FAQ 1 : France: an exceptional construction site in La Réunion
The monumental Route des Tamarins construction project was delivered in a difficult geological and climatic environment and represents quite an achievement, both in terms of design and execution. The road includes no less than 33.7km of expressway, 23 bridges, 9 intersections and 3 tunnels and is designed, in time, to become the major artery of the île de la Réunion.
For this European project, carried out in collaboration with several companies, including Vinci, Razel, Eiffage and Bonin, Lafarge provided its international expertise in relation to building materials used in exceptional structures. Construction of the Route des Tamarins used 150,000m³ of concrete, 600,000 tons of aggregates and 60,000 tons of cement.
FAQ 2 : France: renovation of Eileen Gray’s Villa E1027
Villa E1027, designed by Eileen Gray, the innovative early 20th-century architect and interior designer, is a concrete building which has been listed as an historic monument since 2000. Abandoned for many years and even lived in illegally for a time, Villa E1027 suffered serious internal and external damage over the years.
To restore the structure, Pierre-Antoine Gatier, head architect for historic monuments and project manager, drew on the Lafarge Research center's unique expertise in building materials.
Lafarge's involvement was divided into 2 stages and lasted several months:
- Site survey: Lafarge carried out a meticulous survey of the damages threatening the Villa's structure.
- A precise analysis of samples gathered from the site in order to identify the concretes, renders and paints used and find the exact formulation of the original materials.
As a result of this expertise and analysis carried out by 5 Group specialists, the architect in charge of the renovation project was able to draw up a specification for materials which was as precise as possible and which respected the building to be restored.
FAQ 3 : France: A footbridge constructed using Ductal® for the Pont du Diable
Each year the Pont du Diable is crossed by more than 250,000 walkers who come to visit the gorges of the Hérault in France, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Designed by architect Rudy Ricciotti and engineer Romain Ricciotti to handle this high level of traffic, the Pont du Diable footbridge is an innovative construction thanks to Ductal® ultra-high performance concrete:
- the footbridge spans more than 70m reaching a static height of 1.80m, without any intermediary support, arches or stays,
- it comprises 15 prefabricated concrete sections, without any steels,
- the fluidity and superior mechanical performance of Ductal® meant the bridge deck needed to be just 4cm thick, a technical performance never before seen for a construction of this size!
Ductal®'s discretion, performance and lightness also allow the Pont du Diable footbridge to blend seamlessly into this typical southern French landscape.
FAQ 4 : Canada: Olympic Games respect sustainable construction
Lafarge Canada Inc. Ready Mix is supplying 85,000 m3 of concrete for the construction of the Millennium Water Complex project, which will provide accommodation for athletes competing in the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010. Ultra Green and Agilia® concretes will be supplied, with volumes of 45,000 m3 and 40,000 m3 respectively.
The Millennium Water Complex project is a L.E.E.D.-certified project. L.E.E.D. (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an American standards system for high environmental quality buildings whose criteria are, among others, energy efficiency, management of water consumption, heating efficiency and the use of locally sourced and recycled materials.
To qualify as a L.E.E.D. project and to meet the very tight deadlines imposed by the customer, the Lafarge team has been required to show ingenuity with a specific Agilia® formulation for this project...
FAQ 5 : France: The villa Navarra and its Ductal® roof, a world first!
Hidden away in the hinterland of the Var coastline (France), the building realized for the art dealer, Enrico Navarra, nestles into the slope so as to blend into the natural vegetation of the Provencal landscape.
The villa Navarra practically boils down to its roof: an immense visor stretching 40 metres between the trees, with a cantilevered surface of 7.80 metres opens up the house to the wild landscape.
An exceptional work, both aesthetically and for its technical complexity, this ultra-thin roof made of Ductal® concrete is a world first. It is the fruit of the boldness and expertise of Rudy Ricciotti, laureate of the National Architecture Grand Prix 2006, Romain Ricciotti, structural engineer, and Lafarge teams.
The ultra-high performance fiber-reinforced Ductal® concrete has innovative properties and, once again, is capable of the most impressive of architectural feats.
FAQ 6 : France: Szekely and his Ductal® tables
For a long time the designer Martin Szekely was seeking to confront himself to an "emblematic" material, like concrete regarding the world of constructions. Ductal®, the ultra-high performance fiber-reinforced concrete, suits to the "Concrete" series of objects (tables and desks).
