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PAGES 2 - 3 I PROJECT · The Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation PAGES 4 - 5 I PROJECT · Pierre Budin Daycare PAGE 6 I INNOVATIVE CLADDING · The Atrium : Pushing the Envelope PAGE 7 I DOUBLE SKIN · Seniors' Care Home with a Self-supporting Façade PAGES 8 - 9 I 7 I THERMAL INSULATION · BBC-Effinergie ­ HQE® ­ BREEAM® ­ LEED · New Ductal® solutions for Thermal Performance PAGE 10 I DURABLE CURTAIN WALL · The Liquid Wall PAGE 11 I DESIGN · Leather-look furnishings at Lafarge headquarters · Press review PAGE 12 I NEWS · A new look for the Ductal® website · Ductal® Design Competition


Ductal® façades: A new adventure in technology

® The Lille Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art at Villeneuve d'Ascq: A Ductal®veil forms the façade created by the architect Manuelle Gautrand to house the Outsider Art collections Photo Max Lerouge - LMCU

New environmental considerations demand a global strategy to lower energy consumption in buildings. More than ever before, façades are expected to provide protection and insulation as well as esthetic appeal. Consequently, an R&D mission for material suppliers is to allow architects the opportunity to respect these considerations without constraining their creativity. This issue of Ductal® Solutions provides a review of the requirements imposed by various national thermal regulations and insight with

respect to intelligent solutions by designers that effectively exploit Ductal's superior performance qualities in order to reduce energy loss and material waste. The use of Ductal® in façades is a new technological adventure ­ one that the Ductal® team loves sharing with designers. Jean Martin-Saint-Léon General Director, Ductal® Lafarge Group


"A unique place, a carrier of emotion"

Bernard Arnault, President of the LVMH Group

1:100 scale model of the Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation (© Fondation Louis Vuitton pour la Création/ Mazen Saggar)


Innovative process for vacuum moulding

The vacuum moulding process patented by Lafarge Ciment consists of pouring the Ductal® material into a mould which is re-formed after each use by pressing against a countermould machined to the required shape. A depressurizing device controls and ensures the accuracy of this operation. After approximately twenty hours of curing, the casings are removed, the Ductal® panel is gripped (with a suction handling device), before being mapped to verify the shape and dimensions, then stored for several days. To ensure reliable delivery, the panels are protected with a waterproofing compound. Since no two panels are identical, they are identified with an RFID (Radio Frequency ID) chip, placed in each numbered panel to facilitate its positioning in the construction.

The Louis Vuitton Foundation A ship in white Ductal®

Designed by Canadian/American architect Frank Gehry, the future Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation explores an osmotic relationship with its surroundings. Located at the northern entrance to the Bois de Boulogne, close to the Jardin d'Acclimatation (Garden of Acclimation) in Paris, France ­ it will be covered with a 9,000 m2 mineral carapace; a unique building dedicated to the promotion of culture, heritage and contemporary art.

"A veritable ship amongst trees" according to its designer, this project is articulated around a concrete and steel frame covered in a double carapace; the exterior made of glass and that the interior (which forms the building) is to be made entirely in white Ductal®. To give form to this mineral cover which consists of 16,000 prefabricated panels, two years of research were required. The solution was created by Lafarge and prototype designer Cogitech Design. Working together with the group managing the project, RFR/teSS, the unique production process involves vacuum moulding, using a mould that can adapt to any curvature, in combination with a polystyrene master template machined to the desired geometry. The "MSV" (Moulage Sous Vide) vacuum moulding process was patented by Lafarge in 2008. Industrial manufacture of the panels, with identical dimensions (1.50 m long, 40 cm high, 25 mm thick, weighing 35 kg) but each having a different shape, was entrusted to Bonna Sabla.


