Tuesday, March 20, 2012

LAFARGE INDIA LEADS THE WAY IN SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION


Lafarge India leads the way in sustainable construction

First Lafarge innovation Awards in India in the presence of Mr.Bruno Lafont, Chairman and CEO, Lafarge


Mumbai, March 20, 2012 : Lafarge, the world leader in building materials, today announced the winners of the 2011 Lafarge Invention Awards, a competition to recognise innovative thinkers who will contribute to the future evolution of sustainable construction in India. The winners were recognised by Mr. Bruno Lafont, Chairman and CEO of Lafarge Group.

The Invention Awards are just one example of the numerous initiatives taken by Lafarge in India to enhance innovation in building materials for sustainable construction in the country, where Lafarge started its operations in 1999. This initiative was a key focus for Mr. Lafont during his current visit to India, which also included the opening of a new laboratory dedicated to sustainable construction.

“Lafarge Invention Awards”: a competition to promote and encourage innovation

Created in 2010, the Lafarge Invention Awards are designed to reward and support projects on building materials (through products, industrial procedures, construction methods or services) contributing to sustainable construction.

Today, a panel of Lafarge executives and renowned Indian experts selected three innovative projects and rewarded their talented Indian inventors with prizes of 1,000,000 INR, 500,000 INR and 250,000 INR.

After careful deliberation, the judges awarded first prize to Ashok B. Lall Architects for - Integrated Hollow Structure for space cooling, K.T. Group were awarded second prize for Precast concrete panel, with Manasaram Architects for Bamboo Symphony also being recognised.

All these winners will also be invited to visit the Lafarge Research Centre in France, the world’s leading research facility in building materials. In total, sixty projects were submitted from entrepreneurs, new companies, consultants, architects, researchers and academics based in India for this competition, which started in September 2011.

Mr. Bruno Lafont, Chairman and CEO of Lafarge said, “India is a country that embraces innovation, which is reflected in the quality of the projects rewarded by the Lafarge Invention Awards. There is a wonderful synergy between the Indian market which is driven by progress, and Lafarge which made innovation a key priority for the Group, and which is the foundation of Lafarge’s success in India. The recent opening of our Construction Development Lab in Mumbai, will enable us to develop even faster and more local solutions for the construction industry boosted by the fast pace of demographic growth.”

A major focus on R&D for Lafarge in India

Lafarge’s global strategy is to leverage its leading R&D technologies and resources to create sustainable products and solutions that meet the needs of local markets and the general public by bringing sustainable development, safety, comfort and quality to everyday surroundings while leaving a smaller environmental footprint.

With an industrial presence in India in the Cement and Aggregates & Concrete businesses spanning more than 10 years, Lafarge is putting that strategy in action through multiple initiatives aiming to strengthening its ties with materials science and construction experts across India.

As part of its worldwide approach to R&D, Lafarge has just opened a Construction Development Lab in Mumbai. This laboratory will allow new and advanced products, systems and solutions based on local materials conditions to be developed. It will also enable fundamental research on developing in-depth technical knowledge and experience on our materials and on sustainable construction. This will help resolve any issues faced in current construction situations in India.

In addition to these initiatives, Lafarge is collaborating with premier Indian educational institutes for research on various aspects of sustainable construction.

  • In 2011, Lafarge and the Department of Civil Engineering at IIT Madras jointly set-up a lab at the institute’s premises in Chennai for undertaking research on the long term durability of concrete.
  • Other collaborations with IISC Bangalore, CEPT Ahmedabad and IIT Delhi demonstrate Lafarge’s efforts to bring solutions for sustainable construction to India.
  • Lafarge has launched its ‘Studio+’ initiative in India in partnership with Sir JJ College of Architecture (Mumbai) and URBZ[1]. During this programme, architecture students benefit from seminars, presentations, field visits and field work around affordable housing, alongside experts in this field.
About Lafarge in India

Lafarge entered the Indian market in 1999 and is present in all its lines of business – Cement, Aggregates and Concrete. In ReadyMix Concrete, Lafarge is the market leader and holds strong positions and wide geographical portfolios with around eighty concrete plants spread across the country. Lafarge has four cement plants in India: two plants in the state of Chattisgarh and a grinding plant each in Jharkhand and West Bengal.

About Lafarge

Located in 64 countries with 68,000 employees, Lafarge is a world leader in building materials, with top-ranking positions in its Cement, Aggregates & Concrete businesses. In 2011, Lafarge posted sales of 15.3 billion euros.

For the second year in a row, Lafarge ranked amongst the top-10 of 500 companies evaluated by the “Carbon Disclosure Project” in recognition of their strategy and actions against global warming. With the world’s leading building materials research facility, Lafarge places innovation at the heart of its priorities, working for sustainable construction and architectural creativity.

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