LafargeHolcim is expanding its commitment to innovation by opening a Construction Development Lab (CDL) in Casablanca. Dedicated to the Moroccan and African construction markets, the CDL enables LafargeHolcim Maroc to leverage the Group’s global experience and technical know-how to develop construction solutions adapted to the unique constraints and characteristics of its markets, while meeting the technical demands of customer projects.
The Casablanca laboratory is LafargeHolcim’s 8th laboratory in the world after those in Algeria, Argentina, China, France, India, Malaysia and Mexico. With over 4,000 m², the Casablanca CDL will house 50 engineers, architects and technicians and marketers, specialized in the construction market. The CDL aims to:
- Deliver innovative construction solutions that match the needs of the Moroccan and African markets, drawing on LafargeHolcim’s Research and Development expertise around the world;
- Develop partnerships with startups, universities and other higher education institutions to promote R&D, test new ideas and reinforce relationships with building and infrastructure construction experts;
- Organize specialized training for clients, influencers, product applicators and builders to enable them to use innovative solutions in their projects.
A worldwide Research & Development center in France
Research and Development driven by customers’ and end user’s needs is fundamental to LafargeHolcim’s innovation strategy. The hub of its activities is the R&D center based in Lyon, France, the first and largest research center in the global construction industry. With 200 engineers and technicians from more than 20 nationalities, the center offers expertise in technical disciplines ranging from materials science to buildings structure; semi-industrial scale testing capabilities; and advanced open innovation approaches. The most recent product innovation developed by the R&D center is Airium™, a mineral insulating foam that is fully recyclable and improves energy efficiency of buildings, launched in France, Austria and Morocco in late 2016.
Examples of innovations adapted to local needs
- In India, to enable the inhabitants of Dharavi, a slum in the heart of Mumbai, to build solid and watertight houses, the CDL developed concrete in bags delivered on motorized tricycles in alleyways that are too narrow for trucks.
- In Algeria, the CDL has developed a specific product for soil stabilization in road construction.
In China, the CDL team leveraged the Group’s insulated concrete Thermedia® to develop Thermedia® Screed 0.3 which is four times more insulating than traditional floor screeds.
LafargeHolcim is the leading global building materials and solutions company serving masons, builders, architects and engineers all over the world. Group operations produce cement, aggregates and ready-mix concrete which are used in building projects ranging from affordable housing and small, local projects to the biggest, most technically and architecturally challenging infrastructure projects. As urbanisation increasingly impacts people and the planet, the Group provides innovative products and building solutions with a clear commitment to social and environmental sustainability. With leading positions in all regions, LafargeHolcim employs around 90,000 employees in more than 80 countries and has a portfolio that is equally balanced between developing and mature markets.