The Holcim Foundation supports efforts that combine sustainable construction solutions with innovative architecture and enhanced quality of life beyond conventional solutions. The Holcim Foundation promotes non-commercial, sustainable development throughout the world. Some of their ambitious objectives include promoting the best green practices, pioneering fresh solutions and inspiring young architects, engineers, planners, developers and contractors to incorporate sustainability into all of their building projects.
They support sustainable construction and organize seminars at professional and academic levels to discuss sustainable construction. They also provide financial support, especially in disadvantaged communities, to fund sustainable construction projects. In developed countries, buildings account for almost half of all energy consumption. The Holcim Foundation understands the fact that there is no luxury of time in the matter, especially when you consider the fact that urban populations grow worldwide by about one million people every week. This urban growth translates into a huge need for more buildings. So, as the Holcim Foundation sees it, there are two options: let these buildings be built by conventional, wasteful methods or help these buildings to be built sustainably.
The Holcim Foundation identified five target issues for sustainable construction, which provide guidelines for sustainable building, as well as a set of criteria for their Holcim Awards, which are given to projects that show that world-class sustainable construction solutions not only consider environmental impact but also deliver economic and social benefits.
The Holcim Foundation's five target issues are progress, people, planet, prosperity and proficiency. The progress issue relates to quantum change and transferability, which means that sustainable buildings are sustainable when they are innovative and demonstrate a quantum leap in comparison to conventional procedures. The people issue relates to ethical standards and social equity, which means that sustainable buildings must incorporate ethical standards and support social equity throughout the construction process. The planet issue relates to ecological quality and energy conservation, which means that natural resources must be managed sensibly throughout the construction, operation and maintenance of a building. The prosperity issue relates to economic performance and compatibility, which means that sustainable buildings need to be economically feasible and use financial resources well. Lastly, the proficiency issue relates to contextual and aesthetic impact, which means that sustainable buildings need to be designed with the highest architectural quality and must incorporate cultural and physical contexts.
Clearly, the Holcim Foundation has set its goals high, and for good reason. EnviroCitizen.org acknowledges that they are making a huge, noticeable difference throughout the world.