Lafarge to exhibit for the first time at MIPIM the group will present Hypergreen - a concept of a very tall bulding for a sustainable world

9 March 2006

Lafarge, the world leader in building materials, will exhibit for the first time at the international real estate event, MIPIM, in Cannes between 14 and 17 March 2006.

At MIPIM Lafarge will present HYPERGREEN, a concept of a mixed-use, environmentally responsible tower building, designed for the world's mega-cities by research-oriented, French Architect, Jacques Ferrier, in partnership with Lafarge.

Hypergreen is designed to be environmentally responsible not only during its active life-time, thanks to its use of renewable energy sources and high performance building materials, but also during its construction and end-of-life dismantling. Moreover, the materials and techniques proposed in the concept are already available, demonstrating that sustainable construction – one that better respects the environment and society– is possible now and not just a dream for the future.

Thanks to its size and height (246m), the Hypergreen tower is able to generate most of the energy necessary to cover its own needs. Extensive use of renewable energy sources including: earth cooling tubes (puits canadiens), geothermal heat pumps, photovoltaic panels and wind turbines has been made to limit the tower's impact on the environment.

In addition, the tower's shape, façades and components have all been designed and positioned to capitalize on the building's orientation, unlike existing buildings that are indifferent to the climatic context. For example, building's exterior, a ‘grid skin' façade built with ultra-high performance concrete Ductal®, optimizes the passage of natural light into the building and ensures horizontal stability. The interior structure, freed from any wind bracing functions, consists of freestanding plates that are simply superimposed. As a result, the building's interior is totally flexible and adaptable.

The concrete structure can be entirely prefabricated: all columns, beams and slabs can be manufactured at industrial sites, under optimal manufacturing conditions, therefore lessening the amount of time and labor required on site. At the end of the tower's life-cycle these prefabricated components can also be easily dismantled, with limited harm to the surrounding environment (reduced noise and dust emissions) and can, moreover, be completely recycled.

Lafarge is convinced that its commitment towards environment and society should extend beyond the borders of its own industrial sites where the Group has been active for a long time. Construction materials can have an impact on the environmental and social performance of buildings. For example, over the course of its life-time, 90% of CO2 emissions associated with a building stem from its use – whereas the manufacture of the building's materials generates less than 10%. Hence Lafarge is committed to working in close partnership with the entire construction chain; from investors, developers, architects and contractors, to develop and promote more sustainable construction methods.

HYPERGREEN can be found at Stand 13.30 on Level 01 in the Palais des Festivals, Cannes.

An interview with Jacques Ferrier about Hypergreen is available on this website.


Note to Editors:

Lafarge, the world leader in building materials, holds top-ranking positions in all four of its Businesses: Cement, Aggregates & Concrete, Roofing and Gypsum. Lafarge employs 80,000 people in 75 countries and posted sales of €16 billion in 2005.

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