Lafarge has completed work on the extension of its Technology Centre located at L'Isle d'Abeau, near Lyons, in a bid to respond to changes occurring in the construction market. This 11.6 million euros investment has resulted in the creation of two new entities:
- a new research laboratory with a total surface area of 7,500 m2, which is the world's premier construction materials research facility in terms of both size and manpower. It provides researchers with an open environment which encourages work in multi-disciplinary teams.
- a "Products Campus" consisting of a 450 m2 showroom devoted to Lafarge products, a zone dedicated to the application of materials on a large and a small scale, and a training centre initially reserved for Group members but at a later date intended also for Group customers and specifiers.
The extension of the Lafarge Technology Centre coincides with the implementation of a new organisation in the Group. By associating Marketing, Manufacturing and Research & Development, this offers improved liaison between central research and the Group's five Divisions (Cement, Aggregates and Concrete, Roofing, Gypsum and Specialty Products). It takes the form of the creation of Research & Development steering committees, run by the Divisions, to define and implement product development strategy, and the introduction of project-based management, which aims to heighten awareness of research programmes and involve all parties concerned.
This entire structure, which embraces almost 160 employees, enables Lafarge to deliver ever more efficient solutions, contributing to the reduction in the overall cost of construction (improvement of performance, durability of materials, etc.), the protection of the environment, and the comfort of the user (ease and regularity of application).
World leader in construction materials, the Lafarge Group relies on more than 500 employees around the world to carry out its Research and Development policy. With a budget of more than 60 million euros in 1999, Research & Development is a strategic priority, and its objectives are to support the Group's leadership and customer satisfaction ambitions.