Across Canada, and around the world, affordable housing continues to be a challenge for families. Together, Habitat for Humanity Kingston Limestone Region and Lafarge Canada collaborated on a project to combine sustainable solutions with much needed homes that will help local families live in safe, stable housing. Every Habitat house changes lives: those of the families who help build them and pay an affordable mortgage and all those in the community who partner with Habitat to offer a hand up to homeownership through donations, volunteering and support.
Stable housing has a tremendous impact on family and community health, improved education outcomes for children and increased financial stability and opportunity. The cascading effects are far-reaching and transformational. Habitat homes are sold at fair market value to selected local families and financed by Habitat through long term, no-interest mortgages with payments geared to the household’s income.
Through the opportunity offered, Habitat homeowners are able to achieve the strength, stability and independence for themselves in their new homes. At the same time, Lafarge’s role as a builder of progress is dedicated to empowering communities with our local, affordable housing and infrastructure solutions and support essential human rights, such as education, health and making a living.
“Each year, we celebrate our anniversary with a fundraising campaign. We partner with local businesses, service clubs, and individuals to raise $1000 a day for as many years as we have been working in Kingston and the surrounding area,” explains Erin Haworth, Community Engagement Manager for Habitat Kingston. “This year, we have a goal of raising $27,000 in 27 days.”
It isn’t an easy goal, but last year, the Kingston community – including Lafarge Canada – stepped up to the challenge. Habitat’s townhome project was an ideal fit for the ‘Houses of Tomorrow’ project – a global initiative by members of the Holcim Group to provide innovative, near zero CO2 footprint cement-based materials around the world. The Houses of Tomorrow initiative involves careful selection, design and use of materials which leverage low carbon standards in the overall construction, and especially application of near zero embodied energy concrete designed by incorporating low carbon content cement.
“Lafarge beat our original request by agreeing to donate 26 tonnes (80 m3) of their brand new ECOPact Zero / ECOPlanet, zero carbon concrete!” exclaims Haworth. The project is utilizing this industry- leading technology to supply concrete to the footing, walls, and floors of four townhomes which will provide four families the opportunity to purchase their own affordable home.
“Our sustainability goals overlap safe housing with reduced climate impact,” explains Rob Cumming, Head of Environment & Sustainability for Eastern Canada. “The ECOPlanet material used for this project recorded less than half the kgCO2/mt emission over a regular portland cement.”
ECOPact concretes reduce carbon emission and build sustainability into project right from the start whilst meeting CSA and ASTM standard specifications for concrete (25-50MPa). “We are very excited and grateful for the partnership we have with Lafarge. As we strive to design and build our homes with more energy efficient elements and sustainable products, it is a perfect opportunity for us to have Lafarge generously donate their ECOPact Zero carbon concrete mix for this project,” says Deb Wilson, Director of Construction. “We applaud Lafarge on their commitment to our Habitat project, and for being leaders in producing greener and more sustainable products to help protect our environment.”
“We are excited about this first milestone and are looking forward to the future supply of our ECOPlanet solutions,” shares Rob. “Helping our community and our planet feels really good!”
About Lafarge Canada Inc.
Lafarge is Canada’s largest provider of sustainable construction materials and a member of the global group, LafargeHolcim. With 6,000 employees and 350 sites across Canada, our mission is to provide construction solutions that build better cities and communities. The cities where Canadians live, work and raise their families along with the community’s infrastructure benefit from the solutions provided by Lafarge consisting of aggregates, asphalt and paving, cement, precast concrete, ready-mix concrete, and road construction. www.lafarge.ca
About Habitat for Humanity, Kingston Limestone Region
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroots effort on a community farm in southern Georgia. Founded in 1994, Habitat for Humanity Kingston Limestone Region is one of 49 local Habitat organizations in Canada and part of the global network of Habitat for Humanity that operates in more than 70 countries around the world. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, please visit habitatkingston.com.
Manager, Communications – Western Canada
Lafarge Canada Inc.
Cathy Borowec, CEO
613.548.8763, Ext. 203