Top sustainable construction projects honored

    Holcim Awards winners for North America announced in Montréal

    MONTREAL, Oct. 17 /CNW/ - The winners of the second North American Holcim
Awards competition for Sustainable Construction projects were announced at a
ceremony in Montreal. Total prize money of USD 270,000 was presented to nine
projects from Canada and the United States that showcase the latest approaches
to address critical topics including housing affordability, employment,
renewable energy, and water efficiency.

    The competition is run in parallel in five regions of the world by the
Swiss-based Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction. Almost 5000
projects from 90 countries entered the competition which aims to promote
sustainable construction.

    Gold Award to New York City's first carbon-neutral building

    The Solar 2 Green Energy, Arts and Education Center will be the first
building in New York to produce all the energy the building needs from
sustainable sources. The project received the top prize of USD 100,000 and the
Holcim Awards Gold 2008 trophy for North America.
    Head of Jury and Dean of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
School of Architecture and Planning, Adèle Naudé Santos, commented that the
project will feature innovations that can be applied in homes and other
buildings, and motivate visitors to consider how they can personally
contribute to the solution of today's energy and climate challenges.

    Silver Award for a self-contained day labor station in San Francisco

    The Holcim Awards Silver 2008 was awarded to a project that establishes
informal stations where day laborers can meet and await work. The innovative
project is designed by Liz Obgu of San Francisco-based nonprofit organization
Public Architecture.

    Freshwater lake restoration and research facility in Ontario wins Bronze

    The Living with Lakes Center in northeastern Ontario will be
self-sufficient for electricity and heating needs. The project overseen by
Laurentian University scientist John Gunn will also house a research center to
investigate the restoration of the city of Sudbury's ecosystem with an
emphasis on guaranteeing drinking water quality for future generations. The
Bronze award-winning project will be built to LEED platinum standards with
instrumentation fitted to monitor the effectiveness of an array of technical
features and their impact on lake water quality.

    Acknowledgement prizes for projects in Toronto, Vancouver and Detroit

    Three submissions received Acknowledgement prizes for their innovative
approaches to sustainable construction. An urban sustainability education
center on the site of an old brickworks by Canadian charity Evergreen led by
urban planner David Stonehouse was applauded for its thorough approach to
revitalization. The center in Toronto will promote environmental and community
health, "brownfield" redevelopment, heritage conservation, sustainable design
and public-private partnerships.
    The comprehensive planning of a minimal-impact North Vancouver Outdoor
School by local firm Larry McFarland Architects was recognized for its
performance in terms of zero net energy and carbon emissions performance. The
center uses elevated buildings to avoid potential damage from flooding and
take advantage of the views of the beautiful surrounding landscape.
    A strategy to augment honeybee populations in Detroit by architect
Stéphane Orsolini and engineer Erika Mayr of Berlin, Germany was praised for
transforming open urban spaces into green parks.

    "Next Generation" prizes for project visions

    For the first time, the Holcim Awards competition included a category for
the visions of young architects and designers. MIT architect Neri Oxman and
University of Michigan engineer John Hart were awarded the "Next Generation"
1st prize for their visionary building skin research using carbon nanotubes to
develop materials that can be assigned specific structural, functional and
environmental properties.
    "Next Generation" 2nd prize was awarded to an urban residential
densification project in Toronto, designed by architects Chenlong Wang and
Lingchen Liu of Beijing, China. The proposal creates a series of unusual
housing designs that perfectly utilize small gaps in the urban fabric. The 3rd
prize was awarded to Harvard Graduate School of Design student Andrew Lantz
for his proposal for an urban fitness, cultural and housing center that
collects energy from kinetics, such as running on a treadmill, to power the

    The prizes for region North America were conferred at the awards ceremony
held in Montréal attended by more than 300 representatives of government,
business, architecture and related disciplines.
    The Montreal event was the second of five regional ceremonies. Gold,
silver and bronze prize winners from each region automatically qualify for the
global Holcim Awards competition. The projects will be further evaluated by a
global jury and the winners proclaimed in Switzerland in May 2009.

    The Holcim Awards is an international competition of the Holcim
Foundation for Sustainable Construction. The competition seeks innovative,
future-oriented and tangible sustainable construction projects; offers prize
money of USD 2 million per three-year competition cycle; and is run in
cooperation with renowned partner universities: Massachusetts Institute of
Technology (MIT), USA; Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich),
Switzerland; Tongji University, China; Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico; and
the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

    The Holcim Foundation is supported by Holcim Ltd and its Group companies
in more than 70 countries, but is independent of its commercial interests.
Holcim is one of the world's leading producers of cement and aggregates, and
was recently named "Leader of the Industry" in the Dow Jones Sustainability
Index for the fourth year in succession. Holcim is represented in North
America by Aggregate Industries, Holcim US and St. Lawrence Cement.

For further information:

For further information: and high-resolution pictures, please visit or contact Edward Schwarz, +41 58 858 8292, +41 79 433

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