Growing demand in energy, infrastructure, commercial and residential markets is driving Lafarge Canada’s planned doubling of output capability at its Edmonton precast operation, enclosure groundbreaking and equipment delivery scheduled for 2014. An investment upward of $60 million will see the addition of plant automation technology, including robotics and full-scale computer-aided design and fabrication.
“The construction industry is demanding more of our precast concrete solutions to fulfill building and infrastructure growth. Precast offers unique benefits in the construction, design and procurement phases,” says Lafarge Western Canada CEO René Thibault. “End users gain with energy efficiency, long life and safety.” Leading into the Edmonton work is an upgrade of Lafarge Canada’s flagship precast plant in Calgary, encompassing automation components and netting additional structural and architectural product capacity. The Alberta precast expansions will incorporate leading edge concepts and methods consistent with the Canadian Precast Concrete Institute’s Sustainable Plant program.
Homegrown materials sourcing backs LEED Gold
Lafarge North America has attained LEED for Commercial Interiors Gold certification at its recently occupied Chicago headquarters, the rating partly reflecting specification of internally procured product: reception area backdrop of Elburn, Ill.-quarried limestone, plus tile and countertops of Ductal ultra-high performance concrete.
“We were very deliberate in designing an office that would reflect our values and commitment to contributing to building better cities and a healthier, more sustainable future,” says Lafarge U.S. President John Stull. “The Lafarge Group is continually working toward similar achievements at facilities around the world.”
Joining the Elburn limestone and Ductal UHPC in the office design’s sustainable features are synthetic gypsum wallboard bearing 99 percent recycled material; natural light exploitation; zone-specific thermal monitoring; and, motion sensors automatically turning off lights in unoccupied spaces. Lafarge NA relocated its headquarters from Reston, Va., to the Interstate 90 commercial corridor bridging O’Hare International Airport and city of Chicago in September 2012. The producer is a marquee tenant in an office complex along the Chicago Transit Authority Blue Line train, public transportation proximity an important factor in LEED evaluations.