Sustainable construction


The environmental footprint of buildings needs to be reduced throughout their lifecycle in order to respond to the challenges of climate change. Lafarge follows a rigorous methodology, invests in innovation and brings together all its partners to develop solutions promoting sustainable and efficient construction solutions.


As urbanization increases, the demand for housing and infrastructures also grows. However, buildings account for important CO2 emissions and consume huge amounts of energy across a lifecycle that spans production, construction, operation and demolition.
The challenge is to continue to build but to do so in a different way. Lafarge is committed to sustainable construction and works in partnership with other players to develop new construction methods.


The Lafarge approach: a sustainable building throughout its life cycle

Buildings represent nearly 40% of global energy demand. Reducing constructions' environmental footprint is an essential tool in fighting climate change. At least 80% of a building's energy consumption occurs during its use. It is therefore vital to improve its performances throughout its lifecycle.


To do this, Lafarge has developed an approach based on 3 priority focuses:

  • economizing energy consumption;
  • reducing greenhouse gas emissions;
  • keeping construction costs as low as possible;

while improving structures' other environmental and social footprints as much as possible.


To achieve these objectives, the Group uses the life cycle assessment (LCA) method, which quantifies a product's or building's environmental footprint throughout its life (greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, water consumption, transport, etc.).  


And to raise the public's awareness of its commitment to more efficient and sustainable construction, Lafarge has created EFFICIENT BUILDING™, an approach relying on measurable factual data. EFFICIENT BUILDING™ is meant to highlight the particular benefits of a solution, construction project, partnership or innovation, such as its contribution to energy performance, durability or to optimizing resources used throughout a construction's life.

Sustainable development

The World Commission on Environment and Development defines sustainable development as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs".


Sustainable development aims to reconcile 3 major stakes:

  • economic performance,

  • the social consequences of a company's actions (with respect to employees, suppliers, customers and the local community),

  • environmental aspects (achieving a balance between a company's activities and the preservation of ecosystems).


Sustainable buildings: not as expensive as they seem!

Results of a W.B.C.S.D study
Professionals in the construction sector tend to estimate the cost of constructing a "green" building to be 17% higher than the cost of building a conventional structure. In fact, this estimate is over three times higher than the real figure, which is only about 5%!

This is the conclusion of a study carried out in the context of the "Energy Efficient Buildings" project, co-managed by Lafarge and part of the W.B.C.S.D.

This misunderstanding is a major obstacle to the construction of environmentally-friendly buildings.