23 April 2021

Green Solutions Awards: an exemplary contest!

In the pressing context of climate change, words without actions no longer cut the mustard. For the Construction21 international network, large-scale low-carbon construction solutions must be implemented urgently. Their “Green Solutions Awards” contest, which they have run since 2013, should contribute to this goal. Entries for the 2020-21 edition are now closed and voting runs until 31st May!

Sharing real, sustainable solutions with the biggest possible audience!

Since 2013, the Green Solutions Awards mission has been “to get regions to innovate with real, sustainable climate solutions and to promote and facilitate their adoption among growing numbers of professionals, thereby accelerating ecological transition in the construction sector”. This contest showcases solutions already implemented in exemplary buildings, neighbourhoods, and infrastructures at both national and world level. It first plays out at nationwide level in all the participating countries.

Then an international final separates out the champions of each Construction21 platform. The winners of the four international Grand Prix awards are offered a video presenting their achievement. These easy-to-share videos are distributed virally on the web and social media, ensuring the projects attain maximum visibility!


Projects assessed by experts, students, and the general public alike!

12 prizes in all are awarded across 3 categories: buildings, neighbourhoods, infrastructures. Expert judging panels name their prize winners based on four criteria: reproducibility of the project, controlled costs, environmental performance, and innovation. Professionals in the field and even the general public can also air their views and cast their vote on the Construction21 website to elect their winner in each category.

For the last three years, the contest has also included a students' award in the building category. “An opportunity for tomorrow's professionals to express their vision of sustainable buildings and towns while discovering model projects.” Colleges of architecture, engineering, building, business, and others—all of them network partners—ask their students to analyse the competing buildings and determine who wins according to their own priority criteria. In 2019, for example, they prioritized the social ties generated by the project. The students consequently awarded their prize to the Pôle Ecoconstruction initiative in the French town of Beaulieu-lès-Loches. As their choice also went forward to the international final and received an honourable mention for Low Carbon, it goes to show tomorrow's professionals already have a discerning eye! 


Pôle Ecoconstruction initiative in Beaulieu-lès-Loches, © Courtoisie de Envirobat Centre et éco-construction sud-touraine


Humans and users, a main thread in many projects

In France, 103 candidates entered the contest by 25th March this year, comprising 71 buildings, 10 neighbourhoods, and 22 infrastructures. No fewer than fourteen regions are represented, with high turnouts in the regions of Île-de-France (24 projects) and Auvergne Rhône-Alpes (20 projects). Next came Occitanie (9), Grand Est and Nouvelle-Aquitaine (8), Hauts-de-France and Centre-Val de Loire (7), then Provence Alpes-Côte d’Azur (6).

Although it's a little early to identify any main trends, upon first analysis there does seem to be a high number of original schools and collective buildings. We can also remark that health and comfort remain major themes for candidates. Many projects put humans and users at the core, a trend that keeps rising with each new edition. 


2019 Students Jury, © Suptertiaire


Every passing year sees more and more enthusiasm for the contest, both nationally and internationally. More countries are participating and doing so with ever greater commitment. In this edition for example we have Moldavia, Sri Lanka, Iran, and Russia. It's a very welcome mobilization that can only lead to greater effectiveness in tackling climate change.

Find out more on the Green Solutions Awards

Find out more on the Construction 21 network

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