Lafarge Hydromedia™: the dry surface solution

21 July 2015

For some years now, Lafarge South Africa has been partnering development projects with the New Jerusalem Children’s Home and the Orange Babies Montessori Preschool, which is on the same property. A problem that needed attention for some time was to find a solution for the Orange Babies’ play area. It was largely bare ground and, after playtime, the staff was always confronted by extremely dirty children: either dusty ones or, after rain, very muddy ones!

Approached for help, Lafarge South Africa had the ideal solution in its unique Hydromedia porous concrete. Lightweight and durable, the versatile Hydromedia, is available in a variety of colour options, while its rapid stormwater draining characteristic creates a drier, safer, slip-resistant surface, ideal for a playground. Lafarge’s Readymix team supplied and placed 16 m³ of Hydromediaand 6 m³ of standard grey concrete, as part of the company’s ongoing Corporate Social Investment (CSI) support for the Children’s Home.

“Hydromedia is increasingly in demand for playgrounds,” comments Lafarge South Africa’s Shane Campbell, Hydromedia product manager. “Hydromedia solves a wide range of stormwater drainage problems, such as better walkways for residential and commercial properties, drier parking areas and safer surrounds for swimming pools.”

The New Jerusalem Children’s Home is a 24-hour residential care centre in Midrand, Gauteng, which addresses the needs of traumatised, abandoned, orphaned, abused and HIV-positive children, from birth to 18 years, from the surrounding communities. The Home was opened in 2000 by two sisters: Anna and Phina Mojapelo. The sisters share a commitment to sustainable development in common with Lafarge South Africa and promote ‘green’ practices. They built parts of the home from recycled containers and have a permaculture garden to supply the children and local community with fresh vegetables.

In 2012, Lafarge Gypsum provided materials to fit out the containers and Lafarge Cement donated cement, furniture and teaching materials for an extension to the classrooms of the Orange Babies Montessori Preschool. In 2014, a major project of the New Jerusalem Children’s Home was a bakery to provide the children with a source of essential vitamins and minerals, as well as a nutritional food, which could also generate income for the Home from sales to the local community. Lafarge South Africa built the bakery and arranged the purchase of modern baking equipment, together with a training course on how to use it.

“The play area for the children was previously particularly bad,” says Esther Seabi, Lafarge South Africa’s Transformation Manager. “Hydromedia has made a vast improvement and the youngsters love it!  In no time at all after a storm, the surface can safely be played on again. Lafarge is proud to have helped the Orange Babies Preschool with this highly effective solution for their play area problem.”

About Lafarge South Africa

Lafarge South Africa is the local presence of the international Lafarge Group, a world leader in building materials. The company is well positioned to help construct better homes and better community facilities in cities that are more desirable and sustainable surroundings for children to grow up in. This is because of its major local market position in cement, readymix concrete, aggregates, plasterboard and interior fitting solutions. Lafarge South Africa firmly believes that as a responsible company, it must help address the challenges of our society and, through various CSI initiatives, it plays an active role in the development of the communities in which it operates.

More information from Chantál Stewart, Tel: +27(0)11 657 0000 /


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