Why brick and cement are sustainable building options

Why brick and cement are sustainable building options

Brick and cement are some of the most common building materials used in the construction industry. They are both sustainable materials that are made from natural elements. Cement is largely made up of limestone and other minerals, while bricks are made from clay and soil. LafargeHolcim Tanzania manufactures Tembo cement at its facility in Mbeya. Many of the bricks in Tanzania are made at small-scale plants.

Clay is an abundant natural element, but some bricks can be made with shale, soil (for soil-stabilised concrete blocks) or recycled brick dust. Similarly, post-industrial waste products, such as fly ash, silica fume and slag, can be used to make cement. Brick and cement can be manufactured from a variety of materials but their long-term strength and durability make them sustainable construction materials.

Brick manufacturing process

Brick-making facilities are usually set up close to the source of the raw materials. The process of making bricks is quite simple and it produces very little waste materials. Wet clay is packed into brick moulds and compressed. The wet bricks are removed from the mould and placed in a large oven which bakes the clay into the hard brick. 

Unfired clay is easily recycled into new bricks by simply wetting it and mixing it in with the raw materials. Fired bricks that are cracked or damaged can be crushed and recycled back into the production process, or used as a landscaping and rubble material. The brick ovens are normally fuelled by natural gas, although coal and wood are sometimes used in small-scale operations.

Bricks can be manufactured anywhere in the world, so they are usually sold to local markets within the same region as where they are manufactured. This means that less fuel is needed for transport and fewer carbon emissions are released into the air. The recyclability and durability of bricks make them sustainable building materials.

Brick and cement construction is eco-friendly

Once the bricks are sold to contractors, there is only a small amount of waste that is generated by brick construction. Only partial bricks, cracked bricks and unused cement mortar are the waste products from brick construction – all of which can be recycled into rubble for other building projects.

Brick masonry is a good insulator, which means that cool air can be kept inside on hot days and warm air can be kept inside on cold nights. The insulating properties of clay bricks and cement help to reduce the need for air conditioning or heating units, which use electricity and can be a source of air pollutants.

When a building has reached the end of its useful life, the bricks can be carefully deconstructed and reused in other building projects. Damaged bricks and mortar can be used for rubble or landscaping purposes. Brick masonry requires very little maintenance and the buildings can last for centuries. This makes brick and cement construction a sustainable building option for contractors.

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LafargeHolcim is a leading building materials and solutions company that has been operating in international markets for decades. We produce cement and aggregates for construction projects, ranging from small affordable housing developments to large-scale infrastructure projects such as high-rise buildings, dams and bridges. 

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LafargeHolcim Tanzania has been supplying the country and neighbouring countries with our world-class Tembo cement brand for over 30 years. Our head office and fully-integrated plant are located in Mbeya, Southwest Tanzania.

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At LafargeHolcim Tanzania, we believe customers come first. We listen to your specific requirements to supply and develop the best solutions for your needs. As the new leader in building materials, you can also rely on our cutting-edge research and development capabilities that have resulted in the finest materials for your construction projects, whether large or small.

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Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest for the best tips on construction, handy projects and the latest industry news. See our Instagram channel for more insights into our products.

New energy-saving technologies for buildings

New energy-saving technologies for buildings

Sustainability is becoming a more popular way of doing things. Reducing waste, conserving electricity and having a lower impact on the environment are necessary changes that people are starting to make. The construction industry is no exception. Sustainability has driven the advancement of new energy-saving technologies in buildings.

Some of these technologies include LED lighting, modern insulation, reflective roofing materials, heating and cooling systems, as well as waste-to-energy generation. These are new ways of building homes and office spaces that reduce the building’s impact on the environment. Here are some of the new energy-saving technologies being used by contractors currently:

Connected and Smart Buildings

Some homes and office spaces have an integrated wireless system that automatically controls various aspects of the building. Sensors can detect and make a change to air conditioning and heating systems, the lighting circuits, geysers and a variety of other elements that require energy. These automated systems can reduce the energy consumption of a building by switching units off when they are not needed.

