Four sustainable projects out of thousands of entries from 121 countries earned Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction.

The Gold award went to a river remediation and urban development plan in Fez, Morocco (photo). The project focuses on restoring the heavily polluted Fez River to revitalize the ancient heart of the city. It creates public spaces and pedestrian zones, and restores wetlands.

The Silver award winner was a low-impact greenfield University of Architecture campus in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The project avoids massive land reclamation and aims for harmony with the surrounding ecosystem. Its energy-saving design uses solar lighting and shading, photo-voltaic cells, and natural ventilation.

A design for a suburban village in Beijing claimed the Bronze prize for combining heritage preservation, traditional knowledge, local materials, modern technology, and professional project management. The project addresses pollution, urban sprawl, loss of agricultural land, food security, and limited resources.

The special Innovation award for creativity and inspiration recognized a plan for self-contained day labor stations in San Francisco. The flexible structures offer shelter, benches, washrooms, a kitchen, and an education or training space. Green and recycled building materials minimize the cost and each facility's environmental footprint.

The Holcim Foundation offers $2 million in total prize money during each three-year awards cycle.