LafargeHolcim inaugurate new research lab in Morocco
Group extends commitment to innovation with Construction Development Laboratory in Casablanca
LafargeHolcim are expanding their commitment to innovation by opening a Construction Development Laboratory (CDL) in Casablanca.
Dedicated to the Moroccan and African construction markets, the CDL will allow LafargeHolcim Maroc to leverage the Group’s global experience and technical know-how to develop construction solutions adapted to the unique constraints and characteristics of its markets, while meeting the technical demands of customer projects.
The Casablanca lab is LafargeHolcim’s eighth laboratory in the world after those in Algeria, Argentina, China, France, India, Malaysia and Mexico. Covering more than 4,000 sq metres, the Casablanca CDL will house 50 engineers, architects and technicians and marketers, specialized in the construction market.
The CDL aims to:
- Deliver innovative construction solutions that match the needs of Moroccan and African markets, drawing on LafargeHolcim’s R&D expertise around the world
- Develop partnerships with start-ups, universities and other higher education institutions to promote R&D, test new ideas and reinforce relationships with building and infrastructure construction experts
- Organize specialized training for clients, influencers, product applicators and builders, to allow them to use innovative solutions in their projects.
Research and development driven by customer and end-user needs is fundamental to LafargeHolcim’s innovation strategy. The hub of the Group’s activities is its R&D centre in Lyon, France, the first and largest research center in the global construction industry.
With 200 engineers and technicians from more than 20 nations, the centre offers expertise in technical disciplines ranging from materials science to the structure of buildings; semi-industrial scale testing capabilities; and advanced open innovation approaches.
The most recent product innovation developed by the R&D centre in Lyon is Airium, a mineral insulating foam that is fully recyclable and improves the energy efficiency of buildings, which was launched in France, Austria and Morocco in late 2016.
Some examples of innovations adapted to local needs include: India – to allow the inhabitants of Dharavi (a slum in the heart of Mumbai) to build solid and watertight houses, the CDL developed concrete in bags delivered on motorized tricycles via alleyways that are too narrow for trucks; Algeria – the CDL has developed a specific product for soil stabilization in road construction; and China – the CDL team leveraged the Group’s insulated concrete, Thermedia, to develop Thermedia Screed 0.3, which is said to be four times more insulating than traditional floor screeds.