According to the designer, the object is not derived from a drawing but results from the inherent qualities of concrete. Thus, "the form of the tops, all in curves, recalls that the material was, at a certain point, in an almost liquid state", confirms Szekely. Concrete is worked "like a skin", whose thickness is just 8 millimeters (0,31 inches)!
As a result, the objects are thin, light, and solid, with an impeccable finish and a notion of "visual economy". The building material of a silky grey pale becomes delicate...
FAQ 7 : France: Ductal® dresses Yves Saint Laurent
Stefano Pilati, creative director for the famous Y.S.L. fashion brand, and the Moatti &Rivière agency have created a new architectural concept which will be rolled out throughout the 62 Y.S.L. boutiques worldwide.
Ductal®, the ultra-high fiber-reinforced concrete, is mixed with crystal, brass and glass to produce particularly thin and simple pieces: chairs and shelves with a 1.5 cm.-thickness, and a floor arranged in a herringbones pattern. The historic Y.S.L. Saint-Sulpice boutique in Paris (France) has been selected to inaugurate this new design with an iconoclastic spirit.
FAQ 8 : Brazil: Especial II concrete for the Pan American games
Construction of the cycle racing track and sports complex at Barra, near Rio de Janeiro, called for more than 1,300 m³ of Lafarge's Especial II concrete. It was used for surfacing, cycle tracks and the construction of piers, floors and access roads. The remarkable fluidity and extremely high resistance of Especial II concrete were determining factors in its selection for this large-scale project.
FAQ 9 : Canada: a footbridge made of ductile concrete
The city of Calgary pays close attention to the latest architectural trends and encourages the design of innovative buildings. The Glenmore/Legsby footbridge, an architectural gem, was built entirely out of Ductal®. Its quality finish, excellent resistance to weathering and easy maintenance makes this construction the pride of the city.
FAQ 10 : United States: Mars Hill Bridge, a high-tech construction
The U.S. Department of Transport, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Lafarge worked in close collaboration to incorporate Ductal® into this high-tech bridge construction project. Thanks to its recognized resistance and durability, Ductal® was used to build the supporting beams of the Mars Hill Bridge in Iowa.
FAQ 11 : France: Ductal® to renovate the swimming pool at Clichy
Ductal® was the star of the project to renovate the swimming pool at Clichy-la-Garenne. This material, which combines solidity, ductility and esthetics, was used to build the "sunshades" which decorate the glass façade of the swimming pool. These shades regulate the pool's ambient temperature and lighting.
FAQ 12 : France: an award for Franck Hammoutène and Agilia®
Architect Franck Hammoutène received the Équerre d'Argent award for his extension to the Marseille City Hall. The extension created museum space and new council chambers as well as 20,000 m² of esplanades and public gardens. The architect and his team used 8,000 m³ of Lafarge concrete - including 600 m³ of Agilia® - for this project, which blends in with the topography of the site thanks to an intelligent combination of mineral and plant elements.
FAQ 13 : France: Agilia® completes the work of Le Corbusier
30 years after the first stone was laid, innovative Agilia® concrete opened the way to completing the church of Saint-Pierre de Firminy, designed by Le Corbusier.
FAQ 14 : Canada: a concrete casino at Niagara Falls
The construction of a casino at Niagara Falls required massive investments. Agilia® cement and a Lafarge silicon cement were used for this 232,300 m² construction.
FAQ 15 : Canada: an Agilia® and UltraHorizontal™ bridge in a protected zone
Environmental considerations played an important role in the construction of a four-lane bridge in Calgary, Canada, that spans a protected zone. UltraHorizontal™ concrete was used for the road surfacing and Agilia® for the lighting fixtures and other structures.
FAQ 16 : Canada: university dorms built with concrete
The student dormitories at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, Canada, make great use of the Group's products: buildings, decor and finishes are all in Lafarge concrete!
FAQ 17 : France: the parking lot at Orly gets a new look with Ductal®
Ductal®, the high-performance concrete marketed by Lafarge Cement, was chosen for the renovation of the access halls of the P0 parking structure at Orly Airport south of Paris. The ductility and strength of this range was enough to convince the architects. 600 Ductal® panels were produced to cover the 1,100 m² of access halls at the western terminal, which reopened on January 3, 2006.
FAQ 18 : Chile: creative concrete
Eight of the best architects in Chile participated in a major architectural project to dream and design their ideal house. Lafarge participated in this project, code-named Ocho al Cubo (Eight Cubed), by supplying 2,500 m³ of concrete.
