Category II Building Element

The competition category challenges students to design a single element of a building that investigates an innovative use of portland cement–based materials to achieve sustainable solutions to real-world environmental challenges. Students are to take a design idea(s) from their studio work to illustrate enhanced building performance resulting from the use of portland cement-based material as a key element.

Category II – BUILDING ELEMENT allows for the design of a single element, component, or methodology of a project using portland cement-based products. Design concepts can focus on, but are not limited to, such sustainable design objectives as: durability; recyclability; reduced site disturbance; storm water management; heat island effect; optimized energy performance; indoor air quality; material use reductions; and recycled content use. Solutions providing multiple benefits from a single application will receive extra credit. For example, pervious pavement has numerous benefits such as enhanced storm water quality and quantity reduction, air to root zones of plantings, reduction in urban heat islands, and reduced maintenance.

The jury will select winners based on inventive ways students have integrated portland cement-based solutions into their design to achieve sustainable development objectives.

It is required that each presentation address, but not be limited to, the specific criteria outlined in the design challenge through the following required drawings:


  • drawings that best show the relationship between portland cement-based materials and sustainable design objectives, such as floor plans, elevations, and sections; 
  • illustrations of key elements of sustainable infrastructure and building systems
  • detail drawing(s), either two or three-dimensional, illustrating the key elements of sustainable infrastructure and building systems
  • a three-dimensional representation in the form of an axonometric, perspective, or model photographs.

All drawings should be drawn at a scale appropriate to the design solution and include a graphic scale and north arrow as appropriate.

Concrete Competition Program (PDF)