Architecture graduate student Baronian wins LafargeHolcim Next Generation Award for Sustainable Construction

Laurie Zazenski, School of Architecture

Georgina Baronian, a third-year master’s student in architecture at Princeton, was awarded the Next Generation 1st Prize at the LafargeHolcim Awards for Sustainable Construction presented in Chicago on Oct. 12.

Baronian’s project, “Prototype for an Evaporative Cooling Roof,” is an investigation on cooling large-scale structures using an evaporating layer of water on the roof to provide radiant cooling and act as a solar reflector. 

The LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction was created in 2003 to raise awareness of the important role that architecture, engineering, urban planning and the building industry have in achieving a more sustainable future. The foundation is a nonprofit organization supporting initiatives that combine sustainable construction with architectural excellence and enhanced quality of life. The LafargeHolcim Awards are regarded as the world’s most significant competition for sustainable design.

The competition is for projects at an advanced stage of design, not finished works. It seeks designs that go beyond current standards, showcase sustainable responses to technological, environmental, socioeconomic and cultural issues affecting contemporary construction, and deliver new, surprising and visionary solutions to the way we build.

The international jury of architects noted that Baronian’s project “investigates how to cool large structures with minimal means. With the objective in mind to reduce the building’s energy load, (particularly the deployment of nonrenewable resources), a thin layer of water is introduced as an additional roof layer —acting as a solar reflector, while providing thermal insulation. Whereas technical considerations are at the core of the project, the study culminates in a design of a big-box structure that is as reduced in its formal manifestation as it is beautiful in its aesthetic simplicity.”