Prototype - Overview (© Fondation Louis Vuitton pour la Création)

16,000 panels in Ductal®, every one unique Bonna Sabla, a precast concrete manufacturer familiar with Ductal®, took on this challenge, carrying out several prototype campaigns. "Our main challenge lay in keeping the mould sufficiently rigid, whilst retaining the suppleness needed to guarantee the exactness of the geometric forms, in conformity with the demands from the project managers," says Patrick Mazzacane, Director of the UHPC (Ultra-High Performance Concrete) Division at Bonna Sabla. "We optimized the vacuum moulding process, in order to be able to use this during the industrial manufacturing phase." The prototype

phase led to the "Series Prototype" in September 2010. Consequently, a structure consisting of 400 prefabricated panels has already been designed using a 1:1 scale to allow for verification and validation of all the construction data for the building. The industrial production of the 16,000 panels and installation began this spring, allowing this "unique place, a carrier of emotion" to emerge, as described by Bernard Arnault, President of the LVMH Group. To view the model by Frank Gehry, see:


FIB awards prizes to MSV

The unique MSV vacuum moulding process developed for the Louis Vuitton project has resulted in two prestigious FIB (Federation for Structural Concrete) awards for Bonna Sabla: 1) The Jury Grand Prize - recognizing the process as a highly innovative, technological advancement that now makes it possible for precasters to achieve mass-production of an infinite variety of panels with different forms, using just one mould.. 2) The "Coup de Coeur" Prize - awarded by vote for the project that excites the most passion (or "love at first sight") the FIB jury. "We should acknowledge that here, without doubt, it is the quality of Frank Gehry's design which has attracted the jury's votes," says Patrick Mazzacane, Director of Bonna Sabla's UHPC Division.

Prototype - Detailed view (© Fondation Louis Vuitton pour la Création)




Manufacturing prefabricated panels

Two moulds were developed for the Ductal® panels in order to create the curves and counter-curves in the façade. The connections between panels were carefully designed, to guarantee that they would be perfectly water- and air-tight, as much in the vertical plane as in the return over the acroterion. A specific component maintains the continuity of the façade curves in the corners. Specific fillers were used at the level of the perforations for the windows, to allow them to be positioned at variable heights. The façade was developed in partnership with ECDM, the Lafarge teams and the C&E research committee.

A protective, undulating façade for the Pierre Budin daycare facility in Paris

Located in a district of Paris which has incredibly contrasting architecture, the Pierre Budin daycare facility was faced with the challenge of living in the shadow of a nearby 11-story building. By wrapping the complex in a 520 m2 ribbon of white titanium Ductal®, (complete with a thriving interior garden), the architects, ECDM (Emmanuel Combarel and Dominique Marrec), have defined an innovative, landscaped interpretation. This was a completely new type of Ductal® use for EDCM -- who had previously utilized the material's superior properties on two other projects. Interview with Dominique Marrec, architect.


First Ductal ® panel produced by the precaster in May 2011.

For the Tomi Ungerer museum, one of the issues of the project was to create a ramp accessible for people with reduced mobility within the museum's garden. By combining mechanical resistance and fineness (between 15 and 30 cm thick), Ductal® enabled us to create a wonderfully light footbridge almost 50 m long which unwinds through the garden with real fluidity.

Do you think that Ductal® is the material of the future for façades? Our demands on buildings and in particular, the façades of buildings are increasing. The firstdegree technical answers produced by sustainable development must be open to reflections on materials, form and proportion, ornamentation. As materials for which there are no formal preconceived ideas and which have exceptional ductility, UHPCs open up areas for experimentation where there is still everything to be discovered.

And what role does Ductal® play in the Budin daycare project?

The Pierre Budin daycare facility will open its doors at the end of 2011.

Before the Budin daycare project, you designed and built two very different projects in Ductal®: the Thiais bus center and the footbridge at the Tomi Ungerer museum. Can you tell us why? The bus center was the first project where we used Ductal® on that scale. We were attracted by the structural properties of this ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC), as well as by its consistency and ductility. It was because of these qualities that we created a textured skin, 3 cm thick, that is an extension of the street -spreading over the sidewalks and the façades, establishing itself at the top curtain-wall section and folding over to form the roof, enabling an tailored response to a progressive design brief that is in tune with the urban minerality of the site.

