scarcity. Since winning a Next Generation prize in 2008, the concept has been further developed with funding from the Chilean Government and from the United Nations. The construction of the towers was adapted from the original design to interconnect the structure and the fabric, which accelerates the construction process.

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February 21, 2017 | Articulated Site | Medellín, Colombia

Colectivo 720, committed to sustainability
Articulated Site

2015, was certainly a year to remember for Colectivo720. After winning the LafargeHolcim Awards Gold for Latin America in 2014, architects Mario Camargo and Luis Tombé, together with Juan Calle and Horacio Valencia of EPM Group, won the Global LafargeHolcim Award Gold the year after.

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February 20, 2017 | Poreform | Las Vegas, NV, USA

Amy Mielke and Caitlin Taylor address the global challenge of water scarcity

L'Architecture d'Aujourd'hui (‘A’A’) interviewed American designers Amy Mielke and Caitlin Taylor of Water Pore Partnership who won the LafargeHolcim Awards Gold 2014 for their Poreform project. Their approach repositions water infrastructure as a civic project: using a water absorptive surface and subterranean basin to capture rain runoff that adds over 75,000 megaliters to the water supply capacity of Las Vegas, USA. Capable of rapid saturation and slow release, the flood-control pores of this “urban skin” are inlets to a new infrastructure that reframes water as a valuable resource rather than a liability.

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February 18, 2017 | Urban renewal and swimming-pool precinct | Berlin, Germany

Jan and Tim Edler, from Utopia to Reality
Urban renewal and swimming-pool precinct

L'Architecture d'Aujourd'hui (‘A’A’) discussed their iconic Flussbad project with Jan and Tim Edler from Berlin-based realities:united studio. The architects won two LafargeHolcim Awards (LafargeHolcim Award Gold for Europe in 2011, Global LafargeHolcim Award Bronze in 2012) for their project located in the centre of Berlin that aims to transform an unused arm of the River Spree into a natural “swimming pool”.

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February 17, 2017 | X Marks the Spot | Madrid, Spain

D.A.T. Pangea, Socially Focussed
X Marks the Spot

L'Architecture d'Aujourd'hui (‘A’A’) talked to Hani Jaber about the impact of the Award on his work as an architect – which takes key social problems into consideration while offering appropriate design solutions to address specific issues at hand.

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February 16, 2017 | Efficient fabrication system for geometrically complex building elements | Zurich, Switzerland

Lluis Enrique, On Making Complex Things Simple
Efficient fabrication system for geometrically complex building elements

L'Architecture d'Aujourd'hui (‘A’A’) asked Lluis Enrique more about his research and the impact of winning a LafargeHolcim Awards prize on his work. A research project conducted by Povilas Cepaitis, Lluis Enrique, Diego Ordoñez and Carlos Piles, a team of students from the AA School of Architecture in London received a regional and global LafargeHolcim Awards prize in 2011/12.

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October 21, 2016 | Efficient fabrication system for geometrically complex building elements | Zurich, Switzerland

Casting an eye on precast design
Efficient fabrication system for geometrically complex building elements

Research to develop the Next Generation and Innovation Award prize-winning CASTonCAST system has continued at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich). Project author Lluis Enrique is completing a PhD that examines structural concerns in the fabrication system for the design of shell structures built from precast stackable components. His multidisciplinary research in the area of building technology brings together the fields of architectural geometry and manufacturing, with the aim of producing architectural freeform shapes in an economically efficient and sustainable manner.

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Walls don't work
Walls don't work

Considering current debates on the possible erection of a wall along the border of the United States and Mexico, the LafargeHolcim…

Border fencing from the era of the 1990s Operation Gatekeeper, near Campo, California, …

Border fencing from the era of the 1990s Operation Gatekeeper, near Campo, California, USA. Courtesy: Michael …

LafargeHolcim Awards – submit your project by March 21, 2017

The LafargeHolcim Awards is the world's most significant competition in sustainable design. This short video explains …