With the construction sector seen to sustain its upward thrust, cement maker Holcim Philippines, Inc. is pushing for the country’s aspiring builders to have a sustainability mindset to help the industry have a more positive impact on development.
To advocate this perspective, the company launched in December The Young Builders Challenge, a design competition for engineering and architecture students wherein projects are assessed not just on their aesthetic elements and financial feasibility but also on their positive environmental and social impact.
The YBC is inspired by the awards of the LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction, the leading global competition in this field. Since its launch in 2008, this competition has led to numerous ideas from building industry professionals worldwide for addressing some of society’s most pressing sustainability challenges.
“The building industry has always been a partner for progress since its produces essential structures for society, but it can have a more positive impact if it balances economic considerations with environmental and social aspects. The YBC aims to steer the minds of the next generation of builders to this viewpoint so they can make a bigger difference. This is very relevant and timely for our country especially with the sustained building boom,” said Holcim Philippines Vice President for Communications Cara Ramirez.
The Philippine Statistics Authority reported that the construction industry was among the drivers of the economy in 2018 as it surged by 21% powered by the healthy rise of public and private sectors. The industry’s strong growth is expected to continue in the medium term amid the current administration’s infrastructure upgrade program valued at Php7 trillion ($137 billion) until 2022. Fitch Solutions, a research unit of the New York-based Fitch Group, also forecasted in December that the Philippine construction sector will have an average growth rate of 9% until 2027 as regional partners invest in the country.
Holcim Philippines is currently visiting colleges and universities to promote YBC. It will also hold a symposium on February 28 at the UP David M. Consunji Theater featuring experts on sustainability to help guide interested students in the competition, which will close in April.
“We at Holcim Philippines are very serious about our sustainability commitments as seen by our community development programs and investments to improve operational efficiency and development of new products with lower environmental footprint. The YBC is and extension of this Holcim Helps mindset as we seek to influence other stakeholders to join in the efforts for the construction industry to have a stronger impact on the country’s development,” Ramirez said.