Advancements in window technology

When one thinks of technology, they probably do not think about glass windows. New adhesive coatings can be applied to windows that change colour in bright sunlight – like glasses that dim themselves when the wearer steps into the sun. This technology is being used on modern high-rise buildings already.

These coatings reduce glare inside the building, cut down external light and heat reflections from the windows and lower the internal temperature of the building. This helps to save energy on cooling systems during the day. At night, the colour coating returns to its transparent state, allowing the maximum amount of light into the building. 

Energy-saving lighting circuits

Most modern buildings are being fitted with energy-efficient LED lights, as opposed to fluorescent tubes or traditional light bulbs. LED lights use just 10% of the energy needed to power an incandescent bulb. This means that buildings with LED lighting circuits are 90% more efficient – and homeowners can change their bulbs themselves.

Another lighting system currently being used requires no energy during the day. Light pipe systems use a light collector to ‘pipe’ the light falling on the roof to the interior spaces of the building. The sunlight travels through these reflective pipes and is dispersed inside the building, similar to how a skylight works. These systems use zero electricity during the day, but conventional lighting will be needed at night.

Eco-friendly insulation

A new type of foam insulation is being installed on modern buildings. This insulation is made from environmentally-friendly materials and advanced composites. The insulation helps to regulate the internal temperature of a building. It keeps the building cool on hot days and traps the heat inside on cold days. Insulation is a vital part of building in colder climates, but Tanzanian contractors also use it to keep homes cool in our hot climate.

Electricity and heat generation

New technologies have been developed that enable the cogeneration of electricity and heat from the same unit. The electricity powers all the lights and wall sockets while the heat from the generator is captured and used to heat geysers and wall-mounted heating systems. This cogeneration minimises energy wastage.

Another electricity generation technique currently being used in Africa is waste-to-energy. This is a system whereby household and organic waste is burned in a furnace. The heat is then used to power an electricity generator, effectively turning waste into power. These systems are being installed at shopping malls, hotels and office spaces where there is enough waste produced to run the system.

Reflective roofing materials

Like the window coatings that help to regulate internal temperatures of buildings, new reflective paint is being used on the roofs of high-rise buildings. Contractors spray this coating on the roof to reflect the sun’s light and heat. This lowers the heat absorption of the roof and cools down the interior of the building.

These technologies are just a few of the modern advancements being used in construction today. They are making our cities and suburbs more efficient, saving money for owners and lowering the environmental impact of human activity. Sustainable technologies such as these are the future.

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LafargeHolcim is a leading building materials and solutions company that has been operating in international markets for decades. We produce cement and aggregates for construction projects, ranging from small affordable housing developments to large-scale infrastructure projects such as high-rise buildings, dams and bridges. 

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LafargeHolcim Tanzania has been supplying the country and neighbouring countries with our world-class Tembo cement brand for over 30 years. Our head office and fully-integrated plant are located in Mbeya, Southwest Tanzania.

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At LafargeHolcim Tanzania, we believe customers come first. We listen to your specific requirements to supply and develop the best solutions for your needs. As the new leader in building materials, you can also rely on our cutting-edge research and development capabilities that have resulted in the finest materials for your construction projects, whether large or small.

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Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest for the best tips on construction, handy projects and the latest industry news. See our Instagram channel for more insights into our products.

LafargeHolcim Group cement is carbon efficient

LafargeHolcim Group cement is carbon efficient

The global LafargeHolcim Group manufactures some of the most carbon-efficient cement products in the world. Since 1990, the group has reduced its net carbon emissions per tonne of cement by 25%. This represents the highest reduction of all cement companies worldwide since 1990.

This carbon emissions reduction was achieved by reducing our clinker content in cement and by using alternative fuels to fire our cement kilns. Alternative fuels release less carbon dioxide than the traditional fuel (coal). This means that LafargeHolcim consumes less energy per tonne of cement produced, making our production process more efficient than it was 30 years ago.

The group has also managed to reduce carbon emissions by one percent since 2017, which currently exceeds our year-on-year targets. This initiative puts LafargeHolcim on-track to meet its 2030 objective of reaching an emissions level of just 520 kilogrammes of carbon dioxide per tonne of cement produced.

