South Africa has seen a strong trend to sustainable development, whether in the form of stringent environmental specifications in infrastructure tenders or developers realising the long-term financial and marketing benefits of ‘green' buildings. Well-positioned to support this trend, Lafarge South Africa is recognised as a market leader in providing innovative, sustainable development building materials and solutions.
The company is the local presence of the international Lafarge Group, a world leader in building materials. Operating the world's largest building materials research facility, the Group devotes more than 50% of its research and development budget to sustainability issues. Lafarge's brand baseline of ‘Building better cities' responds to the challenges of the huge global trend to urbanisation and the need to help build viable communities.
In South Africa, the company's various business lines manufacture and supply cement, aggregates, readymixed concrete, pulverised fly ash, gypsum plasterboard and interior building fittings. Through having a strong presence in all of its business lines, it focuses on using its unique position to contribute to building better communities, whether they are in cities, rural towns and villages.
A key element in the development of Lafarge South Africa's product range was recognising the potential of quality siliceous fly ash from Ash Resources as a cement replacement and performance enhancer in cement and concrete formulations. It was a means of significantly reducing emissions and producing lower carbon footprint products, while also imparting wide ranging performance benefits. The company's pioneering development work resulted in it being the first South African cement company to offer a complete range of extended, more environmentally-friendly ‘green' cements throughout all strength classes. In addition, Lafarge South Africa introduced a variety of innovative concretes to the local construction industry.
"We are able to provide architects and engineers with a wide range of well-integrated efficient building systems (EBS) for lowering the carbon footprint of their designs, as well
as the opportunity to design for concrete strength at later ages, enabling reduced cement requirements," says Herbert Groenewald, Lafarge South Africa's Building Marketing Manager. "While we are focused on addressing customers' needs for efficient, more productive construction methodologies and supporting the evolution of green building,
our approach to sustainable development is a holistic life cycle one."
All processes at the company's production plants are continually refined to improve efficiency and quality, while minimising the impact on the environment. This includes water recycling and energy reduction through measures such as the use of alternative feed and fuels. Lafarge products provide solutions to meet key criteria for sustainable building: energy efficiency, carbon dioxide performance, cost optimisation and end-user design. Transport energy efficiency is addressed through the extensive geographic footprint of its operating sites and also by offering projects the company's on-site, mobile concrete batch plants.
The innovative products from Lafarge South Africa that have provided the construction industry with more efficient building methods, combined with reduced carbon input include the innovative self-compacting Lafarge AgiliaTM range of readymix concrete, the solution to reducing the energy input of building methods and producing architectural finishes; the ArteviaTM range, which offers the benefits of a strong structural concrete with beautiful, durable decorative finishes; HydromediaTM, the unique Lafarge technology breakthrough in permeable concrete for water management, and the recently introduced ChronoliaTM that offers speed of construction with efficient management of the production process.
The effectiveness of the company's green solutions is reflected in a rapidly growing track record of involvement in building projects with highly ranked Green Star ratings by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA). The list includes the Department of Environmental Affairs building in Tshwane, which is a 6 Star rated government-owned building; Millennia Park in Stellenbosch and the trend-setting Group Five headquarters in Waterfall Business Estate in Johannesburg. Projects still in the process of finalising Green Star creditation include the Sasol head offices in Sandton, Gauteng; the World Wildlife Foundation building in Braamfontein, Johannesburg; and the Karl Bremmer Hospital in Cape Town.
"At Lafarge South Africa, we are proud of the contribution we are making to sustainable development in the local construction industry," comments Groenewald. "While our list of prestige Green Star rated projects grows by the day, we never lose sight of the fact that the priority application for our skills lies in the socio-economic category. It concerns those people in our country who are desperately in need of the basic elements, such as housing and schools, which contribute to a more sustainable, better quality life. To this end, Lafarge South Africa partners with developers, architects and contractors to help provide efficient solutions for affordable housing and mixed-use development schemes: the schemes that translate to building better communities!"
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A world leader in building materials, Lafarge employs 63,000 people in 61 countries, and posted sales of €12.8 billion in 2014. As a top-ranking player in its Cement, Aggregates and Concrete businesses, it contributes to the construction of cities around the world, through its innovative solutions providing them with more housing and making them more compact, more durable, more beautiful, and better connected. With the world's leading building materials research facility, Lafarge places innovation at the heart of its priorities in order to contribute to more sustainable construction and to better serve architectural creativity.
In South Africa, the company manufactures and supplies cement, aggregates, readymixed concrete, pulverised fly ash, gypsum plasterboard and interior building fittings through its various business units. It focuses on providing solutions to help the sustainable development of better cities that benefit the country's people. Through having a strong presence in all of its business lines, it is in a unique position to contribute to urban construction, while also helping to build better rural towns and villages.
Additional information is available on the website at www.lafarge.co.za
For further information, please contact:
Country Communications Manager
011 657 0000