Sustainable construction is a natural common sense, not just an economic solution, general manager of the LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction, Edward Schwarz, told Daily News Egypt.
Commenting on Egypt’s economic situation and development, he added that every region in the world comes up with ideas based on what is required there.
Schwarz explained that before people used air conditioners, houses were built in a certain way to provide shade. Sometimes the inspiration for sustainable construction is extracted from history and the past, he emphasised, saying that Egypt has a long tradition of sustainability, as buildings were constructed based on developmental innovation.
As a specialist on sustainable construction, Schwarz told Daily News Egypt that green building is one of the most important pillars of green architecture, which enables a leap in sustainable development.
On the sidelines of a press conference held by LafargeHolcim on Monday, he explained that green construction is the use of environment-friendly materials that last longer and are cheaper. He further added that the essence of sustainability is a balance between human rights, the environment, and the economy.
During the press conference, LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction announced its architectural design competition, which attempts to target smart solutions and ideas for building cities. The international competition will accept ideas from specialists, students, architects, among other professions.
The foundation’s website will accept applications from innovators under 31 until March 2017.
Schwarz also announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding on Sunday, with the president of the American University in Cairo, for the implementation of the competition. The foundation has agreed on partnerships with universities in five different regions. He stated that the organisation wants to spread the culture of sustainable construction through application, and not just among an exclusive “invite-only” segment.
At the regional and international level, Egypt is considered the headquarters of the competition. Winners can receive awards worth up to $2m.
“We know the importance of Egypt in this area. The company has contributed to the supply of cement during the construction of the Suez Canal in the 1860s, in addition to the recent expansions,” Schwarz concluded.