We currently produce 576 kilogrammes of carbon dioxide per tonne of cement produced. The group has an interim target in 2022 of 560 kilogrammes of carbon dioxide per tonne of cement produced. These ambitious targets are within our reach and we aim to lead the way in carbon efficiency.

Clinker substitution

The production of clinker – the main component of cement – is where the majority of carbon emissions result. This is an unavoidable process during the chemical reactions but we can work to reduce these emissions as much as possible. Replacing the clinker in our cement products with alternative mineral components, such as pozzolana, fly ash and slag, will help to minimise our carbon emissions.

Many of the alternative minerals are byproducts of other industrial processes. We can recycle them into cementitious materials as replacements for clinker and to serve as a viable end-market for waste products from other industries. In certain countries with favourable markets, LafargeHolcim has replaced up to 50% clinker with alternative minerals.

Waste-derived fuels for kilns

Another major way to reduce our carbon emissions during cement production is to use waste-derived fuels to fire our kilns. The combustible materials serve as replacements for fossil fuels, such as diesel, natural gas and oil. LafargeHolcim Tanzania uses a combination of rice husks and coffee husks from nearby agricultural facilities as an alternative source of fuel for our kilns.

Carbon efficiency

Being carbon-efficient also means becoming energy efficient. Cement production is an energy-intensive operation. Improving our energy efficiency will also help to reduce the carbon intensity of the manufacturing process, lowering production costs at the same time.

The LafargeHolcim Group has reduced its overall energy consumption per tonne of clinker produced from 4532 megajoules in 1990 to 3518 megajoules in 2018. This represents some of the lowest energy rates in the global industry. Since 1990, LafargeHolcim has increased its cement production by 75% while our annual energy consumption has reduced by 18%.

Becoming more carbon-efficient is one of the main goals of the LafargeHolcim Group. We will continue to push to minimise our carbon dioxide emissions while manufacturing world-class cement products at a reduced cost. The group is on its way to meeting the 2030 targets for energy efficiency and carbon reductions.

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LafargeHolcim is a leading building materials and solutions company that has been operating in international markets for decades. We produce cement and aggregates for construction projects, ranging from small affordable housing developments to large-scale infrastructure projects such as high-rise buildings, dams and bridges. 

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LafargeHolcim Tanzania has been supplying the country and neighbouring countries with our world-class Tembo cement brand for over 30 years. Our head office and fully-integrated plant are located in Mbeya, Southwest Tanzania.

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At LafargeHolcim Tanzania, we believe customers come first. We listen to your specific requirements to supply and develop the best solutions for your needs. As the new leader in building materials, you can also rely on our cutting-edge research and development capabilities that have resulted in the finest materials for your construction projects, whether large or small.

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Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest for the best tips on construction, handy projects and the latest industry news. See our Instagram channel for more insights into our products.

Different ways to use recycled concrete at home

Different ways to use recycled concrete at home

In the construction industry, large quantities of waste material are often generated through the course of the project. Did you know that a lot of this material could be repurposed or recycled? It is ideal for projects around the home and the garden and it also prevents waste from ending up in landfills.

Concrete is a material that is ideal for recycling – it is 100% recyclable. At construction sites, recycled concrete is often available for free – some contractors will even deliver the concrete to your house. Concrete is inexpensive and durable and can be repurposed in various ways. Here are some examples of uses for recycled concrete:

Raising garden beds above ground

There are many benefits to raising a garden bed a few inches above the surrounding soil. It improves the soil drainage and also helps to warm soil so that seeds germinate quicker in spring. Raising garden beds 30 to 50 centimetres high will make it easier for people with limited mobility (like older people or physically challenged individuals) to do gardening.

Walkways and garden paths

Build new paths and walkways around your home and yard by using concrete paving stones or pieces of rubble. Try to get rubble from a single demolition site for your project. This will make it easier to find pieces of the same thickness, which makes it easier to handle and work with. Keep in mind that walkways built from separate pieces of recycled concrete (from various demolition sites) will have many gaps for rainwater to soak into the ground.

