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6th International LafargeHolcim Forum for Sustainable Construction

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The 6th International LafargeHolcim Forum for Sustainable Construction will be hosted by the American University in Cairo, Egypt, and take place from April 4 to 6, 2019.

“Re-materializing Construction”


The 6th International LafargeHolcim Forum will be dedicated to the topic of “Re-materializing Construction”, and the format of the event will be similar to the previous symposiums, including four working streams with mobile workshops. The Academic Committee of the LafargeHolcim Foundation is responsible for content, contributions and the outline of the Forum.


Keynote speeches, workshop presentations, topical excursions in the vicinity of Cairo and discussion sessions in plenary or workshop groups will focus on strategies to “re-materialize” construction by reducing consumption throughout the material cycle from extraction to processing, transport, installation, maintenance, and removal – contributing to a leaner industry: one with a smaller ecological footprint and not driven by the long-standing pretense of infinitely available raw materials.


Construction is the place where opportunities for change reside


Mainstream building practices are often unsustainable. The construction sector uses an extensive amount of material resources and is also responsible for the use of material compounds that can be harmful to both humans and the environment. The quantity and quality of materials used in construction and the amount of energy consumed in buildings over their entire use-cycle point to the impact that better material protocols could have in lowering emissions and in reducing dependence on resource extraction from the natural environment.


Although increasing energy efficiency as well as the use of renewable energy sources have been an obvious first step in this process, it is now necessary to foreground material stocks and flows in order to further the objectives of sustainable construction.


While some experts have argued for a “de-materialization” of construction, the 6th International LafargeHolcim Forum for Sustainable Construction strives to broaden the debate by proposing a discourse on “re-materializing construction,” acknowledging that gains in efficiency have been nullified by the rapid growth in volumes to fulfill unmet demand. “Re-materializing Construction” suggests a shift in material production and use toward a regenerative pathway. Insofar as the effects of the building industry on the environment are significant, construction is the place where opportunities for change reside. Construction, in other words, is both the problem and the solution.


Academic publication


Ruby Press Berlin will release a publication inspired by the Forum, evaluating current architectural practices and models, and also introducing materials and methods to maximize the environmental, social, and economic performance of the built environment in the context of “Re-materializing Construction”.





LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction
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+41 58 858 82 92
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