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Medellin – Innovative city of 2013

Colombia’s second largest city was voted 2013’s Innovative City of the Year for implementing sustainable innovation and a unique budgeting system.

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Policy Award 2012: Saving the world’s oceans and coasts

South Africa was shortlisted and received an honourable mention for the National Integrated Coastal Management Act, 2008, while neighbouring Namibia received a joint silver award for their Marine Resources Act, 2000 in the Future Policy Award 2012.

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Marked sustainable

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Global electrical and digital building supplier Legrand, which also has a Southern African presence, was recently awarded the relations fournisseurs responsables (responsible supplier relations) mark of approval in France. It is one of the first four companies to be granted this mark. The mark acknowledges companies in France that have demonstrated their commitment to balanced and sustainable supplier relationships. The award is valid for three years.

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Steel Awards 2012

Hosted by the Southern African Institute of Steel Construction (SAISC), the Steel Awards recognises exceptional and innovative uses of steel in the property and construction industry.

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Launch of the Holcim Awards book

The Holcim Awards – Sustainable Construction comes around every two years. It is possibly the biggest event focused on sustainable construction in the world and attracts innovative and inspirational entries from five different regions. Aside from the award winners, many projects receive acknowledgements or next generation prizes. This year also saw the introduction of the Global Holcim innovation prize for “contributions to innovative building materials and construction technologies”.

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Win-win in global innovation competition

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Launched at the Rio +20 summit, the Siemens Stiftung “empowering people award” is aimed at schools, universities, research institutions, small businesses, inventors, NGOs and technology organisations – basically anyone who has invented or developed a technological solution to a development challenge. The global competition hopes to “connect bright minds and powerful technology solutions with vulnerable people needing basic services, and to provide a tool which enables interaction, knowledge exchange, and cooperation,” according to Ulrike Wahl, managing director of the Siemens Stiftung.

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AfriSam-SAIA: Two of eight winning projects sustainable

A total of 55 projects were entered into the 2011/12 Corobrik-SAIA Awards of Merit and Awards for Excellence. These projects were all regional Architecture Institute winners and only eight were awarded. Of these eight, two were notably sustainably designed.

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Call for SAEE award nominations

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Nominations for the Southern African Association for Energy Efficiency (SAEE) awards are open and close on 30 September 2012. The categories are:

  • Energy Newcomer of the Year
  • Energy Company of the year
  • Energy Project of the Year
  • Energy Excellence Award
  • Energy Patron of the Year

The Energy Patron of the Year award is the latest addition and was included to acknowledge the “energy end-user organisations that have made significant commitments and achieved outstanding results by reducing their use of energy resources in the Southern African region”.

Each categories specific criteria can be found at www.saee.org.za/ea_nominations.aspx and additional enquiries can be made at info@saee.org.za.

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A worthy winner

The Buckminster Fuller Institute supports the emerging generation of social entrepreneurs and design pioneers capable of imaging and creating new approaches and solutions to benefit humanity. This vision is being advanced through the Buckminster Fuller Challenge. The Challenge hosts an annual international design competition, dubbed the “Socially Responsible Design’s Highest Award”. It recognises and supports sustainable, bold, visionary, tangible initiatives that have the potential to solve humanity’s most pressing issues, with a prize of US$ 100 000 to develop their projects.

The Living Building Challenge (LBC) was selected as the 2012 winner and was a finalist in the 2010 competition. LBC promotes sustainable transformation of the built environment by encouraging design and technological innovation to achieve harmony between man-made and natural ecosystems. The certification is only awarded after the building is completed and must first prove that its sustainability features are effective over a minimum period of twelve months of continuous occupancy.

Living Building certified structures must meet twenty imperatives categorised under the headings: site, water, energy, health, material, equity and beauty. Structures have to demonstrate 100% onsite renewable energy generation and wastewater management through either captured precipitation or a closed-loop water system that doesn’t use chemicals. In addition, the site of the structure must be on previously developed land and the materials used for construction has to be ethically and sustainably sourced. A final requirement is that the building be “beautiful and inspiring to its inhabitants.” The philosophy behind the challenge is that people are participants in an ecosystem, rather than just being building occupants.

www.bfi.org

www.livingbuildingchallenge.org

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Dame Hadid

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Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid has been awarded the title Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of her contribution to architecture.

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