Aggregate and drainage

Sometimes a project requires small pieces of aggregate – materials used for mixing with cement, bitumen, lime, gypsum or other adhesive to form concrete. Many municipalities have companies that recycle old concrete into small pieces of aggregate. This aggregate is inexpensive and very useful for poured-concrete projects. 

These small particles of aggregate also make good drainage materials. You can use it as an alternative to gravel in wet areas. For example, you can dig a trench through an area where water collects. Then fill this area with concrete aggregate that surrounds a perforated PVC drainage pipe. Cover the pipe with more concrete and place the soil back.

Garden terraces and retaining walls

You can use the same technique on sloping hills to build retaining walls to prevent erosion. You can also create a terraced garden with planting sites this way. In each area where you want to build a piece of wall, dig and level a space as wide and deep as you wish to plant.

To add stability, place a layer of broken-up concrete or gravel at the base. Then stack the layers of recycled concrete. Add soil between the layers to fill in any uneven spots. When you are finished, add soil to the retaining area where you wish to plant.

Concrete is a sustainable building material. It is completely recyclable and can be used in many ways in home construction projects. Consider these uses for old concrete in your home and take advantage of a cost-effective building material.

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LafargeHolcim is a leading building materials and solutions company that has been operating in international markets for decades. We produce cement and aggregates for construction projects, ranging from small affordable housing developments to large-scale infrastructure projects such as high-rise buildings, dams and bridges. 

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LafargeHolcim Tanzania has been supplying the country and neighbouring countries with our world-class Tembo cement brand for over 30 years. Our head office and fully-integrated plant are located in Mbeya, Southwest Tanzania.

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At LafargeHolcim Tanzania, we believe customers come first. We listen to your specific requirements to supply and develop the best solutions for your needs. As the new leader in building materials, you can also rely on our cutting-edge research and development capabilities that have resulted in the finest materials for your construction projects, whether large or small.

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Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest for the best tips on construction, handy projects and the latest industry news. See our Instagram channel for more insights into our products.

Tembo cement: a sustainable building material

Tembo cement: a sustainable building material

LafargeHolcim Tanzania manufactures a wide range of high-quality cement products at our Mbeya cement facility. These products are sold under the Tembo cement brand – a market leader in building materials and sustainability. Retailers, contractors and infrastructure specialists will benefit from using any Tembo cement for their construction projects.

Cement is used to make concrete; when mixed with water, sand and crushed stone, cement forms concrete which hardens when it dries. This is a highly durable building material that is kind to the environment. It produces no hazardous byproducts and does not threaten the environment – that is why concrete is such a popular substance for building.

A sustainable approach to construction with Tembo cement products will bring lasting environmental and economic benefits to contractors. LafargeHolcim Tanzania can assure the quality of Tembo cement products as they are specifically engineered using advanced admixtures and abundant raw minerals

Concrete is the natural choice for sustainable building construction. Tembo cement is safe to use and has long-lasting benefits for buildings as it will not rust, rot or burn. Once a building has reached the end of its life, the concrete can be broken down into rubble and recycled for other building projects. This means that concrete can be reused over and over again. 

Each market in the construction sector has its own needs. Tembo cement has a product that is suited to each of these needs and application, from high-strength and quick-setting cement to masonry and general purpose cement. Our products are sustainable and perfectly suited to any civil engineering application.

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LafargeHolcim is a leading building materials and solutions company that has been operating in international markets for decades. We produce cement and aggregates for construction projects, ranging from small affordable housing developments to large-scale infrastructure projects such as high-rise buildings, dams and bridges. 

___

LafargeHolcim Tanzania has been supplying the country and neighbouring countries with our world-class Tembo cement brand for over 30 years. Our head office and fully-integrated plant are located in Mbeya, Southwest Tanzania.

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At LafargeHolcim Tanzania, we believe customers come first. We listen to your specific requirements to supply and develop the best solutions for your needs. As the new leader in building materials, you can also rely on our cutting-edge research and development capabilities that have resulted in the finest materials for your construction projects, whether large or small.

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Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest for the best tips on construction, handy projects and the latest industry news. See our Instagram channel for more insights into our products.

