Holcim Foundation

The Holcim Foundation was created in 2003 to promote thought leadership on a greener, smarter, circular, and more inclusive built environment. It is an initiative of Holcim and expresses our commitment to accelerating our world’s transition to a net zero and inclusive future.


Holcim Awards

The Foundation conducts the Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction – the world’s most significant competition for sustainable design with total prize money per cycle of USD 2 million. The international competition showcases the important role that architecture, engineering, urban planning, and the building industry have in achieving a more sustainable future. Each competition cycle spans three years, from announcement to completion.


The competition has two categories: the Main category for established professionals, and the Next Generation category for young professionals and students. Winners are selected by international and independent panels of experts in five regions (Europe, North America, Latin America, Middle East Africa, and Asia Pacific) as well as the global jury. Submissions are evaluated using the Foundation’s Target Issues for sustainable construction.


The current Next Generation category winners bring together 21 innovative concepts that show how students and young practitioners are prepared to go in completely new ways to achieve a sustainable future. The winners shared in USD 350,000 prize money and presented concepts for implementation in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Mexico, Sierra Leone, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and the USA. 


The Next Generation winners will meet in Chicago in March 2022 for the Holcim Awards Lab, a platform to further develop cutting-edge projects and exchange ideas in concurrent workshops in collaboration with experts from the Foundation’s Academic Committee. The most promising concepts will receive Research in Practice Grants to mentor and financially-support these emerging professionals to conduct leading edge, practice-related research in the field of sustainable construction.


The Global Holcim Awards winners and 31 Main category winners from all five regions will be announced at special event at the 17th International Biennale of Architecture in Venice on November 13, 2021. The Main category winners from 25 countries will share in USD 1.65 million in prize money.


Holcim Forum

The Holcim Forum for Sustainable Construction is a tri-annual series of conferences on a specific topic of sustainable construction, conducted in collaboration with the Foundation’s associated universities. The multi-day event is an academic platform for architects, engineers, planners, and construction specialists of all generations and geographic locations. The 6th Holcim Forum on “Re-Materializing Construction” was held in Cairo, Egypt in 2019, and the next Forum will take place in Latin America in early 2023.

Lord Norman Foster at Holcim Forum

<p>Internationally renowned “star” architect Lord Norman Foster of Foster + Partners, United Kingdom opened the Forum to an enthusiastic audience of 1,200. “Sustainability is inseparable from energy, and inseparable from the process of recycling,” he said.</p>

Anne Lacaton at Holcim Forum

<p>Pritzker Prize for Architecture Laureate Anne Lacaton at the Holcim Forum in Cairo, 2019: “The existing building is tomorrow’s new building material.” – Anne Lacaton, Principal, Lacaton &amp; Vassal Architectes, France.</p>


Disseminating knowledge

The Holcim Foundation seeks to globally interlink knowledge and to encourage sustainable responses to the built environment. It promotes outstanding approaches to sustainable construction via print and online publications, maintains a comprehensive Internet presence, and engages on social media.

A new space for the local community

<p>Post-graduate students presented their concepts in a poster exhibition that showcased their innovative concepts living up to the Target Issues for sustainable construction. The Holcim Forum brings together faculty members and students from leading technical universities associated with the Holcim Foundation.</p>

A team effort for the local community

<p>The Holcim Forum on “Re-materializing Construction” held in Cairo, Egypt attracted 350 leading thinkers from 55 countries. The site visits curated by the American University in Cairo gave local context to global discussions, examining archeological heritage, water challenges, new vernacular architecture, and desert cities.</p>