The Nubian is recognized by numerous international awards, especially concerning the environment and sustainable development.

Season 2016-2017

AVN won the prestigious World Habitat Award 2016-2017, organised by the Building and Social Housing Foundation (BSHF) and UN Habitat.
The Award, which includes a prize of £10,000, was given for AVN's successful programme for development of appropriate housing in the Sahel: A Roof, A Skill, A Market. The award ceremony will take place in May 2017 in Nairobi during UN-Habitat’s Governing Council meeting.
AVN was already one of 11 finalists for this Award in 2009.

October 10 - 12 last, AVN took part in the SXSW Eco Conference in Austin, Texas, as a finalist in the 'Place by Design' Competition, in the category 'Resilience and Health' - recognizing design solutions with positive social and environmental impacts.


Season 2015-2016

AVN won the Social Innovation leadership Award at the World CSR Congress, in February, in Mumbai, which recognizes leaders in the field of corporate social responsibility and social innovation.

AVN is one of the top 10 winners out of 100 projects fighting climate change proposed in the "My Positive Impact" campaign organised online by the Nicolas Hulot Foundation in France.

As a result of being in the top 10 projects receiving the most votes, AVN will now benefit from a major promotional campaign in France, in advance of the International Climate Conference (COP21) to be held in Paris in December.


After being a semi-finalist in 2012 and 2014, AVN was a 2015 Finalist in the Buckminster Fuller Challenge, a prestigious annual competition named “Socially-Responsible Design’s Highest Award”.


other seasons

AVN receives the
"Momentum for change"
prize in the category
"Urban poor" by UNFCCC
in 2014, during the COP20

"best practices to improve the living environment" prize in the category "Transmission" by UN-Habitat in 2013

AVNs initiative has been elected as jurys favourite, in the context of the Prize "1000 pionners who are changing the World", in 2013

AVN sponsored by Eiffage
Foundation in 2013
was awarded in the 2013
edition of the "Sponsorship
for the environment
and sustainable
development award"

Seri Youlou, Co-founder and Africa Director, was distinguished among the "100 innovations for a sustainable development" in 2013

Schwab Foundation African Social Entrepreneur of
the Year
Award, at the
World Economic Forum,
Addis Ababa, 2012

Innovation prize in the
category "Construction" in Salon des Solidarités
in Paris in 2012

AVN won the SEED
Africa Award
for its
programme in Burkina
Faso, in the category
"Consumption and Sustainable Production " in 2011

Winner of the Social
Enterprise Award

(International section)
by the newspaper La Tribune, in conjuction with the bank BNP Paribas, Paris, June 2011


Emilio Caravatti, AVN partner in Mali with Africabougou association won a Brick Award in 2010

Winner of the Social Economy Initiative Trophy awarded by the Crédit Cooperatif Bank, October 2010

AVN was nominated in 2007 and 2010 for the aga khan award for architecture


One of 25 laureates (out of
over 1500 initial submissions) in the World Bank Development Marketplace Competition on Adaptation to Climate Change, 2009

Tech Awards Laureate, Economic Development, 2007 (as a result AVN figures on the Global Giving websites)

Winner of the Ashoka France IMPACT Competition for social entrepreneurship, 2008

Winner of the Ashoka Changemakers Competition on How to provide affordable housing, 2006


Some welcome compliments

  • The Sahel is a region under extreme pressure from climate change, conflict and grinding poverty. Nubian vaults provide a far better way for people to live in this fragile region for little cost and virtually no environmental impact. (March 2017, David Ireland, Director of BSHF, funders and co-ordinators of the World Habitat Awards)


  • The right to adequate housing is so fragile right now and under such threat, it’s incredibly heartening to know that ‘A roof, a skill, a market’ is fighting to ensure a dignified life through adequate housing. It strikes me that this project has a macro perspective that fits with the human rights vision.” (March 2017: Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing and judge of the World Habitat Award)


  • "  ... a remarkable achievement..." - Muhammad Yunus, Founder of Grameeen Bank, Bangladesh, and Nobel Peace Prize 2006 (March 2009, when AVN was one of the winners of a competition on Facebook to meet Muhammad Yunus in Paris)


  •  " The Nubian Vault is until now the best program in the world in the field of skills transfer in the construction of earth brick vaults... their success is due to their emphasis on the social aspects of this technology transfer" - Satprem Maini, UNESCO Chair of Earth Architecture, Auroville Earth Institute, India (April 2007, in support of AVN's bid for the Tech Museum Award)


  • "The leverage effects generated by AVN make it one of the most innovative initiatives benefiting the population of the Sahel" - Arnaud Mourot, CEO, Ashoka France (April 2007)


  •  "My dream is to be able one day to contribute to your work alongside the NV masons..." - Simone Swan, President of the Adobe Alliance, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA (July 2011, in an email to Thomas Granier, co-founder of AVN)