LafargeHolcim Group launches ‘Plants for Tomorrow’

LafargeHolcim Group launches Plants for Tomorrow

The global LafargeHolcim Group is on a mission to upgrade all of its cement manufacturing facilities around the world. This drive, called ‘Plants for Tomorrow’, will see over 270 integrated cement plants and grinding mills being upgraded with the latest artificial intelligence and automation technology.

Cement manufacturing facilities, like LafargeHolcim Tanzania’s Tembo cement plant in Mbeya, will get an overhaul of the entire production line. ‘Plants for Tomorrow’ is a four-year initiative that will take LafargeHolcim subsidiaries into the future of cement and building materials.

The upgrades to the cement plants will improve operational efficiency, meaning that these facilities will be able to produce more cement at the end of the initiative. Currently the LafargeHolcim Group is testing the upgrades on 30 pilot projects around the world, where it will iron out any issues before proceeding with a full-scale rollout.

Transforming the cement industry through technology

“Transforming the way we produce cement is one of the focus areas of our digitalisation strategy and the ‘Plants of Tomorrow’ initiative will turn Industry 4.0 into reality at our plants,” says LafargeHolcim global head of cement manufacturing Solomon Baumgartner.

“These innovative solutions make cement production safer, more efficient and environmentally-fit. We are moving to fully data-driven operations in order to support further profitable growth as part of our Strategy 2022 – ‘Building for Growth’,” he explains.

Some of the new technologies to be installed at cement plants

A number of new technologies will be installed at cement manufacturing facilities, such as predictive operations systems that will be able to detect any problems with the production process and implement solutions instantly. This will help to reduce maintenance costs and minimise any downtime of the facilities due to breakdowns. 

The technology will also help to further reduce energy consumption at these facilities. Production lines will become more automated to reduce risks for employees in high-exposure areas of the facilities. 

LafargeHolcim is also planning on using drones to inspect chimney stacks and inaccessible regions of the cement plants. This will allow more frequent inspections to take place while also reducing costs and improving safety standards.

The group is connecting cement plants to a central network

The LafargeHolcim Group is in the process of link all of its global cement manufacturing facilities to a centralised network, dubbed the ‘Technical Information System’. Over 80% of these facilities have already been linked to this system that is able to track performance and allocate resources where necessary.

The Technical Information System also provides specific data at plant, country, region and global levels. This has allowed LafargeHolcim to start building a valuable bank of historical data that can be used to improve efficiency and performance in the future. Since the launch of the Technical Information System in 2006, it has saved LafargeHolcim 184.7-billion TZS in maintenance costs and added around 3-million tonnes of cement through efficient operations.

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LafargeHolcim is a leading building materials and solutions company that has been operating in international markets for decades. We produce cement and aggregates for construction projects, ranging from small affordable housing developments to large-scale infrastructure projects such as high-rise buildings, dams and bridges. 

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LafargeHolcim Tanzania has been supplying the country and neighbouring countries with our world-class Tembo cement brand for over 30 years. Our head office and fully-integrated plant are located in Mbeya, Southwest Tanzania.

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At LafargeHolcim Tanzania, we believe customers come first. We listen to your specific requirements to supply and develop the best solutions for your needs. As the new leader in building materials, you can also rely on our cutting-edge research and development capabilities that have resulted in the finest materials for your construction projects, whether large or small.

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Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest for the best tips on construction, handy projects and the latest industry news. See our Instagram channel for more insights into our products.

How is sustainable construction shaping the cities of the future?

Sustainable cities of the future

African cities are experiencing rapid urbanisation as more people move into these areas. They are fast becoming densely populated and, with it, comes an increase in energy consumption and waste. So, how can our buildings help to keep our cities sustainable in the future?

If we look at the ideal circular economy, the waste we produce is converted into useful products once again, such as energy or reusable goods. Nature is the perfect example of a circular economy – there is no wastage and everything recycles into the circle of life. Architects, engineers and contractors can learn from nature and make our cities more sustainable.

