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Date 12/03/2015

Lafarge High-Performance Concrete Makes Strong Contribution to Resilient Design of University Medical Center of New Orleans

New state-of-the-art medical campus fulfills a major need for rebuilding a stronger, more durable and sustainable healthcare environment in the post-Katrina recovery of Southeast Louisiana.     

Lafarge North America is making essential contributions to building more durable cities with highperformance concrete containing NewCem® slag cement and fly ash to achieve the high-strength, resiliency and sustainability goals of the new University Medical Center (UMC) of New Orleans.


Since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Southeast Louisiana has worked diligently to create a stronger, more resilient built environment. Constructed to withstand a variety of natural disasters, the 2.3-million square-foot UMC complex, which opened in August 2015, restores much-needed healthcare services to the local community and serves as a key center for academic training and research. The $1.1 billion state-of-the-art facility, which is designed to LEED Silver standards, is the only level one trauma center in the region and serves as the hub of an expanding downtown medical district in New Orleans.


For the UMC New Orleans project, Lafarge provided high-performance concrete containing two different blended cement mix designs that incorporated NewCem® slag cement and fly ash. Blended cements, which contain supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs), enhance the strength and durability of concrete, reduce concrete's permeability to water and aggressive chemicals, and contribute to LEED credits. The use of SCMs such as slag (a by-product of steel-making) and fly ash (a coal-combustion by-product) in concrete enables the reuse of industrial by-products that would otherwise be landfilled and reduces the amount of virgin material required for concrete.


Concrete exposed to sulfates is vulnerable to deterioration that usually takes the form of loss of adhesion and strength but may also be seen as expansion, cracking and spalling. Due to the severe (Class 3) sulfate-rich soil found at the project site, Lafarge's quality control team evaluated the sulfate resistance of various high-performance mix recipes over 18 months using ASTM test method C1012. Based on those studies, Lafarge recommended and supplied 34,000 cubic yards of a highperformance concrete containing a 50% Portland Type I/II-50% NewCem® slag cement blend for the United States Press Release PAGE 2/2 foundation slabs that would provide long-term durability, impart high sulfate resistance and achieve a compressive strength of 7,000 psi. The resilient and eco-friendly design of the UMC complex also relied on 75,000 cubic yards of high-performance concrete containing a 20% fly ash-80% Portland Type I/II blended cement mix that Lafarge produced and supplied for the beams, columns, elevated floors and other structural applications.     


Dawn Stefano

Marketing Communications & Branding Manager, U.S.

pH: 703-480-3667    

Photo credit: Chris Granger, Times-Picayune


As the world leader in the building materials industry, LafargeHolcim Ltd and its subsidiaries have the assets necessary to meet the building and design challenges of today's increasing urbanization. Globally, LafargeHolcim has 115,000 employees, a well-balanced local presence in 90 countries and combined net sales of CHF 33 billion (EUR 27 billion) in 2014. With the most innovative cement, concrete and aggregates solutions, strong R&D, and a commitment to health, safety and sustainability, LafargeHolcim has the building solutions to meet customers' needs, from the individual homebuilder to the largest and most complex project. We are committed to drive sustainable solutions for better building and infrastructure while contributing to a higher quality of life. We are positioned to deliver on this commitment.


In the United States, LafargeHolcim companies include close to 350 sites in 43 states and employ 6,000 people. Our customers rely on us to help them design and build better communities with innovative solutions that deliver structural integrity and eco-efficiency. We are committed to contributing to Building Better Cities and are an active participant in local environmental, educational and sustainable construction initiatives, including relationships with the Wildlife Habitat Council and Habitat for Humanity. 

Lafarge North America Inc., Holcim (US) Inc., and their subsidiaries are LafargeHolcim companies, and together constitute the largest diversified supplier of construction materials in the United States. These companies are sometimes referred to as "LafargeHolcim US" for editorial convenience.     

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