OCTOBER 7, 2021, KINGSTON, ON: 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!”