Lafarge South Africa, the local subsidiary of the international Lafarge Group, the world leader in building materials, uses its experience and technical skills to benefit sustainable development projects for underprivileged local communities. The company recently partnered second year architecture students at the University of Cape Town in a project aimed at improving conditions for people of the Imizamo Yethu settlement in Hout Bay.
It is estimated that 25 000 people live in the settlement with limited service provision in terms of water and sanitation. The students' project was to design and build a washing platform to provide more dignified places for water collection, spaces for the washing of clothes and, where possible, to integrate these with existing shared toilet facilities. The platform also serves as a social gathering space.
A donation of 4,5 cubic metres of concrete was supplied by Lafarge South Africa's readymix concrete team at Paarden Island and used to cast a staircase to the washing platform, as well as construct a much-needed pavement on the adjacent street. Helped by some members of the local community, the students dug trenches, built formwork and poured foundations. To speed up the build, the students had constructed precast concrete components of the platform.
With the intention of building a total of eight platforms over a period of eight years, the design of the platform and its associated parts has been integrated into the architecture course curriculum. The students developed the designs in liaison with the community and obtained the necessary planning permission from the municipality. Lafarge staff took a keen interest in the work of the students and assisted with technical advice throughout the design and construction process.
Thanking Lafarge South Africa, UCT's Mike Louw, lecturer in the School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics said, "Lafarge was instrumental in making the project a success. The delivery and pouring of the readymix concrete went smoothly and produced an impressive quality result. There is no doubt that the washing platform has made a small but much appreciated contribution to easing the difficulties of daily life in the settlement."
NOTES TO EDITORS
A world leader in building materials, Lafarge employs 65,000 people in 64 countries, and posted sales of €15.8 billion in 2012. 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. Since 2010, the Lafarge Group has been part of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, the first global sustainability benchmark in recognition of its sustainable development actions. More information is available on Lafarge's website: www.lafarge.com / www.lafarge.co.za
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