Lafarge building solutions meeting the needs of the education sector

One of the country’s major producers and suppliers of cement, ready-mixed concrete, aggregates and fly ash, Lafarge South Africa is a member of the international LafargeHolcim group, a world leader in building materials. The company has always had a special and holistic focus on education. Special in that the company not only meets the infrastructure needs of this market sector for innovative, construction products but also as the prime focus of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes.

“We anticipate the needs of engineers, specifiers and developers for efficient, more productive construction methodologies, while meeting architectural visions of more durable and beautiful concrete structures,” says Lafarge’s Herbert Groenewald, Head of Building Marketing. “As a company, we have a particular interest in the education sector, as the future success of both Lafarge South Africa and the country depends on supporting young learners to become well-educated, capable citizens, engineers, managers, leaders and entrepreneurs.”

Lafarge South Africa’s global brand readymix products are the only concretes in the local market offered with the Level C GreenTag® South Africa certification. They also carry instant product information and quality assurance through QR coding.

The products include Agilia™ self-consolidating concrete and screeds that eliminate the need for vibration and offer building solutions unattainable with standard concrete; Artevia™, a range of high quality decorative concretes for internal flooring and external paving applications; and Hydromedia™, the technical breakthrough in permeable concrete providing solutions for stormwater management in playgrounds, driveways and parking areas. Examples of projects using these unique quality-assured ready-mixed concretes are:

Meeting architectural challenges at UCT

Lafarge Agilia Vertical self-compacting concrete

Lafarge’s innovative AgiliaTM Vertical was the solution for the challenging concrete balustrades in UCT’s NEB.

Construction of the University of Cape Town’s New Engineering Building (NEB) with 7 200 m² of assignable space, presented a number of challenges that could not be met using conventional concrete. Most structurally and aesthetically challenging was the architectural concept of tiered concrete balustrades with a wood-grained off-shutter finish in the core of the building. Lafarge’s innovative Agilia Vertical, a self-compacting concrete designed to flow under its own weight without the need for vibration, provided the solution. The product’s exceptional fluidity enabled it to fill all corners and areas in formwork effortlessly, while remaining homogeneous, and producing exceptional finishes.

In a main hall of the building, Agilia Horizontal solved the problem of casting a concrete floor base with minimal interruption to a dense array of laboratory testing cylinders. The use of Agilia obviated the need for compaction, saved the contractor time, as well as reduced labour requirements and noise pollution.

Lafarge Agilia revolutionary self compacting concrete

Lafarge AgiliaTM Horizontal obviated the need for compaction of the concrete floor base

The demands of combining impressive visual impact with durability in the NEB’s high traffic entrance foyer were met with Lafarge Readymix’s Artevia™ Polish, which is ground and polished to a beautiful smooth, marble-like finish that is slip-resistant. The product eliminates the need for expensive floor coverings by finishing what is, in fact, a structural concrete floor to a high quality aesthetic standard with a wide choice of colours and textures.

Aesthetics meet function at Avianto schools

The architecture of the Maragon Avianto Pre-Primary and Primary School on the Avianto integrated lifestyle estate in Mogale City was required to reflect the Mediterranean influences first developed for the estate’s Avianto Hotel.

The flooring for the school involved 22 classrooms, an administration block and an assembly hall. Lafarge Artevia™ had been highly successful for the hotel and, combined with the intention to have underfloor heating in the classrooms, it was the ideal choice for the school.

Lafarge Artevia Colour concrete floor at Maragon Avianto School

Aesthetics and durability made Artevia™ Colour the ideal choice for the Maragon Avianto school floors.

Lafarge delivered a variety of Artevia™ Colour samples to site, including the most popular colours of Sandstone, Mocha and Charcoal. However, to blend with other design elements, the more unusual light reddish brown ‘Kalahari’ colour was decided on. It contributed to the aesthetic concept for the building and, being a strong durable structural concrete, it also ensured robust, low maintenance, long-life floors.

Lafarge Readymix supplied the required 209 m³ of Artevia™ Colour in record time and the product was placed and finished in less than three weeks. The success of the Artevia™ range of decorative concretes lies in the fact that it not only offers architects wide scope for aesthetic expression, but the use of quality UV-resistant colour pigments in a homogeneous mix ensures lasting beauty in the finish.

Hi-tech concrete for little people’s needs

Lafarge Hydromedia concrete with stormwater draining properties

Hydromedia™ permeable concrete has made a vast improvement to the Orange Babies Montessori Preschool playground.

The Orange Babies Montessori Preschool in Midrand approached Lafarge to solve the problem of the largely bare ground of the school’s play area

The ideal solution proved to be the company’s unique Hydromedia™, a technological breakthrough in permeable concrete. The strong, durable concrete is available in a variety of colour options, while its rapid stormwater draining characteristic creates a drier, safer, slip-resistant surface, ideal for a playground. Lafarge’s Readymix team supplied and placed colourful Hydromedia™, together with standard grey concrete, as part of the company’s ongoing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) support for the school and the associated New Jerusalem Children’s Home.

Hydromedia™ provides rapid stormwater removal from horizontal surfaces, reducing the risk of flash flooding or merely doing away with the annoyance of everyday puddles.

Available in a range of colours, the product is ideal for creating safer, robust, hard-wearing parking surfaces, walkways, driveways, tennis courts and swimming pool surrounds. The trend in outdoor paving is to choose a customised concrete solution that can provide an attractive long-life, low maintenance feature that adds value to a property.

Sustainability means investing in people

“While Lafarge South Africa is continually demonstrating its ability to provide customers with innovative building product solutions, we also show our concern for the well-being of communities around our operating sites,” comments Groenewald. “Building projects are for people and we pride ourselves on always aiming to create a legacy of better education and sustainable skills.”

For more information, please contact Natalie Johnson: [email protected]


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