Our cities are likely to be a lot more green in the future. Trees and plants will be planted wherever possible to control air quality and naturally filter carbon emissions out of the atmosphere. Buildings are likely to have their own source of electricity from solar panels and wind turbines. 

Wastewater and sewage will be filtered and processed to create usable water for washing, watering plants and for use in cooling systems. Our buildings will also harness rainwater for drinking. These are some of the ways in which sustainable construction will shape African cities in the future.

Abundance of trees on rooftops

Research has shown that not only do trees have the obvious benefit of removing greenhouse gases from the air, they can also increase the longevity of building rooftops by protecting them from sun damage and severe weather. The lifespan of a flat roof can be doubled by planting trees on top of buildings. 

These trees will improve the air quality in city centres where excessive carbon emissions from vehicles and industry are pumped into the atmosphere. They can help to combat the effects of climate change and protect the buildings beneath them at the same time. Making buildings last longer also results in less construction waste and a more circular economy.

Recycling water in cities

One of the key features of sustainable construction will be the management of water. Tanzania is prone to droughts and saving water will become a priority for citizens. Buildings in the future will have rainwater catchment systems and filters that allow them to store clean drinking water for residents.

In addition, they are likely to have their own wastewater processing plants. This technology is already being used in Africa, whereby used water from baths, sinks, washing machines and toilets is filtered and treated to create ‘clean’ (but not drinkable) water for use in the household. This greywater can be used to wash, mop and water gardens, which saves the clean drinking water for human consumption.

Harnessing renewable energy

Sustainable construction should carry the benefits forward in the lifespan of a building. This means using renewable sources of energy to generate electricity for residents. Africa is a sunny continent, which means that the use of solar panels to create energy is a viable alternative to coal-fired power stations.

Each building in the city of the future is likely to become self-sufficient. They will have a combination of solar and wind power, backed up by large banks of batteries to store the excess energy created. Harnessing renewable sources of energy will minimise our dependence on coal and water to generate electricity, creating sustainable economies in the process.

These are just some of the ways in which sustainable construction will shape the cities of the future. By tackling several environmental issues at once, skyscrapers and apartment blocks will greatly reduce the impact of human activity on the environment. Most of these sustainable systems will also help cities and citizens to save money and lead more environmentally-friendly lifestyles.

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LafargeHolcim is a leading building materials and solutions company that has been operating in international markets for decades. We produce cement and aggregates for construction projects, ranging from small affordable housing developments to large-scale infrastructure projects such as high-rise buildings, dams and bridges. 

___

LafargeHolcim Tanzania has been supplying the country and neighbouring countries with our world-class Tembo cement brand for over 30 years. Our head office and fully-integrated plant are located in Mbeya, Southwest Tanzania.

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At LafargeHolcim Tanzania, we believe customers come first. We listen to your specific requirements to supply and develop the best solutions for your needs. As the new leader in building materials, you can also rely on our cutting-edge research and development capabilities that have resulted in the finest materials for your construction projects, whether large or small.

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Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest for the best tips on construction, handy projects and the latest industry news. See our Instagram channel for more insights into our products.

LafargeHolcim Group water reduction

Water saving initiative at LafargeHolcim

Water is an essential resource. Although the building materials industry consumes less water than many other sectors, the global LafargeHolcim Group still strives to save the resource wherever possible. Too many regions across the globe suffer from water shortages and droughts. Increasing urbanisation and population growth are likely to make these problems worse.

That is why LafargeHolcim has started the water withdrawal reduction initiative to create awareness at all of its operations around the world. This initiative is aimed at improving measurement methodologies and reducing the consumption of water at building materials facilities.

Water saving statistics at LafargeHolcim

Since 2016, the LafargeHolcim Group has seen a 19% reduction in freshwater consumption across all its operations. This equates to 73 litres saved for every tonne of cement produced. In 2018, LafargeHolcim started using only 305 litres of water per tonne of cement produced. The group is aiming to get this volume down to 291 litres per tonne by 2022 and then 262 litres per tonne by 2030.

