Establishing new urban communities became one of the engines of economic growth in Egypt and building sustainably is a priority in the country’s 2030 Vision, Khaled Abbas, deputy minister of housing, said.
The ministry of housing plans to establish more than 1.1m residential units during the coming five years and we will be waiting for the recommendations of the LafargeHolcim Forum in order to learn from the output.
This came during the 6th LafargeHolcim Forum for Sustainable Construction that kicked off at the American University in Cairo (AUC), in the presence of Abbas; Swiss ambassador in Cairo, Paul Garnier; CEO of Lafarge Egypt, Hussein Mansi; the global icon of architecture Norman Foster; and more than 1,500 guests from Egypt and 52 countries, including experts, researchers, academics, engineers, architects, and representatives of companies working in the field of architecture.
He added the organisation of such international forums reflect the appreciation of the international community towards the Egyptian government efforts in establishing mega construction projects.
Roland Köhler, chairperson of LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction, said that the challenges we are facing today are global issues. Topics like climate change, population growth, and migration became a shared concern which impact our lives.
“Our group has been present in Egypt since 1864 when we provided more than 200,000 tonnes of building materials for the construction of the Suez Canal. Today, Lafarge Egypt participates in many mega national projects. Our choice of Egypt to hold the forum this year expresses our recognition towards the achievements accomplished by the Egyptian government in the field of construction and the interest of the country to implement the concepts of sustainable construction,” Köhler added.
Hussein Mansi, CEO of Lafarge Egypt, said: “LafargeHolcim Forum for Sustainable Construction is one of the most important events in the field globally and I’m proud its 6th round took place in Egypt. I’m also happy with the strong presence from the construction community whether academics or businesspeople. In regard of the unprecedented development the country is witnessing in the field of constructions and the government’s adoption to sustainable construction concepts to preserve the environment and optimise the available resources, this will help achieve the best results. Building sustainability is not only a global trend, but locally we have held several meetings with the ministry of housing due to their interest in implementing the sustainability concepts to achieve environmental balance within the new communities that are being developed.”
Notably, the 6th round of the forum was organised for the first time in Africa and the Middle East. Over the 3-day conference, workshops on material science were organised in addition to visits to various areas in Cairo to get to learn more about Egypt’s experience in creating new desert cities, slums development, monuments restoration, and water preservation.