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It’s important to consider the environmental, social and economic impact of any building. Material performance and resource efficiency must be taken into consideration to determine the optimum blend for efficient building construction, use and recycling.
Reclaiming materials is economically and environmentally sensible. Resource extraction from decommissioned structures in cities can provide large quantities of mineral resources and metals. Urban mining reduces the rate of raw material extraction and the volume of landfill.
To reduce the amount of raw material extracted from the earth each year, we need to move from a wasteful take-make-throw model to a circular take-make-repeat economy. Increasing material efficiency, using byproducts and reusing resources can transform the materials supply chain.
Materials with only one function have short lifecycles and are discarded as waste after use. This is dangerous in a world with finite resources. A circular cradle-to-cradle approach redesigns building materials so they can be reused in loops that recover, reimagine and reconfigure indefinitely.
Using local materials and know-how has social and economic benefits. Local materials can reduce emissions from production and transportation, and capitalize on local resources, know-how and labor. Investing in local production makes a long-term positive change to material flows.
Most buildings have value in the future beyond their originally planned use. Designing structures for adaptation and cleverly converting buildings rather than replacing them entirely can extend building lifespans and preserve historic fabric, as well as make projects more interesting and sustainable.
The LafargeHolcim Foundation for SustainableConstruction looks forward to doing its part in 2021 to promote Carbon Neutral Construction that reduces CO2 in materials and processes; Circular Construction that recycles materials such as building and demolition waste; and Design Innovation & Digital Design to build more with less.
The LafargeHolcim Foundation has been promoting Sustinable Design since it was established in 2003 and wishes you, your family and friends all the best for a safe, happy and prosperous New Year.
The building sector represents a large share of worldwide carbon emissions (c. 40%) and thus reducing the carbon footprint of the built environment will be essential to reach the ambitions of the Paris Agreement. This will require a deep transformation of how we envision, plan, design, build and manage our built environment.
Sacred and Profane in India by Vedhant Maharaj, Rebel Base Collective, South Africa located on the edge of the Ganga (Ganges) River in Varanasi imagines a new typology of water purification infrastructure that transcends mere utility. Technical requirements are combined with places for social gathering and cultural rituals, in a set of carefully designed architectural interventions at the threshold between river and land.
Cooling Roof in California, USA by Georgina Baronian, Princeton University explores a prototype for an evaporative roof that uses radiant cooling. The research investigates how to cool large-scale (big box) structures using water on the roof as a thermal insulator and solar reflector.
The project opened in 2015 and foregrounds the value of water as an important resource of urban life.
Territorial Figure in Argentina by Stefano Romagnoli, Juan Cruz Serafini & Tomás Pont, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba proposes an infrastructure for the use of tidal energy in Río Gallegos estuary at Punta Loyola in Argentina. It merges infrastructure, landscape, and architecture in a magnificent natural setting.
Machinarium in South Africa by Heidi Boulanger, University of Pretoria redefines understandings of industry, proposing a new system of resource exchange between specific production processes. The design explores synergies between a textile manufacturing facility, agricultural fields, and a sewage treatment plant to create a “Machinarium” of mutually interrelated and sustainable systems.
De-Salination in Ireland by András Dankházi, University College Dublin focusses on symbiotic water supply and landscape regeneration. The project reuses the warmed saltwater output from power plants in a mixed-use infrastructure for low-cost desalination to supply water to Dublin’s growing population.
The reverse credit program has been rolled out in the six largest recycling neighborhoods in Cairo – which recycle 20,000 tons of municipal waste per day, managed by small family-owned businesses with a history of more than 70 years in the city. Laila Iskandar is chairperson of CID, an Egyptian consulting firm pursuing holistic growth solutions by bridging corporate and developmental objectives.
Explaining how LafargeHolcim is leading the way in low carbon and circular construction and is already recovering a hundred times more waste than it produces – Magali Anderson, Chief Sustainability Officer of LafargeHolcim and member of the Board of the LafargeHolcim Foundation.
“We must focus on more inclusive development – and look at the quality of urban spaces, health centers and the way we design these facilities for our society,” says Fasil Giorghis, Chair of Conservation of Urban & Architectural Heritage at the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture Building Construction & City Development, and Ambassador of the LafargeHolcim Awards.
“This crisis will force architecture to focus on resilience and adaptability. We need to re-examine how public space is created, and also ensure residential space can accommodate different uses such as working from home,” says Fernando González Piris, Madrid-based architect, at Ensamble Studio & LafargeHolcim Forum 2019 attendee.
“I look forward to a ‘new normal’ where financialization and tourism are no longer the strongest drivers of urban development” – Kaarin Taipale, Finish urban researcher and politician, and a member of the LafargeHolcim Foundation network from the beginning.
“Our profession will go through a revolution in terms of designing antimicrobial building materials,” says Nada Nafeh, from Egypt. The young architect and urban designer is recipient of a Research in Practice Grant of the LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction.
“Suddenly food, shelter, health and safety are the most important things,” says Nand Kumar, LafargeHolcim Awards Ambassador from India: “Travel is not important, luxury is not important, and brands are not important.”
