Construction awards

The third International Holcim Awards competition offering a total of USD two million in prize money is open to: sustainable building and civil engineering works; landscape, urban design and infrastructure projects; and materials, products and construction technologies. The awards are an initiative of the Swiss-based Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction.

Entries must be submitted online at by March 23, 2011. The competition celebrates innovative, future-oriented and tangible projects and visions from around the globe and is open to anyone involved with approaches that contribute towards a more sustainable built environment.

The 3rd International Holcim Awards competition is comprised of five regional competitions in 2010/11 and the global phase in 2012. Step-by-step instructions on how to enter the competition are available at:


Retrofit for Empire State building

The iconic New York landmark, the Empire State Building, is to undergo an extensive retrofit programme costing more than $20 million.  The makeover includes the replacement of the existing 6,514 windows with new ones which will be  four times more efficient at retaining heat.

Towering over its neighbours at 443.2 metres (1454 feet) high, the Empire State Building currently uses colossal amounts of energy on a daily basis. However, this is set to change after the retrofit as its energy intake will be reduced by almost 40 per cent, cutting bills by more than $4 million.

The changes are also expected to decrease the building’s carbon footprint by more than 100,000 metric tonnes over the next 15 years – the equivalent of taking 20,000 motorcars off  the road.

The Empire State Building, an office block in New York City’s Manhattan area, was built in 1930-31. At 1454 feet (including a 222-foot-high television mast added in 1951) it was the tallest building in the world until 1972.

Achal Narayanan

LEED certification for BIEC

Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) situated on Tumkur Road has been
given the LEED certification for being a ‘green’ exhibition and conference facility. The exhibition centre was awarded the prestigious “LEED Certified” rating for Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) by the US Green Building Council for its environment friendly design.

The rating system is organised into five environmental categories: sustainable sites, water management, energy efficiency and atmosphere, material and resources and indoor environment quality.

As a part of BIEC’s Green project, special attention has been given to rain water harvesting, ozone – friendly air – conditioning system, adequate fresh air circulation, water based air cooling in the exhibition halls, usage of material like fly- ash to the tune of 50 per cent in concrete mix in select areas, recycling of waste water through a treatment process, maintenance of natural contour of land and transplantation of trees along with extensive greening of the area.


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