For many years now, the cement industry has been making a valuable contribution to construction culture by promoting high-grade, sustainable building with the use of concrete. With its involvement in a broad spectrum of local, regional and nationwide activities and institutions, it offers a forum for reliable, responsible dialogue between all those concerned in the art of construction. In this context, it enhances quality awareness and heightens appreciation for built-up environments. This is one of the reasons why the German cement industry has long since been honouring outstanding architectural accomplishments by awarding a Concrete Architecture Prize and a Future Housing Prize. At a joint European level, the International Concrete Design Competition aims to promote innovative ways of thinking among the next generation of young architects, designers and engineers.
Cement industry committed to construction culture
Concrete, the construction material of the century, continues to capture the imagination to this day. Cement-bound building materials have always provided more than just an elementary foundation for the construction of future-proof production facilities, infrastructure and housing: They have opened up virtually endless potential for architectural creativity.
Concrete Architecture Prize
The Concrete Architecture Prize has become firmly established as one of the most significant of its kind in Germany. The award focuses on aesthetic, functional and material-based buildings employing concrete in an outstanding and innovative manner. Both the Future Housing Prize and the Concrete Architecture Prize support the convention of the Federal Foundation of Baukultur, which provides members, award winners and jurors with a platform for discussions on construction culture. The Concrete Architecture Prize was awarded for the 18th time in 2010, again in conjunction with the Association of German Architects (BDA).
Promoting young talent
It is also important to include the next generation of young architects, engineers and designers in the architectural considerations of the cement industry. The aim is to encourage creative and innovative thinking right at the very outset. A central aspect of this approach is the exchange of ideas with lecturers and students from construction-related departments. With this in mind, the Concrete Design Competition was launched in 2003 and has been held every two years since then. The material-based, integrative approach of the Europe-wide student competition is both progressive and ground-breaking. The purpose of the competition is to create an experimental platform for the future development of concrete. A new round of the competition was announced for the winter term 2011/2012. On the topic of "Energy", students throughout Europe were invited to develop concepts for future-proof, energy-saving and sustainable construction.
www.concretedesigncompetition.de [Link to German website]
Forum for the trade
The possibilities offered by the building material from an artistic, economic and technical point of view are the central topic of discussion for all channels of communication seeking to promote high-quality construction using concrete. The magazine “betonprisma”, which serves as a platform for networking in general and also supports direct dialogue with other media, has a particular role to play in this respect. "betonprisma" was first published in 1964 and appears twice a year. Each issue concentrates on a particular topic.
www.betonprisma.de [Link to German website]