Although by its very essence a daycare center is a place of freedom, discovery and experimentation for young children, the security requirements of the design brief, combined with the requirements of the Climate Plan adopted by the City of Paris and certification based on the reference system for educational buildings, place such restrictions on the project that it has become somewhat of a paradox. As a result, the façade is somewhere between a bunker and a cocoon, both protective and gentle, containing a "soil-grown" hanging garden, resolutely opening up this little facility that is so introverted within the district. Created with prefabricated 3 cm thick Ductal® panels with curves and counter-curves and an amplitude of 20 cm, the façade of the daycare facility is self-supporting, separated from the post/beam structure of the building, air-tight and water-tight. In this sense, the use of Ductal® in this project reflects a successful outcome of prior work (with this material) completed at the Thiais bus center. Combined with 25 cm of insulation, the façade meets the specifications of the City of Paris' Climate Plan, with an energy consumption of 50 kw/h per m2 per year. An inner lining puts the finishing touches to the façade system.

® Prototypes of the Ductal®panels at a scale of 1:2, produced and assembled to validate the process. The upper panel was protected by an extremely white surface coating.



® The Atrium demonstrated the many technical and architectural advantages that are possible with a Ductal®UHPC cladding system.

The Atrium: pushing the envelope with Ductal® cladding

Beyond its architectural perception, a building envelope can provide important technical benefits such as thermal insulation, cooling/shade from the sun, and/or impact resistant barriers. Thanks to Ductal's combination of superior properties, each of these technical aspects can be achieved while, at the same time, providing architects and engineers with the freedom to design sustainable, attractive facades that are ultra-thin and lightweight, with irregular, complex shapes, curvatures and customized textures. The "Atrium", located in downtown Victoria, Canada, is a building that clearly demonstrates the many technical and architectural advantages that are possible with a precast


Ductal® ultra-high performance concrete cladding system. Designed by Franc D'Ambrosio of D'Ambrosio Architecture + Urbanism, this 19,000 m2 (204,000 sf), "Class A" commercial and retail space uses state-of-the-art energy efficiency and environmental control measures. Consequently, the project is targeted to achieve a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold rating through the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC). The design focuses on a seven storey open atrium at the center of the building. Its interior walls undulate in an attractive, free form curvature, compared to the straight lines of the street side façade. The D'Ambrosio team wanted the façade to be the same on all parts

of the building, which presented several challenges for conventional systems. For instance, tight radial curves would require a flat panel system to be cut down in order to make the turn which would then create several unattractive seams and openings within the façade that could also reduce energy efficiency. Because of these challenges, Ductal® was chosen for the spandrel panel section of the unitized curtain wall system. Ductal® is highly moldable and well suited for innovative precast solutions. The architect even created his own hand-designed pattern in clay; transferred to the mold. Lafarge's precast team in Calgary produced all of the panels (approximately 690) from three differ-


ent molds and, because of the material's ultra-high strength and ductile properties, conventional rebar reinforcing was not necessary. By eliminating the need for a concrete covering over rebar, a tighter radius was achievable, allowing the panel to span the entire curve, without gaps. In addition, white Ductal® premix was used, providing enhanced energy efficiencies through heat reflectance. Appreciated for many decades to come With the absence of rebar, the panels are much thinner and lighter than conventional concrete panels. According to D'Ambrosio, "The Ductal® panels are extremely light and strong for their thickness. Besides allowing for tight radius curving walls, the thin slabs contributed to making the perimeter walls thinner, which gave extra internal wall space for the displacement conditioned air supply system." The lightweight panels met two important requirements: first; the overall structure of the building could be reduced since it no longer had to carry a higher weight and second; the panel lightness made it possible to keep the seismic components at a minimum. (Victoria has one of the highest seismic ratings in Canada.) Structural engineer/precast panel designer, Gamal Ghoneim, DIALOGTM (formerly Cohos Evamy) further explains, "UHPC is gaining popularity in many sectors of the construction industry in North America. This is not only because of the material's superior strength and durability characteristics (in comparison with normal or high performance concrete) but also because of its self consolidating and flowability characteristics. For the first time in North America, these characteristics were utilized to achieve straight and curved cladding panel thickness less than 20 mm in a building façade with face texture. A stone or granite panel of the same dimensions would have been four to five times heavier and much thicker, due to lack of tensile resistance of such materials." As the new headquarters for the B.C. Ferry Corporation and several other businesses, the Atrium is a unique, bustling public space by day ­ and a vibrant facility at night, offering a range of dining and entertainment options. Completed in the fall of 2010, it is a beautiful, prominent landmark in Victoria ­ that will be appreciated for many decades to come.