LafargeHolcim assesses water consumption

LafargeHolcim is a global company which means that sustainable water management requires a specific understanding of the context of each locality in which its operations are based. At sites in water-scarce regions, LafargeHolcim conducts assessments that benefit the surrounding communities too. These assessments are based on the World Business Council For Sustainable Development’s Global Water Tool.

LafargeHolcim optimises the use of fresh water at all of its operations, including in Tanzania. The group reduces the risk of water depletion by tracking every cement factory’s intake and output. LafargeHolcim also engages with all stakeholders and encourages those operations in water-scarce areas to share the resource with surrounding communities.

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LafargeHolcim is a leading building materials and solutions company that has been operating in international markets for decades. We produce cement and aggregates for construction projects, ranging from small affordable housing developments to large-scale infrastructure projects such as high-rise buildings, dams and bridges. 

___

LafargeHolcim Tanzania has been supplying the country and neighbouring countries with our world-class Tembo cement brand for over 30 years. Our head office and fully-integrated plant are located in Mbeya, Southwest Tanzania.

___

At LafargeHolcim Tanzania, we believe customers come first. We listen to your specific requirements to supply and develop the best solutions for your needs. As the new leader in building materials, you can also rely on our cutting-edge research and development capabilities that have resulted in the finest materials for your construction projects, whether large or small.

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Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest for the best tips on construction, handy projects and the latest industry news. See our Instagram channel for more insights into our products.

Sand alternatives for sustainable construction

Sand alternatives for construction

The construction industry relies on many raw materials and minerals for its operations – stone, soil, steel and sand are among the most consumed natural elements in the industry. A growing global population means that more buildings need to be constructed, so some contractors have started to look for sustainable alternatives to these materials.

Sand is a natural material that may seem abundant, but it is being depleted quicker than it is formed by the environment. Leading engineering firms and contractors are exploring sand alternatives for use as aggregates in concrete. These efforts are minimising sand depletion and enabling existing sand to be recycled for other construction projects.

The world uses around 44-billion tonnes of sand every year for construction, land reclamation, roadways and to produce concrete. Not all of it is suitable for construction – desert sand is too fine and beach sand can contain unwanted contaminants such as seashells and plastic pollution. Rivers and quarries are the primary sources of sand used in the building industry.

Sustainable alternatives to sand

Some contractors have started to use plastic waste as an alternative. Non-recyclable bits of plastic waste are ground up into small pellets which are then used as the fine aggregate in a concrete mixture. This process has started to gather momentum in India and the United Kingdom.

While the long-term effects of using plastic in concrete are not fully known, researchers have studied its durability, thermal properties and fire resistance. Plastic is a good alternative to sand and also allows contractors to use up non-recyclable plastic waste in the process.

Contractors are also exploring the use of other sand-like aggregates, including crushed glass and quarry dust. Glass bottles can be recycled but small fractions of broken glass cannot. These bits of broken windows, mirrors, tubes and bottles can be crushed into a sand-like texture. Quarry dust from rock blasting and granite excavation also has similar properties to sand and crushed glass.

Where alternatives to sand cannot be found, contractors have started to recycle sand from old construction projects and sites. Recycling old building materials such as sand, concrete and rubble is starting to gain traction around the world. By embarking on sustainable campaigns, engineers, architects and construction practitioners can minimise their impact on the environment and reduce consumption of natural materials.

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LafargeHolcim is a leading building materials and solutions company that has been operating in international markets for decades. We produce cement and aggregates for construction projects, ranging from small affordable housing developments to large-scale infrastructure projects such as high-rise buildings, dams and bridges.

___

LafargeHolcim Tanzania has been supplying the country and neighbouring countries with our world-class Tembo cement brand for over 30 years. Our head office and fully-integrated plant are located in Mbeya, Southwest Tanzania.

___

At LafargeHolcim Tanzania, we believe customers come first. We listen to your specific requirements to supply and develop the best solutions for your needs. As the new leader in building materials, you can also rely on our cutting-edge research and development capabilities that have resulted in the finest materials for your construction projects, whether large or small.

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Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest for the best tips on construction, handy projects and the latest industry news. See our Instagram channel for more insights into our products.

