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“Cement and concrete are not the enemy”

Top managers of LafargeHolcim comment on the future of building materials

Forum participants then travelled to Tahrir Square Campus of the American University in …
Forum participants then travelled to Tahrir Square Campus of the American University in Cairo (AUC) for the concluding session in historic Ewart Hall, which has been the venue for watershed speeches in modern Egyptian history.

The latest LafargeHolcim Forum for Sustainable Construction in Cairo was also attended by top managers of the Group. “It is key for us to engage and discuss with all stakeholders of society where construction and building materials will go in the future,” says Jan Jenisch, LafargeHolcim CEO and member of the Board of the LafargeHolcim Foundation, in a five-minute video that breaks down questions and findings of the symposium dedicated to “re-materializing construction” that are relevant to the cement and concrete industry.

Lord Norman Foster emphasizes that “doing more with less” has remained on the agenda of architects since Buckminster Fuller provoked him with the question of how much his building ways. “We must use our precious resources more wisely,” he added. Stuart Smith, director at Arup and member of the Board of the LafargeHolcim Foundation, asks “how can we de-carbonize materials while coping with an increasing demand for building materials?” Karen Scrivener, Head of the Laboratory of Construction Materials at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL Lausanne), wants “people to understand that cement and concrete are not the enemy.” It’s a matter of making the products work better, she says.

VIDEO: “Cement and concrete are not the enemy”Cédric de Meeûs, Head of LafargeHolcim Public Affairs, suggests exploring the role of concrete in carbon neutral and fully circular construction. “We need to find a regulatory playing field in which reducing resource consumption can become a business case,” explains Michael Scharpf, Lead Manager Sustainable Construction of LafargeHolcim. Jens Diebold, Head of Sustainable Development of LafargeHolcim and member of the Board of the LafargeHolcim Foundation, recommends “picking up the learnings from the Forum for our own innovation process, for example to learn about the big influence digital is having on the future of construction.” He concludes that digital approaches bring know-how to the field and have the potential to empower people working locally, “so that they can construct the environment they are looking for.”

Last Updated: May 21, 2019
Article Details
Cairo, Egypt
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