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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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February 02, 2020 | 14 Tips in 14 Days | Zurich, Switzerland

LafargeHolcim Awards Tip #14

LafargeHolcim Awards Tip #14The LafargeHolcim Awards competition closes at 14:00hrs Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) no matter where you’re located in the world. Registration is open until Tuesday February 25, 2020 (14:00hrs UTC) at that time, it is no longer possible to start a new entry.

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February 01, 2020 | 14 Tips in 14 Days | Zurich, Switzerland

Tip #13 – LafargeHolcim Awards

Tip #13 – LafargeHolcim Awards There is no charge to enter the LafargeHolcim Awards competition. It’s free – and you can enter as many projects or concepts as you wish, from architecture, engineering, urban planning, materials science, construction technology, and related fields.

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January 31, 2020 | 14 Tips in 14 Days | Zurich, Switzerland

LafargeHolcim Awards Tip #12

LafargeHolcim Awards Tip #12We’re incredibly pleased with the level of interest in the LafargeHolcim Awards competition and anticipate a large volume of submissions by the close of entries on February 25, 2020. To enable your entry to stand out during the jury evaluation, make the most effective use of the spaces allocated in the online entry form – it’s important to make each element count. Keep your eye on the details and make sure you include specifics, avoid assumptions, and back up your claims.

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January 30, 2020 | 14 Tips in 14 Days | Zurich, Switzerland

Tip #11 – LafargeHolcim Awards

Tip #11 – LafargeHolcim AwardsThere’s a new feature in the LafargeHolcim Awards Main Category entry form. For the first time, we’re asking all Main Category entrants to provide a qualitative narrative on CO2 Lifecycle Assessment. Global greenhouse emissions must be significantly reduced in the future, and the LafargeHolcim Awards seeks projects that make a contribution toward this objective.

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January 29, 2020 | 14 Tips in 14 Days | Zurich, Switzerland

Tip #10 – LafargeHolcim Awards

Tip #10 – LafargeHolcim Awards We’ve tried to keep things simple for you to enter the LafargeHolcim Awards. There are tips (“info” icon in the online entry form) and a detailed Step-by-step guide – but sometimes you might have an additional question. That’s when you need to contact our Helpdesk.

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January 28, 2020 | 14 Tips in 14 Days | Zurich, Switzerland

Tip #9 – LafargeHolcim Awards

Tip #9 – LafargeHolcim AwardsWe’d love to hear more about every project entered in the LafargeHolcim Awards, but our jury meetings last only two days. That’s why the text fields in the entry form are short: you need to stay on track and be concise.

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January 27, 2020 | Book Announcement | Berlin, Germany

The Materials Book presents ideas on environmentally mindful and socially responsible use of construction materials and resources

The Materials Book presents ideas on environmentally mindful and socially responsible use ...With the population growing by 2.6 people per second, by 2050 the world will need twice as many homes, highways, streets, and schools – all kinds of built infrastructure. That will require vast quantities of construction materials and untold emissions of carbon dioxide, both for building new structures as well as heating, cooling, and maintaining them over their lifespan.

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January 27, 2020 | 14 Tips in 14 Days | Zurich, Switzerland

Tip #8 – LafargeHolcim Awards

Tip #8 – LafargeHolcim Awards The LafargeHolcim Awards competition is truly global. In the 2016/17 entry period, we received entries from more than 120 countries. But to ensure the independent regional juries evaluate all submissions equally – and also enable the LafargeHolcim Foundation to share information about the amazing winning projects – submissions must be completed in English.

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January 26, 2020 | 14 Tips in 14 Days | Zurich, Switzerland

Tip #7 – LafargeHolcim Awards

Tip #7 – LafargeHolcim AwardsPlease don’t send us any physical printouts of your entry via post or courier. Only print a copy of your entry in the LafargeHolcimAwards if you wish to keep a physical copy for your own records.

We use the data submitted in the online entry form to generate display books of all entries for the independent regional juries. This allows us to present each submission in a standard layout. Creating the same standard layout for each submission gives each entry an equal opportunity to attract the attention of the jury.

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January 25, 2020 | 14 Tips in 14 Days | Zurich, Switzerland

Tip #6 – LafargeHolcim Awards

Tip #6 – LafargeHolcim Awards Execution of projects entered in the LafargeHolcim Awards competition may not have started before January 1, 2019. It’s important to understand exactly how the start date is defined. The condition means that physical construction/manufacturing of the project must not have started before January 1, 2019 – but it’s perfectly acceptable for design/research work to have already started before they key date. 

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January 24, 2020 | 14 Tips in 14 Days | Zurich, Switzerland

Tip #5 – LafargeHolcim Awards

Tip #5 – LafargeHolcim AwardsThe online entry form includes three texts to explain how your project contributes to sustainable construction. These relatively short texts need to be strongly focused to explain the benefits of your project to the independent regional jury. The statements should refer to the “target issues” for sustainable construction – stay fully-focused so your project stands out from the crowd.

