LafargeHolcim, the world’s largest cement company, has begun work on a construction development laboratory in Casablanca, Morocco.
The 4,000-m2 facility will house 50 engineers, architects and technicians and marketers and follows similar projects in Algeria, Argentina, China, France, India, Malaysia and Mexico.
The lab aims to:
Deliver innovative construction solutions that match the needs of the Moroccan and African markets
Develop partnerships with start-ups, universities and other higher education institutions to promote R&D, test ideas and reinforce relationships with building and infrastructure experts
Organise specialised training for clients, influencers, product applicators and builders to enable them to use innovative solutions in their projects.
LafargeHolcim’s central R&D hub is in Lyon; this houses 200 engineers and technicians from more than 20 countries.
The most recent product innovation developed by the R&D centre is “Airium”, a recyclable mineral insulating foam that was launched in late 2016.
The firm has created market-specific R&D innovations such as allowing the residents of the Dharavi slum in Mumbai to build solid and watertight houses by developing concrete in bags delivered on motorised tricycles in alleyways that are too narrow for trucks.