When the Swiss embassy in the Ivory Coast needed a building that represented their country’s identity, they called upon the material expertise of a company who shares this strong Swiss heritage: LafargeHolcim Featuring our CEM II lower carbon cement, the embassy also stands as a symbol of enhanced environmental performance.
The new Swiss embassy in Abidjan is a classic Swiss building that rises out of a totally different geo-climatic context. The Swiss firm LOCALARCHITECTURE drew its inspiration from the city’s Modernist heritage when designing the slab roof, covered gallery and “floating” base of the embassy. LafargeHolcim Ivory Coast brought this vision to life by providing 100% of the cement used on the project.
Offering a lower carbon material palette
The material palette was perfectly adapted to the customer’s functional specifications, which included the request to use a low-carbon cement product. With this in mind, our teams in the Ivory Coast recommended using our CEM II product for its reduced environmental impact.
This cement solution can be used in all types of construction and infrastructure projects and has the least amount of clinker. The production of clinker is responsible for a large proportion of cement’s carbon footprint. As a substitute, CEM II incorporates by-products from other industries, such as slag from steel production or fly ash from coal-fired power plants.
In addition to its environmental benefits, CEM II delivers high level mechanical performance and great workability. Not to mention it improves the long-term strength of concrete for buildings that last longer!
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Cementing a Swiss identity using local resources & know-how
While the embassy building incorporates an unmistakably Swiss aesthetic, the project remains intimately tied to its climatic, cultural and topographical context. For example:
- Using raw concrete enabled the architects to work with local resources rather than importing materials from abroad.
- The covered gallery pays tribute to a common architectural feature in the Ivory Coast and creates natural ventilation. Plus, our CEM II cement solution gives off little heat – which makes a big difference in an already hot climate!
During his visit to the new Swiss embassy, LafargeHolcim Ivory Coast CEO Stefan Heeb said: “We are happy and honored that the Swiss Embassy has chosen LafargeHolcim Ivory Coast for their prestigious and sustainable building. The project gave us an opportunity to showcase our technical expertise in sustainable construction. All our employees are proud to have been part of this amazing cultural building.”
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