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January 24, 2020 | L'Architecture d'Aujourd'hui | Paris, France

Benefits of global design competitions featured in special issue of L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui

Benefits of global design competitions featured in special issue of L’Architecture d’Aujourd’huiIf architecture is a culture of ideas then the way to leverage innovation is to enable cultural exchange, states architecture critic Edwin Heathcote in a special issue of L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui (AA).

Because architecture has a tendency to look inwards into its own culture, the kind of networking architects often indulge in so often appears to be curiously within its own boundaries. I was always a little puzzled by this craving for peer recognition, but it does make a kind of sense.

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January 23, 2020 | 14 Tips in 14 Days | Zurich, Switzerland

Tip #4 – LafargeHolcim Awards

Tip #4 – LafargeHolcim AwardsA picture is worth 1,000 words – so it’s worth making the most of the image section of your LafargeHolcim Awards competition entry. Images are an important opportunity to explain your project in a compelling way to the independent regional Awards jury, especially since space for text is limited. The images should focus on the key points of your project and how it responds to the “target issues” for sustainable construction.

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January 22, 2020 | 14 Tips in 14 Days | Zurich, Switzerland

Tip #3 – LafargeHolcim Awards

Tip #3 – LafargeHolcim AwardsStaying focused on the “target issues” for sustainable construction will help your project to stand out in the LafargeHolcim Awards. Make sure you understand how your project most contributes according to the target issues when responding to the “statements on sustainability” in the online entry form.

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January 21, 2020 | 14 Tips in 14 Days | Zurich, Switzerland

Tip #2 – LafargeHolcim Awards

Tip #2 – LafargeHolcim AwardsOur Step-by-step guide is a detailed handbook on how to enter the LafargeHolcim Awards. As the name suggests, the guide explains each of the five steps to complete the online entry form – and further information to help you present your project in the most convincing way.

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January 20, 2020 | 14 Tips in 14 Days | Zurich, Switzerland

Tip #1– LafargeHolcim Awards

Tip #1– LafargeHolcim AwardsThere are only 36 days left to enter the LafargeHolcim Awards competition – so now’s the time to get started. The best way to understand what information is needed to enter the competition is to open an online entry form, and start filling it in.

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January 17, 2020 | Association of Polish Architects Event | Warsaw, Poland

Reducing the carbon footprint panel discussion hosted by Association of Polish Architects

Reducing the carbon footprint panel discussion hosted by Association of Polish ArchitectsMoving towards net zero emissions a is critical element of addressing climate change. Together, building and construction are responsible for almost 40% of global carbon emissions. Figures from the World Green Building Council attribute around 11% of global carbon emissions to the “upfront” carbon associated with the materials and construction processes through the whole building lifecycle* – with the remainder attributed to operational emissions (energy used to heat, cool and light buildings). A series of presentations and panel discussion hosted by the Association of Polish Architects examined the urgent need for sustainable construction and what is preventing us from changing now.

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January 09, 2020 | Women in Design 2020+ | Mumbai, India

International “Women in Design 2020+” highlights the work and the challenges of women in architecture

International “Women in Design 2020+” highlights the work and the challenges of women in ...Nobody responded to the first attempt of Brinda Somaya to organize a conference for female architects in 1990. Ten years later she was overwhelmed by the interest shown in the inaugural “Women in Architecture 2000 Plus” conference – and two decades later 600 delegates and more than 30 speakers from around the globe have converged upon Mumbai, India, to celebrate the diversity and richness of women-driven design practices. “Some women architects from South Asia have transformed their offices into creative powerhouses,” explained Brinda Somaya. “Much has changed – but much more must still change,” she said in the opening panel discussion.

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January 07, 2020 | LafargeHolcim Awards | Zurich, Switzerland

The world’s most significant competition for sustainable design

The world’s most significant competition for sustainable designEntries in the 6th International LafargeHolcim Awards for Sustainable Construction will close on February 25, 2020. The competition seeks projects by professionals as well as bold ideas from the Next Generation that combine sustainable construction solutions with architectural excellence. The Awards foreground projects and concepts from architecture, engineering, urban planning, materials science, construction technology, and related fields.

Read more » más información (Spanish) » pour en savoir plus (French) »

December 20, 2019 | Interview | Zurich, Switzerland

December 13, 2019 | Affordable Housing | Madrid, Spain

LafargeHolcim Foundation supports exploration of Re-materializing Housing

LafargeHolcim Foundation supports exploration of Re-materializing Housing The Norman Foster Foundation is awarding 10 scholarships for students to participate in the first edition of the Re-materializing Housing Workshop 2020, to be held at the Norman Foster Foundation in Madrid, Spain. 

The workshop is supported by the LafargeHolcim Foundation and will take place from March 23-27, 2020.

Re-materializing Housing Workshop 2020 debates how knowledge learnt from vernacular architecture techniques can best be combined with the developments of new technologies to design affordable housing solutions.

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December 10, 2019 | Project Update | Wellesley, MA, USA

The re-imagined greenhouse is growing on its residents

The re-imagined greenhouse is growing on its residentsConstruction of the LafargeHolcim Awards winning net-zero energy greenhouse at Wellesley College, USA is now complete. Sustainable design is at the very core of the structure, form, and system – meeting sustainability metrics as a matter of course and then goes much further to achieve a virtuosity of integration. The Global Flora conservatory at the Margaret C Ferguson Greenhouses will open to the general public when renovation of the Science Center is completed in two years. More than 1,000 varieties of plants are housed in the bio-friendly greenhouse – and are showing signs of handling the transition well.

