By Mark S. Kuhar
Lafarge North America launched its new brand positioning, Building Better Cities, representing its pledge to offer solutions that contribute to meeting the many challenges posed by the growing trend of urbanization. Lafarge’s new brand positioning opens a promising new niche for the company to be a more involved player in sustainable construction and resilient building for both commercial products and the everyday consumer.
Urbanization is one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century. Over the next decade, cities will change substantially, as population growth is anticipated to occur almost exclusively in urban areas. By 2050, 70 percent of the world’s population will be living in towns and cities, compared with just over 50 percent today, resulting in two billion more city-dwellers.
Development at this unprecedented scale will be a major challenge for the whole construction industry, including in the U.S. where 79 percent of the population is living in urban environments (according to 2000 U.S. Census numbers).
“Our pledge of Building Better Cities encompasses the overall ambition of Lafarge,” said John Stull, president and CEO of Lafarge U.S. “We want to play our part in the improvement of towns and cities, through our contribution to better roads, more sustainable buildings, more energy efficient building solutions, all with a lesser impact on the environment.”
Innovation is at the heart of Lafarge’s strategy, driving it to be a major contributor toward developing enhanced urban environments. Lafarge’s new brand commits to this strategy in five key areas:
- More housing in cities: Promoting solutions that encourage more sustainable housing options with an emphasis on affordable housing for all.
- More compact cities: Providing materials for the construction of sustainable, high-rise buildings which can help reduce urban sprawl.
- More durable cities: Focusing on the strength and longevity of construction materials by taking full account of environmental concerns, particularly the energy efficiency of buildings and the reduction of CO2 emissions.
- More beautiful cities: Integrating innovation, performance and architectural expertise to create visually bold and beautiful solutions.
- More connected cities: Supporting the development of all infrastructures – roads, airports, train stations, bridges, tunnels – that unite communities.
“Thanks to our innovative products and services, we are offering solutions that lead to more durable, more beautiful and more connected communities,” said Stull. Lafarge products have long been an integral part of sustainable projects in the U.S. In Minnesota, McLeod County relied on Lafarge Type I/II Cement to rehabilitate its distressed Highway 2. The new infrastructure provides long-term durability and a more beautiful drive with its bright and safe aesthetic.
For the John Deere sales and marketing center in Olathe, Kan., the use of Lafarge Fly Ash and services by Lafarge subsidiary, Systech, helped divert more than 95 percent of construction waste from the landfill and achieve soil stabilization. In addition, the use of Lafarge products contributed to the facility’s Gold Certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Green Building Rating System.
Lafarge products also have played a role in the generation of clean energy. The Blue Creek Wind Farm in Van Wert, Ohio, used Lafarge Type I cement in the below-ground concrete support system for its wind turbines that generate enough clean, homegrown energy to power approximately 75,000 average homes. The project also used cement for soil stabilization, enabling access to the site under difficult soil conditions and providing a base for permanent roadways.
Lafarge looks forward to Building Better Cities and as a brand, continuing to represent a rich history of quality building products and a steadfast dedication to safety and sustainability benchmark in recognition of its sustainable development actions.
More information is available on the Lafarge Group’s website: www.lafarge.com.