The debate about the impact of buildings and their construction on the climate, the environment and health has taken centre stage in society for a long time. Topics such as primary energy demand, grey energy or healthy building are no longer just a term known to experts, but are also attracting the attention of more and more private and public building owners. And rightly so - because the building sector consumes raw materials and energy resources, and building products can damage the environment and health. Sustainable solutions exist today and are already being implemented. The UMWELT & BAUEN prize honours beacon projects in the field of sustainable building and helps to bring the European Commission's vision of a New European Bauhaus to life.
Parliamentary State Secretary Florian Pronold said, "The building sector is a key sector for achieving climate neutrality. And sustainable building and renovation are not only of enormous importance for climate protection, but also for social cohesion in Germany. This is why the ENVIRONMENT & BUILDING Award will once again reward projects that have a beacon effect and aim to inspire other project managers and place a stronger focus on comprehensive sustainability concepts."
Professor Dirk Messner, President of the German Environment Agency, said, "This year again, the focus is on holistic solutions that take into account social aspects such as participation and building costs in addition to the traditional topics such as energy requirements. The new competition category "Climate-friendly renovation" is also intended to raise public awareness of successful renovation projects - after all, this is where there is most need for action as far as climate protection is concerned".
This year the federal prize will again be awarded in the categories "Residential buildings", "Non-residential buildings" and "Neighbourhoods". A fourth category, "Climate-friendly renovation", is new. In addition to these competition categories, the jury may choose to award special prizes for particularly innovative approaches among the projects submitted.
Rules of participation: The broad scope of the topic encourages all stakeholders in the building sector to apply – from builders and developers to architects, building services engineers, urban planners and landscape architects, as well as manufacturers and research institutions. The announcement targets buildings that have already been completed in Germany or neighbourhoods that are at an advanced stage of planning; multiple applications in different categories are possible (also applies to renovation projects).
What winners can look forward to: The winners will gain public attention on several levels. The award ceremony takes place on 7 September 2021 at the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety in Berlin, where the award-winning projects will be presented to experts and the media. The award-winning projects will also be featured on the websites of UBA and the Federal Environment Ministry. UBA is commissioning videos on the award-winning examples of sustainability which the winners can then use for their own public relations work. Furthermore, all award-winning projects are documented in a book.
More information about the federal prize and last year's winners is available on the award website. Entries can be submitted until 25 May 2021.