Contribute to more housing in cities


To give all city-dwellers an access to decent and affordable housing that's adapted to their needs, we offer cement and concrete solutions, as well as innovative processes and services, which help everyone find a home under the best possible conditions in the heart of our cities.

Contribute to more housing in cities

Our contribution

For newcomers to the cities as well as those that already live there, the top priority is housing. They yearn for more than just a roof over their heads, they also hope to find a place to live in the city, in their city, so they can feel at home.

Our materials are solid, available and reasonably priced. They can help provide affordable, quality housing for city-dwellers. Our offer includes:

  • Cement and concrete solutions that can be used to build new homes and restore existing ones.
  • Innovative processes and services to build homes faster and cheaper. Thanks to our partnerships, we have developed innovative concrete-based methods, such as stay-in-place formwork.

And to allow the most deprived populations to find housing at low cost, particularly in developing countries, we have invented solutions to provide:

  • Easier access to our materials. For example we have found a way of delivering concrete into the heart of slums.
  • Easier access to finance. We have developed a micro-credit program which helps the underprivileged city-dwellers build, restore or extend their homes.

This is the commitment we took in our "Sustainability Ambitions for 2020", a program we launched in June 2012: "Enable 2 million people around the world to have access to affordable and sustainable housing through the development and introduction of innovative solutions."

Building houses fast and efficiently in Cameroon

Building houses fast and efficiently in Cameroon

Rome wasn't built in a day! But it takes barely a day to build the houses in a new housing program sponsored by the Cameroon government, intended to provide accommodation for hundreds of newcomers in Yaoundé. This has been made possible by innovative stay-in-place formwork... in combination with Lafarge concrete, of course!

Every year, 100,000 people arrive in the cities of Yaoundé and Douala, looking for housing. On a national level, Cameroun's needs for urban housing are estimated at 1 million units. So it is important to find solutions for fast and efficient construction.

Through our first concrete plant in Cameroon, we have supplied 40,000 m3 of ready-mix concrete for a vast housing program launched by the Cameroon government in the capital city, Yaoundé. Begun in 2012, the first phase of 560 homes are due to be handed over in 2014, creating housing for thousands of people!

The highly innovative building site employs the stay-in-place formwork technique. This process is fast, easy to use and very economical: it means that you can build a house in a day!

How does it work? Almost like a toy building kit, metal panels are fitted together to form the framework of the building (slabs, walls), resulting in a hollow house! The concrete is then poured directly onto the metal formwork which stays incorporated in the concrete after it has been placed.

An extension of the program to 3,000 homes, requiring 80,000 m3 of concrete, is expected to start in 2014. This will provide decent housing for thousands more newcomers to the city of Yaoundé!

Improving housing in the slum of Dharavi

Improving housing in the slum of Dharavi

To enable the inhabitants of Dharavi, a slum in the heart of Mumbai, to build decent, solid and watertight houses, Lafarge was the first concrete manufacturer to deliver concrete in alleyways that are too narrow for trucks. What's the secret? Concrete in buckets delivered on motorized tricycles!

In Dharavi, one of the slums of Mumbai, a million people live in shacks made of corrugated metal and other recovered materials. To give these people a minimum level of comfort, Lafarge has undertaken a project of transforming existing inadequate homes into houses that can provide better protection during the monsoon season.

Concrete was an obvious solution, as it is a robust material that can provide better protection against weather hazards. But how could we deliver concrete in the narrow alleyways where there is no room for concrete trucks to pass?

Since April 2012, Lafarge has been meeting this challenge! We have become the first concrete producer to deliver to the very heart of Dharavi, thanks to motorized rickshaws that weave around all over the slum carrying 15-liter buckets of slow-setting concrete. This delivery method is a first, but it is perfectly suited to the local conditions.

Dozens of inhabitants of Dharavi have been able to add an additional story to their homes, supported by a concrete slab. As a result, houses are more spacious, stronger, more comfortable and safer, with the added advantage of very rapid construction.

By 2030, India will need 10 million new homes every year. The solution used in Dharavi means there are prospects of an enormous potential for improving the quality of life of the inhabitants in other cities in India and elsewhere. We are currently at work on a similar project in Brazil!