Four billion people around the world do not have access to decent housing, including 150 million in developed countries, and over 800 million live in slums. To address this need, LafargeHolcim is focusing on innovation to offer a range of affordable housing solutions to populations and governments, including microfinance, earth-cement building solutions, slum renovation, collective social housing and sanitation.
For LafargeHolcim, affordable housing means helping populations with low revenue access housing at the most affordable cost. Affordable housing is a business activity with a high social impact: the inhabitants are LafargeHolcim customers in their own right with specific needs, for whom we are innovating and creating shared value. We offer a wide range of innovative solutions for the construction, renovation and extension of affordable houses, tailored to the local challenges and needs of individuals, NGOs, and public organizations responsible for housing. They cover five activities that are implemented worldwide to facilitate access to decent housing.
The challenge: enabling individuals with low revenue to finance the construction, renovation, and extension of their homes.
We offer our microfinance program for affordable housing, including:
– Access to microcredits via our partnerships with specialist institutions such as the French Development Agency (AFD) or International Finance Corporation (IFC, a part of the World Bank Group).
– Technical assistance through support from dedicated LafargeHolcim advisors, worksite visits, introduction to trained masons, plans and budgets, catalogs, free training in the use of our LafargeHolcim solutions, and mobile apps for tablets to facilitate advisors’ day-to-day work.
– Access to our network of partner retailers, through which customers have access to high quality materials and innovative building items.
– Construction solutions: modular housing templates for bit-by-bit construction, a concrete blocks range, and roofing solutions.
Earth-cement building solutions
The challenge: constructing sustainable housing by offering an alternative solution to burnt clay bricks.
Our response: our R&D teams have developed DuraBric, a LafargeHolcim cement binder mixing with earth. This allows easy local construction of stabilized blocks, which are more weather-resistant than traditional clay bricks. It is also more environmentally friendly, because it does not require firing, which is the source of significant deforestation in many countries.
LafargeHolcim DuraBric also contributes to homes’ insulation by preserving their thermal inertia. This produces affordable, comfortable, and attractive housing.
This solution is available in Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Cameroon, and Zambia.
The challenge: having weather-resistant solutions adapted to the topography of slums.
Our response: we deliver our cement and ready-mix concrete solutions to the heart of slums for the construction of individual housing, using tailored packaging and logistics:
In the slums of Argentina, we improve self-builders’ access to the necessary materials close to their location. We have partnered with third-party drivers who own small trucks to ensure daily deliveries of small quantities of bagged cement to informal retailers.
In the informal settlement of Shivaji Nagar, in Mumbai (India), LafargeHolcim supplies retarded concrete and mortar in bags and small packages that can be transported by rickshaw.
In the favela of Rocinha, in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), we also deliver our concrete products and train residents in construction professions.
Solutions for collective social housing
The challenge: governments and developers are looking for new solutions to build large collective housing schemes faster and improve their quality, attractiveness, and sustainability.
Our response: we offer NGOs and governments in mature and emerging countries packages including:
Preliminary studies with designers and decision-makers to identify and test optimized construction systems in collaboration with our LafargeHolcim Research Center and local laboratories.
Our ready-mix concrete solutions.
Solutions for sanitation
The challenge: many low income households do not have access to affordable and durable sanitation facilities, including toilet systems and sewage pipelines, which has long term impacts on their health. In India alone, 160 million sanitation units are required.
Our response: we have developed pre-designed, concrete-made sanitation units that are sold across four centers in India.