Magali Anderson at domusforum: “it’s time to take action”

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In her speech at domusforum, Holcim’s Chief Sustainability and Innovation Officer Magali Anderson had no doubts: we have the products and the means to change the way we build now, towards sustainable architecture.

What will our lives be like and what form will the spaces we inhabit take? There are many urgent contemporary challenges, and the world of construction will play a fundamental role in defining the cities of the future. This is why one of the protagonists at domusforum (held in Milan on 24 November 2021) was Magali Anderson, chief sustainability and innovation officer of Holcim, a world leader in the supply of sustainable and innovative solutions for the building sector.

Anderson’s passionate talk begins by looking at global mega-trends: “What are the challenges that we are facing? More than 1 billion people today don’t have access to a proper house. They don’t have a roof on their head. More than half of that number don’t have access to energy. They don’t have electricity in their home. And if we look at the future, about 2.5 billion people will move to urban areas and about 60% of the needed infrastructure still don’t exist.”

Out of these critical issues, Anderson sees new opportunities for the world of construction and architecture: “We have an incredible opportunity to change the way we build. We can’t do mass building the way we have been doing it. We need to find smarter ways, we need to build using less materials, we need to have nature in the cities. In short: we need to create a better world for people and the planet.”

Holcim is already playing a leading role in this productive and cultural change by introducing new materials that considerably reduce environmental impact. “Last year we presented the world’s first global range of green cement, ECOPact. Today it is available in 24 markets, and it’s quite amazing how much we have deployed it: in India, we introduced it earlier this year and in October it represented 14% of our concrete sales. That’s the evolution in just ten months,” the Holcim delegate told the domusforum audience. The properties of the new materials supplied by Holcim are impressive: for the range ECOPact, we are talking about providing from 30% to 100% less carbon emissions compared to standard (CEM I) concrete. 

In addition to the materials, Anderson also talked about some of the construction works developed by Holcim in recent months. Among the projects presented there is obviously the Striatus Bridge, built with Block Research Group and Zaha Hadid Architects, in collaboration with incremental3D and presented in Venice during the Architecture Biennale. We also find the world's first school built using 3D concrete printing, constructed in Malawi (we have previously talked about both projects, READ HERE).

Recent projects in which Holcim is involved also include the Boston University – Center for Computing & Data Sciences, designed by KPMB Architects and built with ECOPact green concrete (see cover image). “It’s the biggest pour of concrete EcoPact that we have ever done. We used 3,200 m3 of concrete, reducing 350 tons of C02 in one go, which is quite an amazing number for just one building. This will be the largest carbon neutral building in Boston when it’s completed next year,” commented Anderson.

These are just some of the ways in which Holcim collaborates in making a real impact on the world. Among the various initiatives mentioned during the conference at domusforum are the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction, which has been in existence for almost 20 years, and its Awards, this year celebrated in Venice. Magali Anderson concludes her speech by highlighting the need for action and collaboration: “What we are trying to do is look at partnering with many people to think together on how we will live in the future. It’s time to do something. We must do it now. We have an incredible opportunity to change how we do things, and the beauty of it is that we do have the means and the products to do so. Now, it’s a matter of getting on with it.”


Discover more about Holcim's commitment to green design and construction on Instagram HolcimByDesign.

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