The construction industry is one of the world’s largest consumers of energy and materials, and offers great potential for improving sustainability performance. A new book, Office building in Costa Rica: measuring up to the criteria of sustainable construction, explains the Holcim Foundation’s five “target issues” with reference to a new office building. The publication promotes sustainable responses to the technological, environmental, socio-economic and cultural issues related to building and construction.
The Holcim Foundation developed a set of five of “target issues” for sustainable construction in partnership with five of the world’s leading technical universities. These criteria provide the basis for judging entries in the Holcim Awards competition – but more broadly serve as a guide for the wide scope of important issues of consideration for increasing sustainability in the built environment.
The publication features the head office building of Holcim Costa Rica, a recognized example of sustainable construction. The building was named one of the most outstanding projects of 2005 by the Mexican Society of Architects, and identified by Spanish GEO Magazine as one of five exceptional sustainable buildings on the planet.
The 60 page-book includes a contribution by the building’s architect, Bruno Stagno, an internationally-renowned specialist for tropical architecture and sustainable design. Stagno shows how the office building in Costa Rica achieves significant sustainability performance while presenting a unique visual image.
Readers learn how the Costa Rica office building meets all five “target issues” – economic, environmental and social factors plus innovation and architectural quality. The building reduces energy demand through natural lighting and ventilation, achieves this at a relatively modest cost, presents a striking and attractive appearance, and provides a stimulating work environment.
The publication (ISBN 978-3-7266-0075-4) is available in English from the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction in Zurich, Switzerland. It may also be downloaded as PDF at: www.lafargeholcim-foundation.org
Another initiative of the Holcim Foundation, the Holcim Forum 2007, is dedicated to the topic of Urban_Trans_Formation and will be held next April at Tongji University in Shanghai, China.
The next Holcim Awards competition for sustainable construction projects will open on June 1, 2007 at: www.holcimawards.org. The partner universities of the Holcim Foundation bring together the jury panels that assess competition entries. The partner universities of the Holcim Foundation are the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), Switzerland; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, USA; Tongji University in Shanghai, China; Universidad Iberoamericana (UIA) in Mexico City, Mexico; and the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The Holcim Foundation is supported by Holcim Ltd but is independent of its commercial interests. Holcim Ltd is one of the world's leading suppliers of cement and aggregates (crushed stone, sand and gravel) as well as downstream activities such as ready-mix concrete and asphalt, including services. The Holcim Group holds majority and minority interests in more than 70 countries on all continents.