® The Ductal®façade allows the light to filter through, while diffusing it into the rooms. (© Philippon-Kalt Architectes-Urbanistes).

A seniors' care home with a selfsupporting façade

The new seniors' care home (établissement d'hébergement pour Personnes Agées Dépendantes [EHPAD]) under construction in the Rue Blanche, Paris, brings a fresh example of the creative and sleek-looking selfsupporting façade. To dress this building, which will house 71 beds for elderly people suffering from Alzheimer's, architects Brigitte Philippon and Jean Kalt have designed a second skin in Ductal®. Filtering the light for better diffusion into the rooms, this latticework façade is resonant of bamboo stems swaying in the wind. "Our wish was for the latticework façade to be as smooth and fine as possible," explains Jean Kalt. "The thinness and height of the Ductal® strips, as much as 7 meters long, make it possible to give the soaring impression we were after." The technical studies, manufacture of the panels, transportation and installation of the latticework design were contracted to Fehr. "The specific requirements of this project, a self-supporting Ductal® façade comprising strips held in place by stainless steel armatures, led us to devise a process which has been the subject of an ATEX assessment of technical engineering by the French Scientific and Technical Center for Construction (CSTB)", explains Laurent Heintz, Technical Director at Fehr. The prototype pieces will be installed this summer with the project to be fully completed by the end of the year.



BBC-Effinergie ­ HQE® ­ BREEAM® ­ LEED

The diminishing supply of non-renewable energy sources and accumulating waste from the life cycle use of buildings are leading industrialized countries to push for reduced energy consumption in buildings. Owners are now more aware of these concerns around sustainable development and seeking secure environmental certification for their projects. Different qualifying systems exist, at both a national and international level: HQE® in France, and BREEAM® or LEED in English-speaking countries.

Developed in the UK in the early 1990s, BREEAM® (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) certification was the first method developed to evaluate and improve the environmental performance of buildings. Used initially for office blocks, it has subsequently been expanded for commercial, industrial and residential applications. BREEAM® certification assesses the energy impact of buildings on the environment, using 9 categories: energy management, health and well being, pollution, transport, land use, biodiversity, materials and water. Points are awarded under each of these categories, depending on the performance achieved. A weighting system is used for aggregating these scores, to arrive at a single global score. BREEAM® is the most widely-used reference standard world-wide, with 110,000 buildings certified and more than half a million in the process of obtaining certification. The BREEAM® system, together with impact classification, has spawned other systems, such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, developed in the USA in 1994. The American system is based on scoring against 34 criteria. It assesses the environmental impact of construction sites, water consumption, the energy efficiency of buildings, the choice of materials used, the environmental quality of the interiors, and innovation. Architects need to incorporate these new systems and find or develop innovative solutions that will bring their architectural expression in line with the demands of a growing "green" awareness culture, developing around the world.

Source: ­

New Ductal® solutions for Thermal Performance

ITI: A long-lasting and robust thermal break in reinforced Ductal®

In France, a more rigorous set of thermal regulations for all new buildings is due to come into effect on January 1, 2012. These regulations target a 60% reduction in average energy consumption, with an annual limit of 50 kwh/m2 (currently the BBC-Effinergie eco-label standard), compared to the current average of over 200 kwh/m2. Ductal® provides creative solutions for both interior thermal insulation (ITL) and exterior thermal insulation (ITE) to improve the performance of the building, along with all the durability factors of a concrete façade. The old technique, utilized by construction companies in France, allows for the presence of significant thermal bridges located at the meeting-points between the slabs, walls and vertical or horizontal veils. This mode of construction will no longer comply with the revised demands of the incoming thermal regulations (RT 2012). To reduce heat losses, which can represent up to 30% of the building's total heat


Rockwool Ductal® rib embedded in the rock wool Slab

Ductal® rib reinforcing bar

Shell reinforcement Slab edge reinforcement Concrete shell

The Ductal® thermal break "slab-structural wall"

loss, it is necessary to use a special concrete (such as Lafarge's Thermedia®, which eliminates 40% of losses), or install thermal breaks to thermally isolate façades and balconies from the interior slabs. Laws set into place in France have resulted in 80% of all new social housing

structures being built with these thermal breaking systems. The Ductal® thermal break can reduce thermal bridges by 70% (Psi = 0.3), and is therefore an innovative, high-performance and vital solution for concrete façades, in almost any cli-

