IIT Bombay, Holcim Foundation to promote sustainable construction in India

 | March 02,2011 04:50 pm IST

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Bombay) has joined hands with the Swiss based Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction to champion the use of sustainable construction practices in India. Under the agreement, IIT Bombay has become the Partner University of Holcim Foundation for the region of Asia Pacific.

IIT Bombay is recognised as one of India’s premier technical institutes and also as a centre of excellence in higher education and research activities. As Partner University, IIT Bombay provides technical competence in this area to Holcim Foundation, will host the regional jury for the USD 2 million Holcim Awards competition in 2011, and will also host the 4th international Holcim Forum (symposium) for sustainable construction in 2013.


With this agreement, IIT Bombay joins a list of the world’s leading technical universities which act as dynamic partners of the Holcim Foundation including the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, USA), Universidad Iberoamericana (UIA, Mexico) and Ecole Supérieure d’Architecture de Casablanca (EAC, Morocco).


“We believe IIT Bombay is eminently qualified to provide valuable inputs and real thrust to promoting the cause of sustainable construction in India” said Dr Hans-Rudolf Schalcher, Head of the Technical Competence Centre (TCC) of the Holcim Foundation and professor emeritus at ETH Zurich.


Holcim Awards – Global Competition for Sustainable Construction Projects
The Holcim Awards is a series of competitions of the Holcim Foundation that celebrates innovative, future-oriented and tangible sustainable construction projects from around the globe. The competition provides total prize money of USD 2 million per three year cycle. The 3rd Holcim Awards remains open to register entries until 23rd March 2011, inviting architects, engineers and other specialists in the construction industry to submit projects that meet the challenges of sustainable construction. There is also a “Next Generation” (student category) specifically for final year students at Bachelor level and above (including Masters and PhD). Entries in the competition may be submitted online to www.holcimawards.org.


Research on Sustainable Construction for Indian Habitats
In a related development, ACC Limited, a Group company of Holcim Ltd which is the sponsor of the Holcim Foundation, signed a memorandum of understanding with IIT Bombay to examine and recommend innovative approaches to sustainable construction, technology and design for affordable habitats. The agreement aims to incorporate regional adaptations and promote interdisciplinary approaches to sustainable construction in India, especially approaches that may complement the institute’s existing research and knowledge base.


A seminar organized by IIT Bombay in association with Holcim Foundation, ACC Limited and Ambuja Cements Limited brought together stakeholders from various stages of the building and construction industry – building materials suppliers, architects, civil engineers and students – to initiate a useful dialogue on how technologies and design can make a difference to building more sustainable habitats in India. The seminar opened with an inspiring keynote address by world-renowned architect Charles Correa: “The subject is of crucial importance to our cities. It is not enough to design sustainable buildings. We must plan sustainable habitats that include housing and work places. In this there is much to learn from our rich heritage and traditions”, he said.