“Architects and designers have unique skills in critical thinking and the ability to imagine new futures,” say the recipients of the first LafargeHolcim Research in Practice Grant for Sustainable Construction – Stefano Romagnoli, Juan Cruz, and Tomás Pont. The three winners from Argentina add: “We strongly believe that we are moving towards a change in paradigm after this pandemic.”
“Architects and urban designers will need to carefully rethink the structures of our cities – how we understand proximity and space between people and the built environment.” Mitchell Joachim, architect and urban designer at Terreform ONE, and LafargeHolcim Awards winner, shares his thoughts about the role of architecture in the Covid-19 Crisis.
“Washing hands, staying at home and social distancing will not work in communities with poor access to water, sanitation and other infrastructure. Our cities are built by and rely on this informal workforce – so we need investment and innovation in affordable housing to better meet a future crisis,” says Avneesh Tiwari, Mumbai-based architect, founder of atArchitecture and LafargeHolcim Awards winner.
“It might reframe the act of designing for the 21st century,” says Brazilian architect Eduardo Pizarro. “How do we rebuild the sense of common in cities which are already unequal, fragmented, segregated?”
The LafargeHolcim Foundation has decided to postpone the regional prize hand-over events until next year, in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. This 5-minute video by Edward Schwarz, General Manager of the LafargeHolcim Foundation explains how the Awards competition schedule has been adapted.
“The #LafargeHolcimAwards is a very positive Catalyst for Change – and sheds light on what #SustainableConstruction means in different cities around the world” says Noor Marji, who studied architecture at the German Jordanian University. She won a Next Generation prize in 2017 for a hybrid structure that takes on both architectural and infrastructural traits, while restoring a piece of the Amman’s undulating terrain.
“The LafargeHolcim Awards is a great opportunity to elevate your project – and be part of a global conversation on design excellence and sustainability in architecture” says Sharon Johnston.
Johnston Marklee won an Acknowledgement prize in 2017 for the renovation and extension of the Graduate Art Studios at UCLA in Culver City, California. Sharon Johnston will be a member of the jury for North America in 2020. The LafargeHolcim Awards is the world’s most significant competition for sustainable design.
“Winning a prize not only gives you a boost professionally – it also helps to build momentum with all stakeholders in the project to move towards construction” says Joaquín Pérez-Goicoechea. AGi architects won an Acknowledgement prize for Bio-Palimpsest that addresses archaeological sites in Pontevedra, Spain as whole environments far beyond the excavated artifact.
Entering the LafargeHolcim Awards competition is a great way to push your ideas further” – says Eva Pfannes, Ooze Architects and LafargeHolcim Awards Bronze winner for a sanitation system for informal community in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
More than 80 of the project’s enthusiastic workforce met in the backyard of Atelier masōmī in Niamey, the capital of Niger to recognize the dedicated labor force of local masons, electrical- and metal-workers and technicians.
“You’ll be part of a network of contacts in different industries and countries – which is something we cherish a lot” – says Jeanette Kuo on winning a LafargeHolcim Awards prize. Karamuk Kuo Architects project for an excavation center at Augusta Raurica provides a flexible structure system for safeguarding the largest Roman archaeological site in Switzerland.
“Follow a material’s life-cycle to get a better view of the industry,” concludes Kai-Uwe Bergmann at the LafargeHolcim Forum on “Re-materializing construction”. Bergmann is partner architect at Bjarke Ingels Group and was a workshop respondent at the LafargeHolcim Forum for Sustainable Construction.
“We need to challenge the limits of materials,” demands Jens Diebold following the LafargeHolcim Forum on “Re-materializing construction”. Diebold is Head of Sustainable Development of LafargeHolcim and member of the Board of the LafargeHolcim Foundation.
“It’s important to talk about how to deal with materials in the future,” says Francis Kéré following the LafargeHolcim Forum on “Re-materializing construction”. Kéré is principal of Kéré Architecture in Berlin and was a keynote speaker at the LafargeHolcim Forum for Sustainable Construction.
“Concrete is a very ecologically-friendly and local material – it must be improved and made more efficient,” explains Karen Scrivener following the LafargeHolcim Forum on “Re-materializing construction”. Scrivener is Head of the Laboratory of Construction Materials at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL Lausanne).
“We have enough existing materials – we can improve them and make them more effective,” explains Anne Lacaton following the LafargeHolcim Forum on “Re-materializing construction”. Lacaton is co-founder of Lacaton & Vassal architects in Paris and was a keynote speaker at the LafargeHolcim Forum for Sustainable Construction.
“Bring all the knowledge to the political decision-makers,” demands Rt Hon Simon Upton following the LafargeHolcim Forum on “Re-materializing construction” where he was concluding keynote speaker. Upton is the former Environmental Director of the OECD and currently New Zealand Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.
“The least resource consumption for a maximum use,” summarizes Michael Scharpf following the LafargeHolcim Forum on “Re-materializing construction.” Scharpf is Lead Manager Sustainable Construction of LafargeHolcim.
“We can provide the supply but not the demand,” states Cédric de Meeûs following the LafargeHolcim Forum on “Re-materializing construction” with regard to the recycling of concrete. De Meeûs is Head of Public Affairs of LafargeHolcim.