LafargeHolcim Foundation International Symposiums on Sustainable Construction
4th Holcim Forum 2013 – “Economy of Sustainable Construction”

4th Holcim Forum 2013 – “Economy of Sustainable Construction”


The ongoing economic challenges in many parts of the industrialized world are drivers of a paradigm shift: governments, companies and individuals are all becoming aware that although sustainable development incurs costs, it also offers considerable economic potential. This topic: “Economy of Sustainable Construction” was the focus of the 4th International Holcim Forum for Sustainable Construction, held in Mumbai, India, from April 11 to April 13, 2013.

The Holcim Forum was hosted by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Bombay), and  chaired by architect Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean of the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, USA, together with co-chair, engineer Battula K. Chakravarthy, IIT Bombay. 

Taking an array of disciplines into consideration, the focus of the Holcim Forum was on knowledge mining and dissemination, material and product life-cycle assessment, CO2 emissions and energy efficiency, considered deployment of means and economic resources, as well as social welfare and equity. The event offered opportunities for networking and discussion, stimulated by keynote speeches, workshops, panel sessions and a full-day excursion aligned with the workshop themes to sites in Mumbai.

Keynote speakers at the 4th Holcim Forum:

Sir David Chipperfield: a multiple award winning architect, Principal of David Chipperfield Architects, based in London, UK; and Curator for the 13th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale.

Alejandro Aravena: architect and Executive Director of Elemental based in Santiago, Chile, a socially-motivated company that works on infrastructure, transportation, public space and housing projects, and is partnered by the Universidad Católica de Chile.

Lucas Bretschger: economist and Professor of Economics, ETH Zurich, Switzerland; Director of CER-ETH, the Center for Economic Research at ETH, and a member of the Advisory Body on Climate Change to the Swiss government.

Brinda Somaya: architect and urban conservationist from Mumbai, India; Principal Architect and Managing Director at Somaya and Kalappa Consultants; founding trustee of the HECAR Foundation; and advocate of the work of women architects in South Asia.


Workshops and mobile workshops:

Workshop groups, led by contributions from more than 20 international experts, advanced concepts for a sustainable built environment in sessions on the topics of:

“Local resources: Leveraging regional skills and metabolism”

“Compact city: Sustainable or just sustaining economic law?”

“Retained diversity: Maintaining strengths while upgrading informal habitats”

“Overall value: Harnessing all benefits from sustainable construction”


Economy of Sustainable Construction
April 10 to April 13, 2013

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