AN INTERNATIONAL AWARD SINCE 2016
The materia award was inspired by the success of the TERRA Award (2016), the FIBRA Award (2019) and the TERRAFIBRA Award (2021) and is a continuity of these first three editions.
The construction sector is the largest consumer of resources and energy in France with 43% of the national energy consumption, it is one of the largest producers of waste and represents 23% of the greenhouse gas emissions. Faced with this reality, the transition towards a more sustainable way of building is regarded as necessary by today’s public opinion. The collective effort to preserve resources and significantly reduce the environmental footprint of existing and future buildings has led to the emergence of new eco-responsible architectural practices that aim to develop and take advantage of local bio- and geo-sourced resources. These resources are often at arms length or even right under our feet. Appropriating the intelligence of the vernacular architecture and its age-old know-how means re-anchoring the act of building in a landscape and steering towards a more territorial way of building.
Earth, stone and plant fibers have already conquered the field of contemporary architecture and thousands of projects, of high technical, ecological, aesthetic and emotional quality, across the five continents. The widespread use of these energy efficient and readily available resources helps to reduce the use of non renewable resources and limits the energy needs over the life cycle of buildings.
Using these readily available materials also leads to a reinforcement of regional economies as they can be locally sourced and therefore lead to the creation of new jobs closer to the construction site. Therefore leading to a more democratic and optimistic way of building for a post-carbon future and are essential for the socio-ecological transition.
The materia award is also marked by the desire to highlight exemplary rehabilitation projects. In order to reduce the impact of the construction sector and particularly the gray energy necessary for the buildings construction, the rehabilitation of the built stock becomes essential and must find a central place in future construction strategies. Indeed, the rehabilitation of existing architecture, whether remarkable or more modest, represents a crucial issue in terms of sustainable development. This process is based on the recognition and valorization of a building to give it a second life and launch it into a more sustainable future : recycling stimulates creativity and opens the way to a rebirth.
This global prize for contemporary architecture in earth, stone and plant fibers aims to highlight the aesthetic properties, constructive advantages and environmental benefits of 40 eco-constructions. The recognition of these exemplary buildings, by the profession as well as by the general public, requires promoting all the actors involved in these projects. The aim of the materia award is therefore to distinguish remarkable projects while highlighting the courage of the project owners who made the choice of these materials, the creativity of the designers and the know-how of the craftsmen and builders. Following on from the TERRA Award (2016), the FIBRA Award (2019) and the TERRAFIBRA Award (2021), this new award, now extended to stone architecture, also aims to promote the diversity of materials and to reaffirm the importance of constructive intelligence and the use of the right quantity of the right material in the right place and at the right price.
Highlighting the materials complementarity also means avoiding the pitfall of a sector centered on a particularly polluting hegemonic solution.