FAQ 19 : France: International Fair, Ductal® and contemporary furniture
Ductal® made some new friends at the 2006 Salon International Du Meuble in Paris as designers were won over by its unique structural and aesthetic properties. Bookshelves, tables and even bathtubs were among a selection of bold creations which combined finesse, lightness and original textures.
FAQ 20 : United States: a building made beautiful with Artevia® Color
Georgia Aquarium, one of the state's top tourist attractions, is home to more than 100,000 fish. Lafarge's decorative Artevia® Color concrete was used to finish the façade of this ship-shaped building.
FAQ 21 : United States: the Solaire, an environmentally advanced tower
The Solaire residential tower in New York City is the first environmentally advanced building in the United States. It is designed to consume 35% less energy than a conventional building and meets sustainable construction criteria. Lafarge supplied reinforced concrete with fly ash additives.
FAQ 22 : Canada: an award-winning light-rail transit station made of Ductal®
The Shawnessy light rail transit station in Calgary is sheltered by a series of elegant Ductal® canopies. The 24 unique, shell-like canopies each measure 5.1 meters by 5.5 meters but are only 20 millimeters thick! They protect the platform and passengers from the elements while remaining light and airy. The Shawnessy station won the 2005 Award of Excellence for Design & Construction in Concrete from the A.C.I. (American Concrete Institute/Alberta Chapter).
FAQ 23 : United States: the Everett Station, Washington
Everett Station sits on a series of pre-cast concrete arches made with Type III cement. These arches support the structure and ensure a distinctive architectural signature for the concourse below.
FAQ 24 : Canada: a hotel in the heart of the Rockies
The Fairmont Chateau Hotel sits beside Lake Louise in the heart of Banff National Park in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta. 10,000 m³ of concrete, made with Lafarge G.U. type cement from Lafarge's concrete plant in Canmore, Canada, was used in the construction of the hotel.
FAQ 25 : Canada: Agilia® for a residential building
This residential building in Vancouver, British Colombia, incorporates a variety of Lafarge products: Agilia® Architectural, Agilia® Vertical and Agilia® Horizontal. Lafarge concretes were used for the interior and exterior walls. The use of Agilia® to pour the suspended slabs was a first in North America.
FAQ 26 : Canada: Agilia® for a wind farm
The 7 new wind turbines installed at Pubnico, Nova Scotia, generate enough power to supply 12,000 nearby homes. Lafarge supplied the Agilia® concrete used for the foundations. These wind generators serve to reduce CO2 emissions by around 90,000 tons per year.
FAQ 27 : United States: an Artevia® driveway
Lafarge products aren't restricted to "industrial" uses. They also lend themselves to projects requiring a decorative touch. The use of Artevia® to surface residential paths and driveways in Atlanta illustrates this esthetic dimension.
FAQ 28 : India: constructing individual houses
Lafarge launched a project in India to improve access to housing for low-income families. As part of the "Affordable Housing for Masses" project, Lafarge India built a prototype 20 m² house which offers a considerable reduction on the usual price per square meter. This project allows the Group to demonstrate the benefits of using cement and concrete to construct individual low-cost houses in rural, semi-urban and urban zones.
FAQ 29 : South Africa: Eco-City, housing for all
Lafarge South Africa supports the Eco-City project run by Eco-City, a non-governmental organization, and the W.W.F. (World Wide Fund for Nature). The project constructs low-cost housing which respects environmental considerations and is accessible to low-income families. Lafarge South Africa donated 300 tons of cement and 70 m³ of concrete for the construction of the first 30 houses, which are designed to keep energy consumption to a minimum.
FAQ 30 : France: sustainable construction for the Nicolas Hulot Foundation
Lafarge contributed to the construction of the Nicolas Hulot School for Nature and Man in the Morbihan, France. The architecture of the school was designed around environmental considerations and is intended to meet High Environmental Quality standards. Lafarge Cement, Lafarge Concrete and Lafarge Aggregates all donated construction materials that met these requirements. The school is a center where everyone can receive information and education and training in biodiversity.
FAQ 31 : United States: Buffalo-Rochester, New York State Thruway
Concrete paving can't be beaten when it comes to withstanding the heavy traffic on the New York State Thruway. Lafarge concretes were selected thanks to their recognized advantages of long-term resistance and quality.
FAQ 32 : Canada: a university adopts sustainable construction materials
The School of Information Technology and Engineering of the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada, understands that modern materials can have a real impact on energy bills. The use of Lafarge Ultra-Series and Weathermix products allows them to keep heating and air conditioning costs to a minimum.