How contractors can promote sustainability on-site

Promoting sustainability on construction sites

Sustainability and ‘going green’ are concepts that are sweeping a number of industries and construction is no exception. Contractors, architects and cement suppliers are constantly looking for ways to promote sustainability and look after the long-term health of the environment through their businesses.

Using sustainable materials in construction is becoming highly important for developers and those who use the buildings. Making use of recycled concrete, repurposed wood and reused materials are some of the ways in which contractors can become more sustainable. By making eco-friendly building choices, contractors can preserve the environment, reduce water usage and save energy.

These choices can also save money in the long run. Green buildings can help to reduce tenants’ monthly living costs as energy and water bills are reduced. Sustainable building materials are also more cost-effective and can reduce building costs. Here are a few other ways for contractors to ‘go green’ and promote sustainability on-site:

Create a sustainability strategy

Contractors need to draw up a sustainability strategy before starting any construction project. Start by looking at the current situation and how it can be improved and made more eco-friendly. Identify the areas that need improvement and what needs to be done in order to make the improvements.

This process will allow you to establish your goals and maintain your sustainability drive at all stages of the construction project. Once you have your green goals, assign tasks to specific people who will be responsible for the implementation of the sustainability strategy. When all employees know what needs to be done and who is accountable, the strategy will be easier to maintain.

Set sustainability standards on-site

Once construction has started, all contractors and employees need to know what needs to be done to achieve the sustainability goals. This is done by implementing standards that contractors will follow. Processes such as recycling, on-site waste reduction, monitoring and evaluations will help achieve the company’s sustainability goals.

Standards such as LED lighting will help to save electricity costs. Although LED bulbs are more expensive to buy, they will save money in the long run. They also last longer than regular light bulbs, which means contractors can use the same lights at multiple construction projects over time.

Waste management and recycling standards are also easy to establish and will promote sustainability on-site. Waste from the building project needs to be sorted and recycled where possible. Encourage employees to recycle their waste at all times and to keep the site clean and litter-free.

Use sustainable materials

Try to use sustainable building materials where possible. Make use of old concrete and rubble from previous projects. Use recycled plastic and refurbished wood. These materials are often cheaper to buy but still last for years in the home.

Install energy-efficient light bulbs in the building. The electrical engineers will know which brands are the best. Energy-efficient lighting will drastically reduce the electricity bill for tenants and will reduce the load on the electricity grid. Make use of solar panels on the roof to add to the power supply for the building.

Install energy efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) units. These systems often use a lot of power to run, so finding a brand that is energy-efficient can help to promote the sustainability of the building.

Non-toxic paints are also sustainable. They can be better for the health of the tenants as they do not emit highly volatile organic compounds. The painters will know which brands have a lower toxicity level, so ask their advice before the building is painted.

Work with sustainable partners

It is important to team up with sustainable suppliers too. LafargeHolcim Tanzania uses agricultural waste to power its cement furnaces. Align your business with sustainable partners that can help you achieve your eco-friendly goals at every stage of a project.

It is easier to work with partners that are already sustainable than it is to convince suppliers to become eco-friendly. If everyone involved in a project understands the importance of being green, the entire project will be sustainable from the start and its success will be more likely.

These tips will allow any contractor to become more environmentally-friendly. They will help to reduce the impact of a construction project on the environment. Becoming a green business is not only important for the planet but many developers, buyers and investors are looking for sustainable contractors nowadays.

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LafargeHolcim is a leading building materials and solutions company that has been operating in international markets for decades. We produce cement and aggregates for construction projects, ranging from small affordable housing developments to large-scale infrastructure projects such as high-rise buildings, dams and bridges.

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LafargeHolcim Tanzania has been supplying the country and neighbouring countries with our world-class Tembo cement brand for over 30 years. Our head office and fully-integrated plant are located in the Mbeya Region in Southwest Tanzania.

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At LafargeHolcim Tanzania, we believe customers come first. We listen to your specific requirements to supply and develop the best solutions for your needs. As the new leader in building materials, you can also rely on our cutting-edge research and development capabilities that have resulted in the finest materials for your construction projects, whether large or small.

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