R&D at LafargeHolcim

LafargeHolcim Research & Development (R&D) is driven by our customers, who face today’s major challenges: achieving energy efficiency, lowering cost of construction, reducing our environmental footprint, and meeting high standards of aesthetics, health, comfort, and well-being. Together with our partners and customers, our best-in-class R&D teams develop the most innovative products, solutions, and services, as well as advanced manufacturing processes. 

R&D, construction cost

Reducing construction costs and contributing to more affordable housing

  • Our challenge: housing costs are critical for billions of people worldwide. We must offer affordable and cost-effective building solutions to our customers and end-users.
  • LafargeHolcim R&D answers:
    • We develop sustainable and environment-friendly building solutions with innovative materials or systems.
    • For example, a new binder specifically formulated for stabilized soil bricks production was launched at the end of 2013 in Malawi, with an innovative economic model: manual press machines are lent to our customers to manufacture bricks while contractors and developers are trained to use them.


Discover Durabric, our earth cement block solution, and contact our teams

R&D, energy efficiency

Improving energy efficiency of buildings

  • Our challenge: providing highly efficient insulating solutions for builders and homeowners. 
  • LafargeHolcim R&D answers:
    • Thanks to our unique knowledge of thermal and mechanical properties of concrete, we have developed a new generation of insulating concretes.
    • We are presently going further, developing new insulating materials (vegetal-based or mineral foams) or systems.

Discover Airium, our insulating mineral foam technology, and contact our teams

R&D, aesthetics

Improving aesthetics & strength to create unique, resilient structures

  • Our challenge:  meeting the needs of architects and engineers by providing a building solution with qualities of resistance to compression, ductility, longevity, eco-efficiency, insulation and aesthetics.
  • LafargeHolcim R&D answers: 
    • Our ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC), Ductal, enables architects worldwide to turn their imagination into beautiful and durable iconic buildings. With new formulations, it can now be used for new applications, such as façade panels.
    • Ductal is also the perfect choice for road bridge construction and rehabilitation. Its resistance to compression, low porosity and ductility make for structures that deliver optimized long-term performance.

Discover our Ductal solutions and contact our team

R&D, process innovation

Minimizing our environmental footprint through process innovation

  • Our challenge: reducing the CO2 emissions resulting from cement manufacturing to minimize our impact on climate change. 
  • LafargeHolcim R&D answers:
    • We leverage our R&D resources to constantly improve our manufacturing processes, by capturing thermal energy, recycling it into the process, and sourcing power from renewable sources. 
    • Our expertise in cement chemistry has allowed our R&D teams to design lower-carbon cements over the years. 
    • To go further, we partner with some of the world’s most advanced start-ups. For instance, with Solidia, we are working on new cement and concrete technology that could reduce CO2 emissions up to 70%.
R&D, new solutions

Providing the energy industry with new solutions

  • Our challenge: meeting the high expectations of the energy sector in terms of supply chain, quality control, and technical specifications, while making our clients’ jobs easier, faster, and more cost-effective. 
  • LafargeHolcim R&D answers: 
    • In 2014, we launched an R&D team in the oil and gas industry based on our belief that with our expertise in cement and admixtures, we could rapidly design new well cements for our clients. Our confidence was justified only one year later, in 2014, when we successfully launched a new lightweight slurry cement. 
R&D, cities healthier

Making cities and worksites healthier and more comfortable

  • Our challenge: improving the quality of life in cities and rural areas while providing more comfortable conditions at worksites. 
  • LafargeHolcim R&D answers:
    • Our R&D teams have developed and patented a depolluting concrete that absorbs the polluting automotive gases to improve air quality in tunnels and underground parking lots. 
    • Thanks to our expertise and to the advanced technologies developed by our partners, we have created green roof and vegetal wall concrete-based solutions to improve buildings’ insulation. 
    • In partnership with industrial bags suppliers, LafargeHolcim R&D has developed innovative packaging for our cement products that promotes easy handling and reduced waste on worksites (rain-resistant and dissolvable bags). 

A look inside LafargeHolcim's Lyon R&D Center


Remaining one step ahead, anticipating trends, and highlighting new technologies

At LafargeHolcim, we know that innovation is permanent and fast. For example, digital technologies and 3D printing could revolutionize the building materials industry and our markets in the years to come. 

To make sure LafargeHolcim remains ahead of the pack, we have resources and capabilities dedicated to tracking the latest innovations


Accelerating the Next Generation of Innovation

Our new Start-Up Accelerator opens our R&D facility to young companies looking to push the boundaries in sustainable building and urban planning solutions.