Daycare facility completed in 2008 (Architect Bruno ROLLET) - Paris White Ductal® cladding over external thermal insulation

mate. Placed between the slab and the veiling wall, and at balconies, it allows the building to achieve the performance level designated for a low energy-consumption build (Bâtiment Basse Consommation - BBC-Effinergie) and is set to become the future RT 2012. The mechanical link between the floor and the façade is provided using Ductal® ribs with 60 cm spacing, reinforced by two steel rods. This ensures long-term durability, with the ribs surrounded in Rockwool, providing high quality insulation. A Ductal® thermal break system makes it possible to maintain outstanding quality in any façade's cladding and has been designed for use in veiling wall-slabs, structural walls, balconies, and seismic conditions. For more information, contact a Ductal® representative or Fehr Technologies.

lems of leaks and insulation for the building. Ductal® can be used as a rain screen; allowing the creation of large panels (2 x 3 m, for example) which can the placed over the insulation and membrane to covering the structure in conventional concrete. Similarly, Ductal® can provide full sealing of the façade, eliminating the need to have conventional back-up concrete as the weather barrier. The Pierre Budin daycare facility designed by Dominique Marrec in Paris's 18th district (district) demonstrates the possibilities for using Ductal® in this way. (see p. 2) Unrivalled slenderness The fiber composition of Ductal® ­ between 2 and 4%, depending on whether metallic or organic fibers are used, compared to 1% on average for conventional fiber-reinforced concrete ­ means it is possible to dispense with passive reinforced structures. Furthermore, Ductal® is a particularly resistant material, naturally impermeable to water and air, thanks to its very low porosity. It is also hardwearing and has a resistance to marine climates or freezethaw which is significantly superior to traditional concretes. The watertight façade in Ductal®, combined with internal plaster cladding and a column-and-slab or slab-structural wall arrangement, makes it possible to significantly reduce the overall size requirement of the wall for a given thickness of insulation. This provides a gain in useable square meters ­ not an

insignificant argument in urban areas of high population density, where prices per square meter are often prohibitive. Long-lasting façades with esthetic appeal The flexibility of Ductal® allows it to be used in a very wide range of projects. It is particularly wellsuited for the creation of curves, shells and organic, supple forms - allowing the design of mineral lacework that was previously unimaginable. It can be colored directly in the mixture, using mineral pigments. Composed of fine powders, it replicates the imprint or texture of the mould (into which it is poured) with the greatest precision, enabling an infinite variety of textures. With this advanced design flexibility, the material can provide the appearance of a wooden façade, offering all the warmth and nuances of this noble material, but without the associated maintenance constraints. It is valued by the heritage and conservation association, "ABF" (Architectes des Bâtiments de France) for its ability to bring back to life, in a more durable form, materials that have deteriorated such as Tufa stone, terracotta tiles, and wood. All of these solutions and reference projects are intended to stimulate the imagination, push the potential applications of Ductal® even further and invent solutions for the façades of the future which will allow us to respond to the challenges of reducing the thermal demands for new and existing buildings.

ETI: Exterior thermal insulation with mineral façade

Exterior thermal insulation (ETI) is increasingly finding favor with designers in resolving the problem of thermal bridges. It is often utilized when more delicate façade systems are involved, such as curtain walls, or multiple punch openings in a concrete facade. Thanks to Ductal®, ETI can now combine an esthetically appealing mineral look with the lightness of the other materials, whilst addressing the prob-

* RT 2012, Regulations governing thermal control, coming into force in France and with the stated goal of reducing energy consumption by 60% in buildings between now and 2013.



