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Holcim holds sustainable construction solutions workshop for stakeholders

20 November 2015 05:52 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Holcim Lanka, a leader in the construction industry, committed to knowledge sharing, held a workshop on ‘Future concrete solutions for sustainable construction’ for architects, structural engineers and building contractors recently at the Holcim Lanka Innovation Centre.

The event was headed by LafargeHolcim Group Head of Sustainable Construction Michael Scharpf and was attended by close upon 100 participants, reaffirming Holcim’s commitment and success as an organisation that aims to enhance and preserve the environment through sustainable development and efficiency.
Scharpf, who is responsible for the international alignment of activities on sustainable construction solutions across LafargeHolcim, explained, “Sustainable construction is the practice of creating value and qualities like health, safety and wellbeing with least resource consumption and environmental impact. This includes socially viable processes and resource efficiency throughout a construction’s entire life cycle, from design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation all the way to deconstruction.”

Thus why Holcim’s sustainable construction solutions are designed to efficiently use energy, water and other resources, to protect occupational health and improve employee productivity while reducing waste, pollution and environmental degradation. 
Touching upon the carbon footprint, Scharpf noted, “If you look at the total CO2 emissions, 33 percent of it is caused by the construction industry. Out of which 5-6 percent is caused by producing cement. Holcim has a long-lasting track record on customized cement types such as Fly Ash Cement and Slag Cement that offer superior technical performance while reducing CO2 emissions. Out of the major global players in the cement industry, LafargeHolcim is by far the sector leader in reducing CO2 emissions.”
Holcim continues its commitment towards building affordable and sustainable housing solutions that reduce the environmental impact and provide lasting socio-economic benefits. Scharpf cited the Green Building Centres in India as an example that provides a simple and complete solution for the low-cost construction segment in rural areas. 

Elaborating on the Green Building Centres in India, Scharpf added, “At the centres, locally fashioned and easy-to-use construction solutions are offered together with training courses on how to produce and apply these products in the rural context. The construction products are manufactured in the Green Building Centres by locally trained staff, using in-house industrial machinery, thereby creating jobs and building trade capabilities.” 
Scharpf further stated, “Training in the Green Building Centres provides people with the required skill set they need, not only to build their own homes but to establish their own businesses as tradesmen. Sustainable construction techniques are promoted by using locally sourced materials and incorporating alternative materials like fly ash, which significantly reduces CO2 emissions.”  

Fly ash is also known as “pulverised fuel ash” and is one of the residues generated by coal combustion. 
According to Scharpf, sustainable construction must aim to demonstrate innovation and exhibit sensible use and management of natural resources throughout its life cycle. Furthermore, it should be economically feasible and innovative in financial management. Sustainable construction should demonstrate high standards of architectural quality and have a lasting aesthetic impact on its surrounding environment. 
The workshop on ‘Future concrete solutions for sustainable construction’ by Scharpf concluded with an engaging discussion on the applicability of sustainable construction solutions to the local environment. Topics of discourse included the impact of sustainable construction in poverty alleviation and innovative products from Holcim such as DuraBric, which cater to the future raw material scarcity.
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