Building better cities

 

Housing programs that are accessible to everyone and infrastructures that stand up to the passage of time and protect the environment, along with bridges, roads and airports that connect cities and their inhabitants.

Our materials, services and innovative building systems contribute to building cities that offer more housing and are more compact, more durable, better connected and more beautiful. In a word, better cities!

Contribute to more housing in cities

To give all city-dwellers an access to decent and affordable housing that’s adapted to their needs, we offer cement and concrete solutions, as well as innovative processes and services, which help everyone find a home under the best possible conditions in the heart of our cities.

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Our contribution

For newcomers to the cities as well as those that already live there, the top priority is housing. They yearn for more than just a roof over their heads, they also hope to find a place to live in the city, in their city, so they can feel at home.

Our materials are solid, available and reasonably priced. They can help provide affordable, quality housing for city-dwellers. Our offer includes:

  • Cement and concrete solutions that can be used to build new homes and restore existing ones.
  • Innovative processes and services to build homes faster and cheaper. Thanks to our partnerships, we have developed innovative concrete-based methods, such as stay-in-place formwork.

 

And to allow the most deprived populations to find housing at low cost, particularly in developing countries, we have invented solutions to provide:

  • Easier access to our materials. For example we have found a way of delivering concrete into the heart of slums.
  • Easier access to finance. We have developed a micro-credit program which helps the underprivileged city-dwellers build, restore or extend their homes.

 

This is the commitment we took in our "Sustainability Ambitions for 2020", a program we launched in June 2012: "Enable 2 million people around the world to have access to affordable and sustainable housing through the development and introduction of innovative solutions."

Contribute to more compact cities

To help limit urban sprawl, we have devised solutions for vertical buildings and for the refurbishment of old buildings and rundown neighborhoods. By taking up less ground space, they help make cities more compact, while preserving the quality of life for inhabitants and making their daily travels easier.

 
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Our contribution

To restrict urban sprawl and protect farming land as well as flora and fauna, cities have to find ways of growing without pushing their boundaries further.

Our solutions help cities become more compact and gain space on the ground so that homes, workplaces, public amenities and local services are all closer together. That means greater mobility and a better quality of life for inhabitants!

For every type of vertical construction, from the tallest skyscraper to a ground-level house converted into a 3-story building, we supply different qualities of concrete:

  • very high strength concrete for the foundations and the lower parts,
  • lightweight concrete for the upper parts,
  • insulating concrete for partitions at each level, etc.

 

Architects and urban planners seeking to convert disused waste lands and transform old neighborhoods for new uses can rely on our expertise in materials for a quality, long-lasting and cost-effective urban development.

Contribute to more durable cities

Resisting time and natural disasters and reducing their environmental impact are major challenges for cities. Our constructive solutions and systems contribute to stronger and long-lasting buildings and infrastructure, whilst reconciling environmental concerns, in particular by improving the energy efficiency of buildings or water preservation.

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Our contribution

Sustainable cities are not only cities with parks and gardens and which protect the environment. They are also durable cities that are can resist both the passage of time and stand up to natural disasters.

That's why we offer solutions to construct buildings and infrastructures which last and protect their inhabitantsConcrete is our best asset: strong, natural and maintenance-free, it endures through the years.

And in the event of earthquakes, cyclones or seawater corrosion, we can further increase its strength and resistance with our special enhanced performance products.

We are also developing innovative building solutions and systems that help conserve water and energy resources and reduce carbon emissions:

  • We have improved the natural thermal qualities of concrete with the ultra-high performance concrete-based thermal breaker (Ductal®) and the Thermedia®range, which provides six times more insulation than a traditional concrete.
  • We also offer HydromediaTM pervious concrete, which absorbs stormwater and helps natural runoff soak into the ground. It reduces the risk of flooding for pedestrians and drivers.

And soon motorists will be able to drive through tunnels without worrying about concentrations of nitrogen dioxide emissions thanks to our promising prototype for anti-pollution concrete!

Contribute to more connected cities

City-dwellers want to get around quickly, both within and between cities. Whether it is in bridges and tunnels, in highways and railways, in airports and stations, our construction solutions are used for most transport infrastructures contributing to more connected cities and helping the flow of traffic and people!

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Our contribution

Getting round the city more quickly and more easily, from home to work or from one district to another, and traveling to other cities are needs shared by the inhabitants of many categories of cities.

To make journeys in town easier, we supply solutions that are used to build solid, sustainable and easy-to-maintain infrastructure.

Throughout the world, our cements, aggregates and concretes help make cities better connected: they are used for building the tram and metro lines, highways and railways, bridges and tunnels, ports, stations and airports that keep people moving and help inhabitants save time every day.

On the very biggest projects, we mobilize all our logistics and scientific resources to provide continuous delivery of our special purpose products in large quantities, when necessary on a 24/7 basis

Contribute to more beautiful cities

Exceptional buildings, elegant public edifices, harmonious shapes, colors and textures... to help build more beautiful cities, we offer concrete solutions that inspire and allow the boldest constructions!

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Our contribution

Concrete is a material for creation that turns the most extraordinary architectural audacity into realityIt can take unique shapes, mould into delicate structures and a variety of textures and colors, while providing a high level of performance.

Lafarge's innovation has resulted in a wide range of concretes forming a pallet of attractive and inspirational solutions:

  • Our ultra-high performance fiber-reinforced concretes (Ductal®), our "haute couture" concretes, which combine outstanding performance and exceptional strength with great slenderness, allowing breathtakingly original designs.
  • Our Artevia® decorative concretes range embellish buildings and public spaces publics with colors and textures.
  • Our self-placing and self-leveling concretes (Agilia®) allow technical and aesthetic prowesses, while offering a particularly smooth finish... and remarkably quick and effortless application!

Such solutions enable architects to design and create distinctive buildings, to make functional amenities like hospitals, airports and stadiums architecturally special, and to preserve architectural heritage.

All this creativity helps to make each city a unique, desirable and a pleasant place to live in!

The citadel of Erbil comes back to life

In Iraqi Kurdistan, Lafarge is playing a part in the preservation of Erbil, one of the most ancient cities in history, founded around 8,000 years ago. A vast project is under way that will make it possible to open the citadel to the public and to repopulate it. It will eventually be classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Constructed approximately 8,000 years ago, Erbil is one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited settlements. The capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, it is home to around one and a half million people. The citadel that overlooks the city stretches over more than 10 hectares and it abounds in architectural remains of rare splendor, with vestiges of periods of Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Greek and Arabic occupation.

Today, though, it is in poor condition. An enormous restoration operation has been launched, with a triple objective:

  • preserving the historical heritage of the city,
  • opening this exceptional site to the public and to tourists by providing it with hotels, cafés and art galleries,
  • welcoming new populations.

Lafarge is working with the local authorities, UNESCO and the French Institute for the Near East in Iraq. In addition to making a financial contribution, we are taking responsibility for the renovation of several houses located inside the citadel. We are also supplying cement and contributing our expertise in reconstruction, in compliance with UNESCO standards in view of the future classification of the citadel as a World Heritage Site.

Erbil will then be ready to share its riches for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years to come!