The 5th International LafargeHolcim Awards competition for sustainable construction now open

The 5th International LafargeHolcim Awards competition for sustainable construction now open

The International LafargeHolcim Awards competition is the most significant of its kind, providing recognition and financial support to architectural projects that advance environmental, social, and economic sustainability. Starting today and until March 21, 2017, the 5th edition invites architects, planners, engineers, project owners, builders, construction firms, both experienced and students, to enter their new and innovative project ideas.


Buildings can and should contribute to the sustainable future of our planet. Every three years, the LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction holds a one-of-a-kind competition to recognize some of the world’s most promising solutions for cities and the built environment. Now in its fifth edition, the International LafargeHolcim Awards have helped implement projects from around the world, including river remediation in Morocco, a secondary school in Burkina Faso, and a public park in Colombia.

A total of USD 2 million will be awarded to the winning projects in 2017-2018. Urban or rural, functional or recreational, large-scale or small-scale, entries will be evaluated on their potential contributions to sustainable development throughout the entire project lifecycle. Winning projects must also demonstrate architectural excellence and the potential to improve quality of life in the region in which they are to be built.

The LafargeHolcim Foundation’s framework for evaluating sustainable construction


Promoting sustainable construction today and for the future

The competition’s Main category is open to architects, planners, engineers, students of related disciplines, project owners, builders and construction firms with sustainable responses to technological, environmental, socioeconomic and cultural issues in contemporary building and construction. Projects must have reached an advanced stage of design, have a high probability of execution, and have not started construction before July 4, 2016.

The Next Generation category specifically seeks out “blue-sky” solutions from students and young professionals. Participants of up to 30 years of age can enter their bold, visionary concepts to the competition, irrespective of the probability of the project’s implementation.


A 2-step selection process: regional first, global second

Projects in the Main and Next Generation categories will first be evaluated in their respective geographic regions by a jury of renowned specialists. The winners will be announced at five consecutive Awards ceremonies in the second half of 2017 and automatically qualify for the global awards competition in 2018.

The call for entries is open until March 21, 2017. All entries are free and can be submitted online.

Go to the
Awards entry form 2016/17 to start the entry process and download the step-by-step guide for instructions on completing the form.


About the LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction

The LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction (formerly known as the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction) was created in 2003 to raise awareness of the important role that architecture, engineering, urban planning and construction have in achieving a more sustainable future. The LafargeHolcim Foundation achieves this through its international Awards competitions, academic Forums and publications.

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LafargeHolcim Foundation’s academic partners

The International LafargeHolcim Awards are conducted in partnership with some of the world’s leading technical universities. The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich and EPFL Lausanne) leads the Academic Committee of the LafargeHolcim Foundation.

Affiliated universities include:

  • American University of Beirut (AUB), Lebanon
  • American University in Cairo (AUC), Egypt
  • Ecole Supérieure d’Architecture de Casablanca (EAC), Morocco
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA
  • Tongji University (TJU), China
  • Tsinghua University (THU), China
  • Universidad Iberoamericana (IBERO), Mexico
  • Universidade de São Paulo (USP), Brazil
  • University of British Columbia, Canada
  • University of Melbourne, Australia
  • University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg, South Africa
Gold - Water reservoirs as public park, Colombia

"The UVA de La Imaginación" project centers on creating public spaces at a reservoir where two giant water tanks have been replaced by new water infrastructure. Architectural form takes inspiration from the site’s history, surrounding topography, and structure of the existing tanks and pools, resulting in an intervention with minimal environmental impact.

The project opened in December 2015 and forms part of a network of 20 parks with more than half already delivered to the community.

Silver - Community library and social recuperation

Following over 25 years of civil war, the reintegration of young soldiers is one of the great challenges Sri Lanka faces. This "Community Library" provided young men from underprivileged backgrounds with on-site construction training.

The slender building with a footprint of 1,400 sq m sits lightly in the landscape and wraps around an inner courtyard, taking full advantage of cross ventilation and daylighting. Rammed-earth walls and recycled materials reduce costs and the ecological footprint.

Bronze - Urban flood protection infrastructure, US

"The Dryline (BIG U)" addresses New York City’s vulnerability to coastal flooding with a protective ribbon in Southern Manhattan. The 12 km-long infrastructural barrier incorporates public space with the high-water barrier doubling as parks, seating, bicycle shelters or skateboard ramps.

Embankments add green areas and spaces beneath elevated roadways are built out with pavilions for public use. In an emergency, the shutters close forming a floodwater barrier.