® The award winning Ductal®Liquid Wall unitized curtain wall system - exhibited at the Center for Architecture, New York

Sam Lahoz photos

The Liquid Wall: Revolutionary Curtain Wall System debuts at the New York Center for Architecture

In conjunction with Architecture Week 2010, the Center for Architecture -- home to the American Institute of Architects New York (AIANY) Chapter and the Center for Architecture Foundation in New York -- launched its first exhibition, "innovate: integrate". The exhibit featured innovative technologies and new construction techniques that will help architects reach the environmental and economic goals necessary for a sustainable built environment in the 21st century. With a theme of material advancements, energy harvesting and daylight optimization, the "innovation" section of the exhibit featured six finalist entries of AIANY's "Open Call for Innovative Curtain-Wall Design." The winner of this competition was Peter Arbour, Assoc. AIA, and RFR Consulting Engineers for their "Liquid Wall", who designed


a an innovative, unitized curtain wall system constructed with Ductal® ultra-high performance concrete and stainless steel. The Liquid Wall derives its name from its innovative design features. Fabrication by casting gives it inherent form-finding capacity; the liquid state of poured Ductal® provides a degree of unparalleled design freedom in highly glazed, unitized curtain wall design. With its undulating profiles and frozen flow aesthetic, the Liquid Wall is capable of taking forms both complex and dynamic. Another aspect is the flow of liquids throughout the façade panel. The spandrel cassette assembly captures solar energy, transmitting it to the interior for use as radiant heat, domestic hot water, air dehumidification and inverse condensation cooling. Fabricated by casting methods which affords the designer an unlimited range of expres-

sive possibilities, its performance qualities include improvements in natural day-lighting and ventilation, direct integration with building mechanical systems and 100% material recyclability. For the duration of the exhibit, a prototype was constructed, installed and prominently displayed to passersby through the Center's double-height front window. Ultimately, the Liquid Wall is a revolutionary system that combines economical, customdesigned mass production with long-life, upgradable, energy-saving components. While highly customizable, the units still fit within existing practices of unitized curtain wall construction. A portion of the Liquid Wall was also exhibited at the 2011 AIA show in New Orleans. Contact:


Leather-look furnishings welcome visitors at Lafarge headquarters

The spirit of innovation and progressiveness at Lafarge was the inspiration for architect Alain Moatti when faced with the task of redesigning the lobby of the Lafarge Group head office in Paris. Consequently, it has become a welcoming space, drawing on the advantages and flexibility of Ductal® unique properties which enabled the production of new furnishings that combine the suppleness of leather and the purity of ultrahigh performance concrete.

"Designed in 1995 by architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, the lobby of the Lafarge Group head office in Paris was intended to express the dynamics, spirit of innovation and ever-closer links forged by Lafarge with designers," explains Léopold Lombard, the Group's Director of Architectural Relations. "Having already collaborated several times with the agency Moatti et Rivière, responsible for highly prestigious project realizations such as boutiques for Yves Saint-Laurent and Baccara and the head office of the couturier Jean-Paul Gaultier, it was an entirely natural move for us to invite them to rethink our entrance area. Our brief was to make this a very mineral space, a showcase for Lafarge savoir-faire (know-how) when it comes to modernity and refinement." For Alain Moatti, "the capacity to bring together the logics of craft and industry is a constant motivation in our approach to materials. On our previous projects in Ductal®, we have been able to understand and value its flexibility of working and reflection ­ the qualities that allow us to imagine ultra-fine forms and finishes, to achieve precisely the result that we had in our heads. For the Group's flagship lobby area, its reception desk and seating, we wanted to introduce this idea of blocks of concrete fashioned in a serpentine shape, into which leather panels are inset. This large, smooth surface exudes an interior energy, comparable to that of weathered tree-trunks or roots." A veritable sculpture in Ductal®, this furniture releases a force, a power, softened by the contrastive device of its skin in supple leather. The restrained modesty presented by its white and beige alliance, combined with vibrant angles (which only the fine qualities of Ductal® can achieve) and the continuity of texture between leather and concrete, reveal "the full freedom given to designers by this emblematic material."

Press review January 2011 Façade for the Lille Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art: Latticework made out of perforated concrete panels At the site, discover the Lille Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, designed by the studio of Gautrand Architecture. The façade takes the shape of a hand, with the extremity of each of the fingers being clad in a white latticework using Ductal®. For its manufacture, a vacuum injection technique was developed by the engineering and design group, Betsinor Composites. Bétons(s) November/December 2010 Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation haute couture in Ductal® The magazine Béton(s) devotes a double page spread to the Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation, made of white Ductal® with organic fibres. Lafarge Ciment developed a vacuum moulding process used by Bonna Sabla for the prefabrication of 16,000 panels to clad the building. Read about The Atrium project in Concrete Technology Today (Vol. 2, 2011); "Ductal® proves to be the right choice for a high seismic zone". "DIALOG", engineers and panel designer for The Atrium project (p. 4) are recipients of a prestigious "Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE) Excellence in Innovation in Civil Engineering Award".