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December 02, 2019 | Keynote Speech | Nanjing, China

Urban Quality: Density, Diversity, and Sustainability

Urban Quality: Density, Diversity, and SustainabilityProf Dr Marc Angélil, Head of the Academic Committee of the LafargeHolcim Foundation delivered a keynote address at the Urban Quality: Density, Diversity, and Sustainability conference in Nanjing, China. The lecture “Terra: Project Earth” examined the effects of urbanization at the global scale. Earth itself can be conceptualized as an unsustainable city – highlighting the urgent need for action.

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November 26, 2019 | ‘A’A’: Global design competitions | Zurich, Switzerland

Measuring sustainable construction performance in the LafargeHolcim Awards competition

Measuring sustainable construction performance in the LafargeHolcim Awards competition“The LafargeHolcim Awards are an opportunity to celebrate new ideas and innovations, and to establish a global dialogue with our colleagues,” enthuses Enrique Norten, architect, founder of TEN Arquitectos and member of the Board of the LafargeHolcim Foundation. However, before the LafargeHolcim Awards prizes are conferred, the submissions must be meticulously analyzed and assessed. To facilitate this lengthy process, each applicant must fulfil expectations with regard to several criteria of evaluation set out by the LafargeHolcim Foundation.

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November 21, 2019 | Bandung Design Bienniale | Bandung, Indonesia

LafargeHolcim Awards talk in Bandung inspires “full house” of local architects and students

LafargeHolcim Awards talk in Bandung inspires “full house” of local architects and studentsIt was a full house at the Bandung Creative City Forum in the city’s historic quarter on October 31. Around 80 eager participants including architecture students and representatives of prominent architectural practices in Bandung gathered to examine the future of the built environment and of sustainability. Held to coincide with the Bandung Design Biennale, the key message was that creativity and ecologically integrated design were central elements in designing for sustainability. The event featured a presentation by Nirmal Kishnani of his latest research on how to create robust socio-ecological systems and a panel discussion on the benefits of participating in design competitions including the LafargeHolcim Awards. Organized by local architects Florian Heinzelmann and Daliana Suryawinata of SHAU on behalf of the LafargeHolcim Foundation, the attendance demonstrated local interest in the theme of sustainable construction.

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November 20, 2019 | ‘A’A’: Global design competitions | Paris, France

Taking on the question of sustainability without having a predetermined set of answers or values

Taking on the question of sustainability without having a predetermined set of answers or values Brinda Somaya is the Principal Architect & Managing Director of Somaya & Kalappa Consultants based in Mumbai, India. She has been involved with the LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction since 2014, when she was a member of the Awards jury for Asia Pacific. She became a member of the Board of the Foundation in January 2017. Hashim Sarkis is the Dean of the School of Architecture & Planning at the MIT and the Principal of Hashim Sarkis Studios based in Cambridge, USA, and Beirut, Lebanon. He headed the LafargeHolcim Awards jury for Africa Middle East in 2011 and was a member of the Global Awards jury in 2018. He was also recently appointed curator of the 2020 Venice Architecture Biennale and will head the Global LafargeHolcim Awards jury in 2021. Both of them share their experience and views on the awards competition.

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November 17, 2019 | Zero Carbon Hack | Lyon, France

How much material can we do without in construction?

How much material can we do without in construction?50 students from ten European countries participated in the “Zero Carbon Hack” at the global LafargeHolcim Innovation Centre in Lyon, France. Together with a dozen mentors they spent an entire weekend searching for ways to minimize the embodied carbon footprint of a reference building. John Orr, Lecturer in Concrete Structures at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, explained why he believes that up to 50% less material could be used in construction thanks to better design.

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November 11, 2019 | 22 Propositions | Pittsburgh, USA

“Could I eat your furniture, IKEA?”

“Could I eat your furniture, IKEA?”What if materials were not just non-toxic but also regenerative – could a building clean the air? Titanium dioxide facade coatings are being studied for pollution capture and a range of studies are underway on carbon sequestration in common materials. Designing for non-toxicity is a first step toward regeneration that can be taken today. Materials that contain chemicals hazardous to human or environmental health are not recyclable, create enduring waste, may harm the workers producing them, and may emit hazardous chemicals – especially if they catch fire.

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November 07, 2019 | Project Celebration | Niamey, Niger

Architects celebrate LafargeHolcim Awards prize with their construction team

Architects celebrate LafargeHolcim Awards prize with their construction teamThe latest global LafargeHolcim Awards Silver winning project transformed a derelict mosque into a library that shares its site with a new mosque for the village of Dandaji in Niger. To turn their concept into reality, the architects Yasaman Esmaili and Mariam Kamara relied on a dedicated labor force of local masons, electrical- and metal-workers and technicians. “It was through the efforts and skill of our workforce that the project was successful – everyone involved should be proud of a job well done and the international recognition we received,” said the designers.

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