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Build It Once, Build It To Last

In his article on “20-storey buildings”, Dave McGinn writes about the vision of building high-rises from wood. Just because something can be done doesn't make it a sound option. We must look to fact and research combined with sound principles of environmental stewardship.

The safety of mid-rise cross-laminated timber buildings has yet to be established and backed by “rock solid data.” Tall wood buildings are facing tremendous hurdles, as seen in B.C. last year with the fire that destroyed a six-storey building under construction in Richmond, or the growing fire safety backlash in Britain's wood building industry. Hurricane Sandy and Japan’s tsunami last year are tragic reminders of our need for resilient construction.

On the environmental front, recent cradle-to-grave lifecycle assessment research from MIT and UBC has firmly concluded that multi-storey concrete buildings outperform similar wood-framed structures through superior energy performance over their lifetime.

Not to be ignored is the significant impact that wood harvesting and clear cutting has on biodiversity covering millions of acres of Canadian woodlands. Or that manufactured wood products may travel huge distances to a building site whereas concrete is always produced locally.

Our driving principle should be: build it once, build it right, and build it to last.

Michael McSweeney
President and CEO
Cement Association of Canada


Sydney Tar Ponds Remediation Wins Top Award

Sydney Tar Ponds remediation, where blended cements were used to stabilize and remediate the cooling pond, wins top award at the Canadian Urban Institute's 2012 Brownie Award for best overall project. On overview of the project is available here from the site CanadianConsultingEngineer.com, which d ... Read more...

Earth Rangers and Holcim Canada Announce a National Partnership to Help “Bring Back the Wild" for Migratory Song Birds in Canada

The partnership between Earth Rangers and Holcim Canada will focus on three migratory song birds found on Holcim Canada properties. Highlighting a different species each year, this year's conservation project with the Nature Conservancy of Canada.


Lafarge Wins Environmental Award from Canadian Construction Association for Calgary International Airport Work

Lafarge Wins Environmental Award from Canadian Construction Association for Calgary International Airport Work. ... Read more...

Cement Industry Applauds Government of Canada Investment in Carbon Capture and Reuse Initiative

OTTAWA, June 28, 2012 – The Cement Association of Canada  has applauded the Government of Canada’s announcement that it will invest almost $1million in Ontario-based Pond Biofuels towards the advancement of Canadian biofuel technology and expertise. This investment will be made under the Federal Eco ... Read more...