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MADERA: Building with Timber. Innovation for Social Architecture in Uruguay

MADERA: Building with timber. Innovation for social architecture in Uruguay is an international call for the design and construction of a mid-rise social housing timber building. The competition is organized by the Ministerio de Vivienda y Ordenamiento Territorial (MVOT, Ministry of Housing and Territorial Planning) of Uruguay, the Agencia Nacional de Vivienda (ANV, National Housing Agency), with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the participation of the Municipality of Durazno.

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. The long-term goals are to scale the production of sustainable construction systems based on wood technologies, create new economies based on the wood industry, reduce the carbon footprint of the construction sector, and reduce the housing deficit at the national level, estimated to be in the order of 60,000 housing units.

The object of the Madera Mid-rise Housing Competition is the design and construction of a mid-rise social housing timber building, at least six stories high (ground floor plus five levels). The building will include between 24 and 30 apartments, a multipurpose room, parking lots, and public and semi-public spaces. It will be built in the City of Durazno, in Uruguay, on a site owned by the Ministry of Housing and Territorial Planning (MVOT), identified as plot - Padrón N° 13579. The overall budget for the design and construction is 90,000 UR, equivalent to approximately 3.39 million US dollars. Participating teams must present an architecture proposal and an offer within this amount, all included. The items to be included and the conditions that regulate the call are described in the Competition brief.

The call is directed to companies or associations of companies and individuals, national and international, qualified to construct the building in 2023-2024. The applicant must, among other requirements, have current certificates from the National Registry of Public Works Companies in Uruguay (Registro Nacional de Empresas de Obras Públicas del Ministerio de Transporte y Operas Publicas) with the requested financial capacity available (VECA) and proof of registration in the Single Registry of State Suppliers (Registro Único de Proveedores del Estado) and in the General Registry of ANV Suppliers (General de Proveedores de ANV), as described in the Competition brief. The construction system must be made of wood. It must have a Registration Certificate (Certificado de Inscripción al Registro, CIR) or Technical Aptitude Document (Documento de Aptitud Técnica) for Non- Traditional Construction System (Sistemas Constructivos No Tradicionales, SCNT) valid at the time of the award. It is possible to present a new construction system by submitting a statement that declares that the SCNT complies with the requirements of the CIR/DAT and the commitment to obtain the certification before signing the Contract. Complete information on the criteria to be met approved systems, and the procedure for obtaining the document, can be found on the MVOT website and in the Competition brief (see website).

The proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria: Architectural-urban value (40%), technological-environmental (35%) value, economic proposal and construction timeline (25%). The winning proposal will be built by the bidding company at the price indicated in the economic proposal, all included, within the amount of 90,000 UR, equivalent to approx. 3.9 million USD.

The three best proposals will also receive a prize in US dollars that will be assigned at the end of the evaluation process:

  • 1st prize: 5,000 USD

  • 2nd prize: 3,000 USD

  • 3rd prize: 2,000 USD

The competition entries, including all the requested documents, certificates, declarations and deliverables, must be submitted online via de website for public offers Compras y Contrataciones Estatales, call 7878/2023 before April 10, 2023, 12 pm (GMT -3). Offers that are not submitted through the web portal before the deadline, will not be valid.

Any interested party may request clarifications by email writing to the Agencia Nacional de Vivenda (ANV) at: until March 13, 2023. Once said term has expired, the ANV will not be obliged to provide explanatory data. Replies will be published within 7 days on the ANV website. For questions regarding the processing of the wood construction system certificate (CIR) interested parties can request a meeting with the MVOT officers, in person or virtual, by sending an email to:

Download the information related to this competition here. Source:

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