Team Green – UK’s Leading Players in Sustainable Construction Revered at LafargeHolcim Awards, Europe @AggregateUK

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Against the backdrop of an increasing onus on sustainable construction, last Thursday (28 September 2017) saw the best in industry come together to commend the true pioneers of sustainable construction at the European phase of the coveted LafargeHolcim Awards – with two UK winners revealed.

Now in its fifth cycle (2017-18), the LafargeHolcim Awards have been designed to reward and recognise those projects that truly push boundaries in balancing environmental performance, social responsibility, and economic growth. Open between July 2016 to this March, entries were subsequently evaluated by an independent jury of expert judges for each region; Europe, North America, Latin America, Middle East & Africa and Asia Pacific.

With an unprecedented 792 valid projects submitted in the Europe region this cycle, the expert jury, headed by Harry Gugger, Professor of Architecture at the EPFL Lausanne (Switzerland), were subsequently faced with selecting the crowning winners. These were revealed in a prestigious awards ceremony held in Marseille on Thursday 28th September.

The best of Britain

Providing apt UK representation, ZEDpods Ltd, London received the Bronze overall award for its work in zero (fossil) energy development units on parking lots, London, which was commended as providing a valid  prototype for a low-carbon architecture built above existing public parking spaces – an ingenious solution to solve London’s housing shortage.
In addition, Anna Androva who studied at the UCL Bartlett School of Architecture, London, UK, was awarded the Next Generation 3rd prize 2017 Europe for her ‘Liquid Era’ project which explored the new architectural vocabularies for a future city in an era marked as much by the physicality of things as by the liquidity of the digital realm.

As a keen environmental enthusiast, François Petry, Chief Executive Officer at Aggregate Industries, the UK arm of the LafargeHolcim Group, attended the awards and presented the Next Generation 3rd prize to the UK winner.

François comments: “As we look at the construction industry, it is incremental that we balance the need for economic growth with sustainability. Aggregate Industries is committed to lead this transformation and help communities build their future.

“We are proud to support locally the International LafargeHolcim Awards to reward and recognise those businesses and individuals who have truly pushed boundaries in sustainable design. This is the most significant global competition for sustainable design and the fact that we had two local winning projects in the European Regional competition is a proof that UK is pioneering in this area, and we as a company, will continue our efforts to promote sustainable constructions.

“We received an incredible response to the competition and were astounded by the use of truly innovative and future-orientated concepts submitted from around the world. Congratulations to all of the immensely talented people whose work won an award – and thank you to everyone who took the time to submit their work to be judged.”

Going for gold: overall winners

Taking the top spot, the overall Gold prize was awarded jointly to two projects in Brussels, both of which indicate a determinable shift towards sustainable construction which is systematic, specific and multi-functional.

Heralded as exemplifying a new era in sustainable construction, both projects were revered for going beyond stand-alone measures to use holistic concepts that integrate technical, social, economic, and ecological aspects in a balanced way.

Talking on how the notion of sustainability has radically evolved, Professor of Architecture Marc Angélil, Member of the Board of the LafargeHolcim Foundation, said: “Sustainability used to mean that you enhanced a project with some sustainable components – for example, solar panels. Today sustainability is seen in a much more comprehensive way; sustainable construction has become much more systematic and specific.”
Clever waste management in Brussels, Belgium
With their project, BC architects and studies in Brussels plan to integrate the needs of a waste management company with the rapidly developing canal district: Within the (infra-) structure, space is made available for public uses such as green areas. The carefully balanced building allows future transformations and leaves development options open – a particularly clever interpretation of the term “sustainability.” “Bringing infrastructure to the fore, the design ultimately merges economic and aesthetic considerations, offering a form of resilient architecture that turns limitations into a quality,” praised the jury.

Integration of a concrete plant in Brussels, Belgium
The complimentary project by the team of TETRA architecten in Brussels proposes appropriate measures to integrate an existing concrete plant into the burgeoning urban context – and thereby prevent the loss of a significant piece of the city’s industrial base. Here too, permeability is a central aspect. “The range of architectural moves gives credence to the ambition to combine what at first sight might have seemed improbable: the literal cohabitation of otherwise incompatible functions,” said the jury.

The Gold, Silver, and Bronze winners from each region will compete for the Global LafargeHolcim Awards in 2018 – with a prize fund of USD 2 million competition allocated to the overall winners.

Photo Caption: François Petry (far left), Chief Executive Officer at Aggregate Industries, the UK arm of the LafargeHolcim Group presents ZEDpods Ltd, London with the Bronze overall award

To find out more about Aggregate Industries please visit www.aggregate.com To find out more about the awards visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IW1THOglO68