SAWA has been voted as the Popular Choice winner in the 2023 Architizer A+ Sustainability Award, with the public selecting it as the best project in the “Unbuilt Sustainable Residential Project” category. A prestigious jury of leading sustainability experts from around the world reviewed all submitted projects and selected five finalists. The award counted thousands of votes submitted by Architizer readers from May 1–12, with SAWA emerging as the winner.
The latest collection of A+ Awards winners forms a vibrant celebration of the world’s most innovative and impactful contemporary design. To reflect the vital work of architects in combatting the climate crisis, this year’s program of the 11th annual Architizer Awards introduced a new suite of Sustainability Awards. We are honoured that Mei architects and planners, architect of SAWA, was awarded this prize on behalf of SAWA's entire project team.
First in Europe: all-timber & circular
Even well before construction of SAWA is completed, the run of awards for this revolutionary design continues. This award is the 9th following the project’s success in – among others – the World Architecture Festival, Architecture Masterprize, MIPIM / Architectural Review Future Project Awards, Iconic awards for Innovative Architecture and Green Good Design Awards.
“The latest collection of A+Awards winners forms a vibrant celebration of the world’s most innovative and impactful contemporary design.” Architizer Editors
SAWA is developed with the drive and high level of ambition to create a zero-carbon building that contributes to solving the climate crisis and a healthy future. The realisation of SAWA marks an important step towards international sustainability goals and proves that construction industry can act differently. SAWA, also referred to as “the healthiest building” in the Netherlands, is adding value to the neighborhood and city in the broadest sense. These “shared values” relate to CO2 storage through timber construction, enhancing biodiversity, communal spaces including the vegetable garden on the deck and making a circular building with affordable housing, where people care for each other and for nature. The project comprises 109 homes, with spacious green terraces averaging 40 m2 per unit, of which 50 are mid-rent apartments. The living concept is enriched by various shared functions – such as shared mobility, tools and a vegetable garden on a public deck – therewith stimulating a lively, and caring community. The technical innovation is found in the certified Nice building system, of which SAWA is the earliest demonstrable and realised example. This makes SAWA the first all-timber and circular 50-metre-high residential building in Europe.
About the A+ Sustainability Awards
The Architizer A+ Awards is the largest awards program focused on promoting and celebrating the year’s best architecture. This year Architizer introduced the new A+ Sustainability Awards. The design and construction industry accounts for almost 40% of carbon emissions worldwide. While most architects and developers agree that we need to work towards more sustainable construction practices, it is a challenge to provide a universal measure of sustainability for architecture globally. There are many ways in which a building can be considered “green”, and a wide array of definitions for “sustainable design”, depending on a plethora of factors including geography, regulations of national and local governments, localized climate and environmental features, socio-economics, community culture and more.
The new A+ Sustainability Awards honour architecture and design firms who are actively working towards a more sustainable built environment and focus on rewarding projects that push the envelope and form a positive precedent for greener building practices in its specific region and the wider world. A prestigious jury of leading sustainability experts from around the world evaluated all submitted projects and selected five finalists, among them SAWA, in the category “Unbuilt Sustainable Residential Project”.