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Madera: Innovation for Social Architecture in Uruguay

Madera: Innovation for Social Architecture in Uruguay is an international architecture competition organized by the Ministry of Housing and Territorial Planning of Uruguay (Ministerio de Vivienda y Ordenamiento Territorial, MVOT) and MEVIR, with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank. The competition is a call for proposals for new low-rise, single family, housing typologies using innovative wood technology. The winning proposal will be built by MEVIR in a demonstration complex of 20 units in the town of Tranqueras, in the Department of Rivera, in the north of Uruguay. The main objective of the competition is to promote and enhance the use of Uruguayan wood as a construction material for social housing, incorporating design and technological innovation, energy efficiency, and sustainability principles.

The competition is aimed at individuals or legal entities, or partnerships between them, that include an architect or structural engineer (national or international) with experience in the design and construction of residential buildings and an architect or structural engineer (national or international) with experience in the field of wood construction systems.

The winning team will then be in charge of preparing the executive project for the construction of the demonstration complex to be installed in the town of Tranqueras, in the year 2023-2024. For this subsequent stage, the winning team must have, or be associated with, an architect or civil engineer registered in Uruguay.


The three best proposals will receive a prize in U.S. dollars that will be assigned at the end of the evaluation process: 1st prize: USD 5,000 2nd prize: USD 3,000 3rd prize USD 2,000

The winning team will be hired by MEVIR to develop the construction drawings for the architectural typologies of 1, 2, 3, and 4 bedrooms, as detached and semi-detached configuration, and will receive a fee of 30,000 USD.

The Madera competition call is one of the actions of the Road map presented by the government of Uruguay in May 2022 to foster wooden construction for social housing and infrastructure. In Uruguay, wood construction is a developing sector with significant potential due to the sustained growth of the forestry industry over the last thirty years. The national production is centered mainly on the species of pine and eucalyptus (Pinus elliottii/taeda and Eucalyptus grandis), which are suitable for structural and non-structural construction components. The main objective of this competition is to grow the use of timber in the construction industry and innovate the design and construction of social architecture, with the long term goal of creating new economies based on the wood industry, reducing the carbon footprint of the construction sector, and addressing the housing deficit in Uruguay, estimated to be in the order of 60,000 housing units. Source:


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