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Date 09/29/2008

Concrete Redefined as an Innovative and Green Solution, Lafarge Hosting Conference for Architects and Engineers to Explore the Role of Concrete in Sustainable Architecture

Lafarge Group

New York and Paris


The average person has no idea that the second most widely used substance in the world - after water - is concrete, but next week leading architects and engineers from all over the world are converging in New York to discuss the incredible advancements this material is bringing about in modern architecture.


Redefined as an innovative and environmentally friendly material, concrete is shedding outdated associations with unattractive, urban construction.


Lafarge Group, the world leader in building materials, has invited architects and engineers from around the world to New York to discuss the role of concrete in green construction and innovative design. The Lafarge conference, being held at the Museum of Arts and Design October 1st, coincides with the Columbia University Conference on concrete: "Solid States: Changing Times for Concrete", which Lafarge is sponsoring and which will bring together architects, engineers, and scholars from over 30 countries.


"Thanks to significant scientific research and enormous advances in manufacturing, concrete is no longer heavy, cold, or even always grey," said Bruno Lafont, Chairman and CEO of Lafarge. "Concrete today is beautiful and lively, and enables architectural feats that until now were inconceivable. It is a durable, highly resistant, and aesthetic material that can be ‘made to measure' to meet architects' and engineers' evolving needs. Moreover, concrete is essential to economic development taking place across the globe, particularly in emerging markets, where the needs for new housing and infrastructure are immense. We believe it is vital that this construction limit its impact on the environment, and have made great strides in developing innovative solutions to reduce concrete's environmental footprint."


Due to its strength and fire-resistance, concrete can help to ensure that buildings are more likely to withstand extreme conditions, such as those experienced in the event of a natural disaster. The advantages of concrete in such situations have become increasingly evident in recent years, after a number of severe hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes around the world.


Concrete is a natural, inert material. It is 100% recyclable and can be produced from recycled materials. Manufacturing concrete consumes little energy, and since it is a local product, greenhouse gas emissions resulting from transport are limited. Concrete has high thermal mass, which means that it absorbs and releases heat effectively. As a result, less energy is needed to heat or cool buildings, thus lessening the long-term environmental impact of a building.


Additional information is available on the web site at


Architects, engineers, and media interested in attending the Lafarge conference should contact:


Louise Muth, Director of External Communications

Lafarge North America





Diana Postemsky

Kekst and Company



Lafarge is the world leader in building materials, with top-ranking positions in all of its businesses: Cement, Aggregates & Concrete and Gypsum. With 90,000 employees, Lafarge is present in 76 countries. Lafarge is the only company in the construction materials sector to be listed in the ‘100 Global Most Sustainable Corporations in the World'. Lafarge has been committed to sustainable development for many years, pursuing a strategy that combines industrial know-how with performance, value creation, respect for employees and local cultures, environmental protection and the conservation of natural resources and energy.


Lafarge is committed to developing ever more innovative products and solutions which generate value for the building industry and reduce environmental impact. To this end, the Group boasts the world's leading building materials research facility near Lyons, France and employs over 500 people worldwide in Research & Development. Lafarge also works in close partnership with architects, engineers and users of its materials to push back the limits of its products and promote more sustainable construction methods which limit the environmental and human impact of construction while guaranteeing the highest quality in terms of esthetics and durability. Over the past 15 years, the Group has taken part in a number of joint experiments and innovative architectural projects around the world.

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