CAIRO, 4th of April: The 6th International LafargeHolcim Forum for Sustainable construction kicked off last Thursday at the American University in Cairo (AUC), in the presence of H.E. Paul Garnier, Swiss Ambassador in Cairo, Eng. Khaled Abbas, Deputy Minister of Housing for National Projects, Engineer Hussein Mansi, CCEO, Lord Norman Foster, the global icon of architecture and more than 1500 guests from Egypt and from 52 countries including experts, researchers, academics, engineers, architects, materials scientists, professionals, students and companies working in the field of architecture.
Speakers keynotes focused on strategies for how the building and construction industry can adapt to be leaner with a smaller ecological footprint while seeking to suggest radical solutions in the use of building materials to build sustain-ably. Over the 3 days of the conference, workshops on material science were organized in addition to visits to various areas in Cairo to get to learn more about Egypt's experience in creating new desert cities, slums development, monuments restoration and water preservation
Eng. Khaled Abbas, Deputy of the Minister of Housing said that the organization of such international forums reflect the appreciation of the international community towards the Egyptian government efforts in establishing construction mega projects. He added that establishing new urban communities became one of the engines of economic growth in Egypt and building sustainably is a priority in the country's 2030 vision and that the Ministry of Housing plans to establish more than 1.1 million residential units during the coming five years and we will be waiting for the recommendations of the LafargeHolcim Forum in order to learn from the output.
Mr. Roland Köhler, Chairman of LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction also said that the challenges we are facing today are global issues. Topics like climate change, population growth, and immigration became a shared concern which impact our lives. Köhler added, "Our group has been present in Egypt since 1864 when we provided more than 200,000 tons of building materials for the construction of the Suez Canal. Today, Lafarge Egypt participates in many mega national projects. Our choice of Egypt to hold the forum this year expresses our recognition towards the achievements accomplished by the Egyptian government in the field of construction and the interest of the country to implement the concepts of sustainable construction".
Eng. Hussein Mansi, CEO of Lafarge Egypt, said: "LafargeHolcim Forum for Sustainable Construction is one of the most important events in the field globally and I'm proud it's 6th round took place in Egypt; I'm also happy with the strong presence from the construction community whether it be academics or businessmen. In light of the unprecedented development the country is witnessing in the field of constructions and the government's adoption to sustainable construction concepts to preserve the environment and optimize the available resources, this will help achieve the best results. Building sustainability is not only a global trend, but locally we have held several meetings with the Ministry of Housing due to their interest in implementing the sustainability concepts to achieve environmental balance within the new communities that are being developed. "
Dr. Alaa Eldin Adris, Associate Provost for Research, Innovation and Creativity at the American University in Cairo said that choosing AUC to be the host of this important international event reflects the cultural and developmental role played by the University in Egypt. He added that AUC, which celebrates its centennial this year, has ambitious plans to grow its outreach and community engagements, including those with industries, government and non-governmental institutions, on scientific and cultural fronts.
The 6th round of the forum was organized for the first time in Africa and the Middle East. Over the 3 days of the conference, workshops on material science were organized in addition to visits to various areas in Cairo to get to learn more about Egypt's experience in creating new desert cities, slums development, monuments restoration and water preservation.
About the LafargeHolcim Forum for Sustainable Construction
The International LafargeHolcim Forum is a tri-annual series of expert conferences for the professional exchange on the topic of sustainable construction. The LafargeHolcim Foundation conducts the Forum in close cooperation with its Academic Committee (based at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology – ETH Zurich and EPFL Lausanne). The three-day event is an interdisciplinary academic platform for architects, engineers, material scientists, and construction professionals of all generations to exchange information on creating a more sustainably built environment. Each LafargeHolcim Forum is complemented by an academic publication, edited by Ruby Press, Germany.
About the LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction
The LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction was created in 2003 to raise awareness of the important role that architecture, engineering, urban planning and the building industry have in achieving a more sustainable future. www.lafargeholcim-foundation.org
Flagship of the Foundation is the LafargeHolcim Awards for Sustainable Construction, the world's most significant competition for sustainable design. It rewards projects and concepts that go beyond balancing environmental performance, social responsibility, and economic growth, thereby exemplifying architectural excellence and a high degree of transferability. The competition is open to architects, engineers, planners, project owners, contractors, builders and construction firms as well as students. The 6th Awards will open for entries on June 4, 2019.
About Lafarge Egypt
Lafarge Egypt, a member of LafargeHolcim, is a key player in the construction materials industry. With its plant located in Sokhna, the company provides products and solutions that are essential in creating the structures that shape our landscape today. Powered by more than 2,000 employees, and through its established business in cement, concrete and bags manufacturing, Lafarge Egypt is committed to providing sustainable building materials to meet the needs of its customers, whether it be individual home builders, large construction companies, architects or local artisans.
Lafarge Egypt is the operational company of LafargeHolcim in Egypt. LafargeHolcim is the leading global building materials and solutions company, and operates four businesses segments: Cement, Aggregates, Ready-Mix Concrete and Solutions & Products, which includes precast concrete, asphalt, mortar and building solutions. LafargeHolcim's broad portfolio is focused on solving the toughest challenges that masons, builders, architects and engineers face, from urbanization to population growth and the demand for affordable housing. Headquartered in Switzerland, LafargeHolcim holds leading positions in all regions across the globe. It employs approximately 80,000 employees in around 80 countries and has a portfolio that is equally balanced between developing and mature markets.