Professor Dr. Hans-Rudolf Schalcher was the guiding force behind the first Holcim Forum. The Dean of the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) and member of the Board of the Holcim Foundation led the way through the program.
“Sustainability is future fitness,” said Gerhard Schmitt, Vice President of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) at the Forum. “The buildings we design today should be able to serve us reasonably 50 years from now – regarding all the aspects we will then consider important.” From this perspective it is clear that the younger generation must be involved in the discourse on sustainable construction.
Simon Upton commands a long and broad overview of global efforts in sustainable development. He spoke to the Holcim Forum about the role international policy plays in sustainable development and touched on practically every critical aspect of the topic. His assessment of past efforts, the problems we face, and the priorities and approaches we should adopt are seasoned with knowledge, experience, realism, and penetrating insight.
Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura presented his famous Braga Stadium, built on the site of a former quarry. In 2004 the European championship soccer games made the stadium known to groups far beyond architectural circles. What interests Eduardo Souto de Moura the most in architecture is the balance between the natural and the manmade.
With uncommon imagination and creativity, Dutch architect Winy Maas shares his radical visions for sustainable construction.
Moderator: Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean, College of Architecture, Art and Planning, Cornell University, USA
With his Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, the economics professor spurns social, political, and economic prejudice and shows how to help the poorest of the poor: by lending them a few dollars and requiring them to pay back their microcredit. At the Holcim Forum, Muhammad Yunus impressed the international audience with his lively lecture and with his charisma.
The short-term nature of temporary events - trade fairs, world exhibitions, sport championships, music festivals, and the Olympic Games - seems to stand in conflict with the lasting objectives of sustainability. How can provisional structures be sustainable and provide a contribution to enduring basic needs within the socio-economic context of communities surrounding the venue?
Moderator: Andreas Ruby
Human habitation represents one of the primary needs of society. How can this substantial challenge be met according to standards of sustainability - in view of rapid population growth and exploding settlements? What are the forward-looking responses to urban sprawl and the specific demands of particular social groups (neighborhoods, gated communities, golf course developments)?
Moderator: Adèle Naudé Santos
In contrast to expanding territories, specific regions, cities, and urban districts are confronted with a loss of population and available employment opportunities. Such a trend stands in contradiction to the very definition of the city as a prosperous entity shaped by continuous economic and demographic growth. How can the built environment be maintained and transformed to satisfy the needs of future generations?
Moderator: Daniel Irurah
The market has traditionally been the place for the exchange of everyday consumer goods. Mass culture, globalization, and information technology have changed the requirements of marketplaces - where the production and distribution of branded commodities as well as the creation of shopping entertainment centers have altered the basic behavioral patterns of consumer activity.
Moderator: Xavier Costa
Education is the key to overcoming poverty and enabling people to excel as citizens. Commonly confronted with a deficiency of means, educational systems have compromised on their objectives. The requirements of schools and other educational institutions, whether public or private, are multi-layered. Constructions must meet the requirements of tomorrow's learning environment.
Moderator: Reed Kroloff
Presentations of the working group results by the representatives of the working groups.
A panel representing the experience of local authorities, investors, environmental organizations, and intergovernmental agencies discussed a number of issues and possible strategies.
Posters by students from five of the world’s leading technical universities on approaches to the “Basic Needs” competed in the Student Poster Competition. The five winners were selected by the Forum participants.
Visit construction site of the new Gotthard railway tunnel. Explanations by Senior Executives of the Federal Office for Transport and NEAT project management and visit landfill and flood protection projects. Explanations by the Building Director of the canton of Uri and Senior Executives of the Building Authorities.
Guided tour of the Culture and Congress Center Lucerne (KKL) and visit of the Glacier Grotto and the Glacier Park.
September 15 to September 18, 2004
The Holcim Foundation website www.lafargeholcim-foundation.org now features a diverse range of approaches to sustainable construction from…
At the Holcim Forum for Sustainable Construction 120 experts from around the world met in Switzerland. They brought to the discussions and…
Sustainable construction is an urgent requirement, according to more than 120 experts meeting for the first Holcim Forum in Zurich,…