FAQ 33 : United States: a Driveway in Dellwood
A large amount of colored concrete was needed to build this driveway in Dellwood, Minnesota. The choice of Lafarge Portland cement means that the concrete maintains its coherence and architectural integrity without any sacrifice in terms of durability or frost-resistance.
FAQ 34 : United Kingdom: a house built entirely of Agilia®
Peter Sowerby Homes, a prestigious residential building company, used more than 600 m3 of Agilia® in this house in the Trent Valley. The architect decided against conventional concrete for the foundations, preferring to use Agilia® Trenchflow to stabilize the ground. Agilia® Force was used for the structure, which nestles into a hillside, and one of the walls was constructed with Agilia® Vertical.
FAQ 35 : Canada: a glass and concrete building in Montreal
This luxurious glass and concrete building on Nun's Island offers a spectacular view of the St. Lawrence River and the city of Montreal. It also allows Lafarge concretes to demonstrate their mechanical performance and aesthetic qualities.
FAQ 36 : Canada: the Lake City Station in Burnaby
The Lake City Station was one of 14 new stations built during the project to extend the Vancouver Sky Train. The supporting columns of the station were built with colored, self-consolidating Agilia® concrete, perfect for vertical structures.
FAQ 37 : United States: the Museum of Glass in Tacoma
The prestigious Museum of Glass, designed by Arthur Erickson, is built with pre-cast Lafarge concrete. Its galleries, exhibition spaces, education center and amphitheater all provide exciting opportunities to watch artists in action and experience original works of art.
FAQ 38 : France: Ductal® at the Pavillon de l'Arsenal
Architects Finn Geipel and Giulia Andi of the L.I.N. Agency chose ultra-high performance Ductal® concrete to add the finishing touches to the permanent exhibition at the Pavillon de l'Arsenal Museum in Paris.
FAQ 39 : United States: the Washington Convention Center
The Washington Convention Center covers 6 city blocks in downtown Washington D.C. It owes its avant-garde style to pre-cast concrete and to the use of Lafarge NewCem® cement in the cast-in-place concrete. The exceptional interiors owe their finish to Lafarge Rapid Coat.
FAQ 40 : France: Agilia® for the court house in Pontoise
The new Palais de Justice law court in Pontoise was designed by G.T.M. Bâtiment‑Carillon B.T.P. It required 1,400 m³ of Agilia® white cement, which was specially formulated for this project. Thanks to the use of Agilia® Formes and Agilia® Horizontal, the architect's drawings have turned into a perfectly finished building.
FAQ 41 : Canada: an office building with a warm appearance
Sherwood Corners is an office building in downtown Mississauga in Ontario, Canada. Thanks to its facade of "Terra Walling", made from Lafarge cements and aggregates, this construction blends in with its surroundings. The warm color of "weathered Cotswold" gives this building a timeless appearance.
FAQ 42 : South Africa : symbolic towers
Are Soweto's Freedom Towers a reflection of South Africa's multicultural melting pot? Five of the towers are made of white aggregates mixed with black concrete and 4 are of white concrete mixed with black aggregates. A stunning symbol!
FAQ 43 : Spain: Ductal® at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid
Ductal® was selected to build the composite supporting structure, which also uses 16-meter vertical posts with a diameter of just 32 centimeters! Its exceptional compressive strength, which ensures the structure's reinforcement, and high resistance to fire made Ductal® the obvious choice!
FAQ 44 : Canada: a student residence with excellent sound proofing
The façade of the Alan Earp Residence at Brock University blends brick and concrete. Inside, ultra-light concrete is used to provide a high level of sound insulation and enhance acoustic comfort. The project received an architectural merit award from the Ontario Concrete Association.
FAQ 45 : Canada: a residential tower featuring classic-modern design
The designers of Toronto's Bayview tower were inspired by the New York skyline, particularly the Chrysler tower and the Empire State building. GU cement, produced through a Lafarge joint venture, was used to bring their ideas to life.
FAQ 46 : Canada: a sandstone-like façade for a luxury hotel
Over the years, the sculptured sandstone façade of the MacDonald luxury hotel, built in 1915 in Edmonton, Alberta, had fallen into ruin. The renovation project ran into a major obstacle: it couldn't find a craftsman who could sculpt sandstone! The builders called on Lafarge to design a custom concrete that would reproduce the original characteristics of the sandstone façade.