Lafarge solutions for healthcare sector infrastructure

Strongly focused on addressing the needs of its customers, Lafarge South Africa, a member of the international LafargeHolcim group, a world leader in building materials, has a well-established reputation for providing the local construction industry with innovative products, solutions and services.

“We anticipate our customers’ demands for efficient, more productive construction methodologies, while meeting society’s requirement for more durable and beautiful concrete structures,” said Lafarge’s Herbert Groenewald, Head of Building Marketing. “This is especially the case for investment in long-term social infrastructure such as hospitals, clinics, roads and schools. Our Efficient Building Systems provide solutions to meet key criteria for sustainable building such as energy efficiency, carbon dioxide (CO2) performance, cost optimisation and end-user design.”

Cost-saving, fast construction

One of Lafarge’s ground-breaking products, Agilia™, is a self-compacting concrete designed to flow under its own weight without the need for vibration. The product’s exceptional fluidity enables it to fill all corners and areas in formwork or moulds effortlessly, while remaining homogeneous. The elimination of some traditional building steps and faster working enhances productivity and enables cost optimisation.

Illustrating the benefits of this innovative ready-mixed concrete solution from Lafarge, Agilia™, was used in the construction of the Rob Ferreira Hospital and Kiaat Private Hospital in Mpumalanga. It enabled columns to be cast faster, without the need for vibration and allowed more rapid demoulding. The product also gave excellent off-shutter finishes that required virtually none of the typical remedial work associated with standard concrete mixes.

Durable energy-efficient aesthetics

Artevia™ Polish decorative concrete

Artevia™ Polish was used for an outside courtyard with a water feature at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital (Pic courtesy of Hard Landscape Enterprises)

The Lafarge Artevia™ range of decorative concretes provides indoor and outdoor solutions for commercial and municipal offices, retail centres, hospitals and residential properties. Not only providing architectural scope for exceptionally decorative expression, the products are inherently strong and durable. The product also 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.                                                                                            

The range includes Artevia™ Colour, produced with an integral UV stable colour pigment; Artevia™ Exposed that has the colour and texture of the aggregates exposed during the finishing process; Artevia™ Polish, which is ground and polished to a beautiful smooth, marble-like finish that is hygienic and slip-resistant, and Artevia™ Stone which produces simulated masonry effects.

Artevia™ Polish was used for an outside courtyard with a water feature at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in Parktown, Johannesburg, while pathways around the hospital and a large area of one of the main exterior courtyards feature the beauty of natural aggregates and the slip resistance of Artevia™ Exposed.

Using Lafarge accredited applicators for placing and finishing Artevia™ Polish creates a high calibre, aesthetically attractive interior floor that improves the thermal efficiency of a building, compared with many other floor finishing systems. Heat is absorbed from equipment and occupants during the day and releasing it at night, while a building stays cooler longer during the mornings, delaying or even eliminating the need for air conditioning.

Lafarge Artevia Exposed – Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital

Pathways around the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital feature Lafarge’s Artevia™ Exposed (Pic courtesy of Hard Landscape Enterprises)

Pioneering ‘green’ building solutions

The challenging requirement for a new Emergency Centre constructed at the Karl Bremer Hospital in Bellville, Western Cape, was to achieve 5-Star Green Star SA Office v1 Design and As Built ratings by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA).

New recycled concrete aggregate products from Lafarge assists towards Green Star ratings

Lafarge’s unique recycled concrete aggregates helped the Karl Bremer Hospital Emergency Centre achieve a 5-Star Green Star SA rating.

The Lafarge Readymix team made the unique offer to incorporate quality Class 1 recycled concrete aggregates in its concrete mixes – the only supplier able to make such an offer and able to demonstrate the value of the GBCSA green credit that would be achieved.

Recently developed in the Western Cape by the Lafarge Aggregates and Readymix business units, recycled aggregate is another pioneering sustainable development introduction by Lafarge that will keep the company in the forefront of the strong trend to green building in the local construction industry.

“With introducing a new concrete development, we had to convince GBCSA and the project’s consulting engineers of our ability to maintain compliance with both the structural concrete requirements and the green specifications,” says Groenewald.

Unique quality assurance

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

The range includes Artevia, a range of high quality decorative concretes for internal flooring and external paving applications; Agilia self-consolidating concrete and screeds that eliminate the need for vibration and offer building solutions unattainable with standard concrete; and Hydromedia, the technical breakthrough in permeable concrete providing solutions for stormwater management in playgrounds, driveways and parking areas.

The Hydromedia drainage solution

Lafarge’s technological breakthrough in permeable concrete, 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.

Hydromedia permeable concrete by Lafarge South Africa

Hydromedia™ allows rapid water drainage, creating attractive and safer paved areas.

Innovative cement solutions

Whatever the size or technical challenges of a project, Lafarge South Africa is able to provide a suitable product solution with experienced technical backup. Some examples are:

Buildcrete and DuraBuild

The general purpose Lafarge South Africa CEM IV cements, Buildcrete and DuraBuild, have more than 40% clinker replacement using fly ash extension. Buildcrete is an early strength gain ‘R’ class cement, while its overall strength performance enables significant savings to be realised in cement usage compared with typical general purpose cements in the N class.


Lafarge recently launched an innovative new cement product Durabrick 32,5R. It has been designed to meet the needs of emerging brick- and block-making entrepreneurs in our communities to have easier, quicker and more cost-effective brick and block making. 

Powercrete Plus

Powercrete Plus CEM II 42,5R, a premium technical extended cement, is widely used in the readymix and construction sectors. The special formulation of Powercrete Plus gives it the capability of being extended further on site with additional fly ash or slag, to meet different concrete design requirements for strength, durability and workability.

Building for our people

“Throughout South Africa, urbanisation is placing huge demands on our municipalities and the skills of everyone in the construction chain,” comments Groenewald. “We work with architects, specifiers, developers and contractors to develop more efficient building systems. Our technical skill at innovation is contributing solutions for building better infrastructure creating more desirable places for all our people.

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