When The Break-Through Centre - a facility in Katlehong, Gauteng that aims to ensure basic early learning education is accessible to all children - asked Lafarge to contribute towards its expansion, leading local contractor MND Enterprises brought its Light Steel Frame Building (LSFB) construction expertise to the project.
Mfundeni Mthembu, Director of Operations, MND Enterprises, says: "It gave us great pleasure and sense of fulfilment to have been part of a life-changing project to this underprivileged community and to work with Lafarge in delivering the highest possible standards in LSFB construction."
Mthembu says MND's use of the technology means it can deliver robust, high-performance buildings with speed and accuracy. "Lafarge Gypsum provided the Light Steel structure, external and internal cladding and various other components, and we used Lafarge Ready-Mix for the foundation. The benefits of LSFB technology include minimal waste and savings on logistics, when compared to the massive weight of delivering traditional materials to construction sites." He added that the speed of building using LSFB technology means an 80m2 house can be erected in just 15 days after the setting of the slab, which takes a minimum of seven days to cure.
Lafarge Gypsum's Managing Director Jean-Paul Croze says the additions to The Break-Through Centre included three new rooms, which will ensure children assisted at the Centre have a safe, warm environment in which to thrive. "As evidence of our commitment to Building better cities that are more durable and help sustain a healthy prosperous society for all our people, all Lafarge metal products are ecospecifier-listed and our steel frame technology complies with SANS 10400-XA as well as the additional requirements of SANS 204, a further enhancement of energy efficiency.
"In constructing the new rooms, MND Enterprises insulated the wall cavities to make the building quicker to warm up in winter or to cool down in summer; for both comfort inside the Centre and lower running costs," he says.
Mthembu adds: "Although challenges were experienced during construction of this particular project, both Lafarge and MND ensured that the building was completed to the highest standards possible.
"MND's experience in working with a number of products from various companies has proven that Lafarge products are among the best in the industry. As an emerging contractor, MND Enterprises is honoured to have been chosen as a preferred contractor by a reputable company like Lafarge to participate in this project."
Says Croze: "Lafarge believes that building better cities and better communities requires investing in projects like this to ensure the well-being of our future leaders - the children. Lafarge Gypsum's motto for 2014 is ‘Restoring faith in Humanity', and this project enabled us to put that motto into action."
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As a world leader in building materials, Lafarge employs 64,000 people in 62 countries, and posted sales of €15.2 billion in 2013. As a top-ranking player in Cement, Aggregates and Concrete, 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, gypsum plasterboard and interior building fittings. 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 cities, rural towns and villages.
Lafarge South Africa also demonstrates active concern for the conservation of the country's wildlife heritage and is a major supporter of the world's first dedicated baby rhino orphanage in Limpopo Province.
Additional information is available on the website at www.lafarge.co.za
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