Ductal® panels for Lafarge's North American headquarters

In 2010, Lafarge North America moved its headquarters from Herndon back to Reston, Virginia and into a new space that was retrofitted and aligned with Lafarge's sustainability goals. During the design process, each material was chosen for its ability to assist in the achievement of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification for existing buildings. The new Ductal® panels lining the common area walls are no exception. Fabricated by Artisans in Concrete in New Jersey (just 240 miles from Reston), qualified the panels to assist with the "locally-sourced" materials credit. As well, Ductal's recycled content contributed to the overall recycled content credit for the building. The panels are also part of Lafarge's overall branding image in its new corporate space; which provides a showcase to display some of the company's materials and demonstrate how they benefit the constructed environment. The Ductal® panels, situated at the elevator bays and front reception area on each floor, were designed to show off the material's ability to be cast into ultra-thin, light pieces while the pattern of circular cut outs was idealized to mimic a modern version of lace.



Ductal® Design Competition

We are pleased to announce that architectural students, Pat Danielson and Sam Ostrow of Vancouver, British Columbia, are winners of the very first North American Ductal® Design Competition. Sponsored by Lafarge/Ductal®, in collaboration with the University of British Columbia (UBC) School of Architecture + Landscape Architecture ("SALA"), the main objective for this competition was to provide an environment which would allow Master of Architecture (MArch) students to learn about Ductal's ability to permit freedom of design and creativity, thanks to its superior combination of properties including strength, ductility, durability and aesthetics. The challenge for the students was to design a revolutionary precast building component that utilizes these properties, pushing the idea of enclosure, while addressing the various complications that may be created by moldworks, casting and deliverability in the precast industry. Judged by a panel of local architects, criteria included: innovation (revolutionary design); a strong understanding of the material; elemental focus; and viability in the marketplace. The winning design, "Cascading Biospheres", is an innovative "Living Wall" concept that clearly meets this criteria. An impressive, cast production of this design is prominently displayed in the City of Vancouver Archives building, and the highlight of their new exhibit, "Forming: A New Archives for Downtown Vancouver", open to the public June 14 through September 2.

The new site

A new look for the Ductal® website

If you want to enter the world of the most reputed of the Ultra-High Performance Concretes (UHPC) the place to visit is the new site at More ergonomic, design-conscious and comprehensive than ever, this new site aims to be the most extensive and comprehensive site, featuring a range of innovative projects which this material has inspired amongst designers. It has been designed by Ductal's French and North American teams, driven by a desire for sharing experiences and ideas among all users of the material. The range of entry points has been pared back to satisfy the expectations of all those who are interested in the material ­ architects, engineers, project managers, suppliers and manufacturers as well as designers/ artisans. "Structures", "Architecture", "Design", each provide different entry points which allow users to select a type of building project, enabling them to find all the applications that have been developed. A dedicated search engine Quick access and a useful search engine will assist you with creative ideas or technical questions. It also helps us to respond to requests for partnerships with Lafarge, for instance; if you are planning to use the material for any of the applications that are possible thanks to its exceptional properties. The dedicated search engine provides simple, 2-click access to all the information associated with selected keywords, allowing you to find an architect's testimony, a technical performance sheet, or a specific realization. This site is intended for the community of enthusiastic users inspired by Ductal®. Please feel free to leave your contact details and any suggestions you may have. This will help us make it even better ­ with you, and for you. Information:

Editorial board:

Jean Martin-Saint-Léon - Lisa Birnie - Laurence Jacques - Dominique Corvez Photo credits: Photothèque Lafarge - ECDM - Fondation Louis Vuitton pour la Création/Mazen Saggar - Max Lerouge - LMCU - © Philippon-Kalt ArchitectesUrbanistes. Design/production: All Write 01 53 59 83 83 Printing: Imprimerie BM Allo Lafarge : 0 820 385 385



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