LafargeHolcim Awards honor sustainable solutions for urgent water problems in Costa Rica ceremony

9 October 2017

Winners of the LafargeHolcim Awards for region Latin America were announced in San José, Costa Rica, on October 5. Water was the hot topic among the project entries; whether for waste, drinking, or tidal water, many of the prize winners showed innovative and surprising proposals for ways to master the use of this precious resource in Latin America.


“Sanitation and clean water are major issues,” stated Carlos Espina, CEO of LafargeHolcim in Argentina, at the Awards ceremony in San José. Millions of people in Latin America have no access to adequate amounts of sufficiently clean drinking water, while the region is plagued by devastating floods, including in metropolitan areas. “It’s encouraging to see so many projects considering ways to manage water cycles effectively,” said Espina .

From project to reality in Medellín 

Veronica Zigante, Head of LafargeHolcim in Costa Rica
Veronica Zigante, Head of LafargeHolcim in Costa Rica

This is the fifth time the LafargeHolcim Awards has been conducted and more than 200 projects have been awarded worldwide. The inaugural LafargeHolcim Building Better Recognition for Latin America was handed over by Oliver Osswald, Member of the Executive Committee of LafargeHolcim and responsible for Central and South America, to Mario Camargo on behalf of the team of colectivo720in Calí, Colombia. Using minimal financial and material resources, the architects transformed a decommissioned water reservoir in Medellín into a multiuse public park. The prize was awarded for a winning project from a previous competition, one which has been built and has stood the test of time as a particularly successful example of sustainable building.

Read more about Mario Camargo’s project 

Gold: Publicly accessible water retention and treatment complex in Mexico City

Manuel Perló Cohen and Loreta Castro Reguera from Mexico City designed urgently needed water infrastructure for a favela in the Mexican capital. “Equal attention is given to technical considerations of water management, social provision of public space, and the economics of construction as well as long-term maintenance,” said the jury. 

See all the winning projects on the LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction website