In the news

France to tighten safety rules after Grenfell Tower tragedy

France's urban development minister wants to beef up fire hazard rules for buildings in the light of the Grenfell Tower fire in London last month.

Spain’s cement consumption increases 11% in 5M17

Cement consumption in Spain has increased 10.8 per cent YoY to 4,887,751t in the first five months of the year, according to Oficemen, the country’s cement association.

Council and European Parliament reach agreement on revision of Carcinogens and Mutagens Direc tive

On 11 July 2017, the COREPER voted on an agreement reached by the Council presidency, the European Commission and the European Parliament on the revision of the 2004 Directive to protect the workers from exposure to carcinogens or mutagens in the workplace. The new text must now be formally adopted by the Council and the European Parliament.

Construction sector urged to think about sustainability with ZWS reuse guide

A new guide aimed at helping Scottish construction and architecture businesses maximise the amount of waste they reuse on construction projects has been published by Zero Waste Scotland.

Cementa and Vattenfall focus on zero emissions

Cementa and Vattenfall of Sweden are conducting a pilot study on electrified cement production to achieve zero CO2 emissions by 2030, representing a five per cent reduction in Sweden’s total emissions.

NEPSI Agreement continues to improve workers' health protection

Year on year improvements in the application of the NEPSI prevention principles and good practices are observed through the key performance indicators that the signatory sectors - the extractive, glass, ceramics, foundry industries and the construction materials, including cement, mortar and concrete producers - conscientiously report since 2006.

Spain assesses use of municipal waste in cement plants

Material recycling and energy recovery of waste in cement plants in Spain prevented the dumping of 2.3 million t of waste in 2015, an amount that could fill with 700 Olympic pools.

HeidelbergCement and RWTH Aachen start CO2MIN project

During the three year project, HeidelbergCement and Aachen University of Applied Sciences (RWTH Aachen) will explore the absorption of CO2 from flue gas by the minerals olivine and basalt. In the future, the carbonised materials could be used as a value-added additive in the production of building materials.

Energy performance of buildings: Every little helps

The energy performance of buildings directive should strive for a healthy indoor environment, explains Anneli Jäätteenmäki.

Ministers demand better nature law enforcement

EU environment ministers meeting on Monday called for “substantial improvements” in the implementation of the EU’s nature laws as they rubber-stamped a new plan to step up enforcement

EU will fail Paris climate challenge unless it tackles heating and cooling

The European Union’s fight against global warming is doomed to fail unless decisive action is taken to change the way we heat and cool our buildings.

EU output figures show mixed results

Output in construction grew 2.7% across the EU in the year to April despite a 3.4% fall in the UK, according to latest figures from Eurostat.

New in-depth technology supporting cement sector in further mitigating its CO2 emissions

Today, the CSI published a report focusing on the availability of the latest technologies and the need to scale up research and development that can help the cement industry mitigate its greenhouse gas emissions. The 2017 technology review comprises 52 individual papers on well-known existing technologies (for which the latest development and implementation status is reviewed) and seven additional summary papers describing state-of-the-art and anticipated technological developments that can further enhance mitigation of CO2 emissions in cement production.

Irish construction increases in May according to Ulster Bank

Irish construction activity rose sharply in May. Rises in workloads encouraged further job creation, while sentiment regarding the 12-month outlook remains elevated.

Finance for Innovation: Towards the ETS Fund

On June 12, the European Commission organised an event entitled Finance for Innovation: Towards the ETS Fund. Mr Runge-Metzger opened the conference, noting that this event closes the series of expert consultations, an integral part of working towards the Paris Agreement. On one hand, a strong regulatory framework is required; however, companies must also be able to meet their longer-term goals under ETS. Without innovation, the low-carbon objectives are not attainable.

Why are nanomaterials important?

Nanomaterials are really small. In fact, really, really small. Yet they may have a big impact on your everyday life that makes them exciting and important to know about.

Finance for innovation: Towards the ETS Innovation Fund

To help the industry and the power sectors meet these innovation and investment challenges, the Commission proposal for revision of the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS) post-2020 puts forward an Innovation Fund, which will support innovative demonstration projects in energy intensive industries, renewable energy and carbon capture and storage.

Juncker plan extension backed

The MEPs who backed the extension to the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI 2.0), which is also known as the Juncker Plan, stressed that the EU investment plan should focus on riskier future-oriented investments, which would not otherwise happen, preferably in economically weaker EU regions, and in a transparent way.

EU set for circular economy talks after Council reaches agreement

The first Circular Economy Package trilogue negotiation between the European Council, Parliament and Commission will take place next week (30 May), after the Council agreed a negotiating mandate on Friday.

EU-ETS needs to ensure sufficient flexibility for free allocation share

With many stakeholders  calling for a proper impact assessment ahead of the EU-ETS trilogue, Ecofys, a Navigant company, has published a study, commissioned by CEMBUREAU, which compares and analyses the supply and demand balance in terms of the free allowances available and this for the European Commission, European Parliament and Council proposals. The authors have also assessed the likelihood of the Cross Sectoral Correction Factor (CSCF), the European cement association said in a statement yesterday.

LafargeHolcim poaches Sika boss Jenisch for CEO

LafargeHolcim has poached the boss of chemicals group Sika to become its new chief executive as the Swiss-French cement group recovers from the controversy over its past activities in Syria.

HeidelbergCement launches fourth edition of Quarry Life Award

HeidelbergCement has launched the fourth edition of competition to boost biodiversity in quarries. The 'Quarry Life Award' targets innovative approaches to study and boost biodiversity at quarry sites and aims to raise awareness about mining ecology. New in this fourth edition is the separate assessment of scientific and community project ideas.

EU countries expected to ratify Minamata Convention on Mercury

At least eight EU countries are expected to ratify the UN’s Minamata Convention on Mercury this month – ultimately triggering the global agreement to restrict uses of the substance.

Why Are New Office Buildings Using Concrete More Than Ever?

Though steel has become somewhat synonymous with the modern, high-rise office building, concrete is making a comeback in a big way.

Commission adopts new Action Plan to protect biodiversity and reap economic benefits of nature protection

The Plan consists of 15 actions to be carried out by 2019 to rapidly improve the implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives, which are the EU's flagship nature policies.

Polish cement output to rise 2.5% in 2017

Cement production in Poland increased by two per cent in 2016, according to the Polish Association of Cement Producers. In 2017 cement demand is expected to grow by 2.5 per cent to 16.1Mt thanks to healthy housing and transport infrastructure construction markets, the association said.

MEP strengthens long-term renovations in buildings law

The requirements for national long-term renovation strategies should be strengthened in the revised EU buildings law, MEP Bendt Bendtsen has proposed 

Emissions trading and the sound of silence

MEP Ian Duncan was looking forward to a well-earned rest after earning the European Parliament’s endorsement of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme reform. The European Council looked like it would take its time to agree with it but just two weeks after, as if by magic, it was game on!

Christian Knell elected as new President of VDZ

Christian Knell, General Manager of HeidelbergCement in Germany, was elected as the new President of VDZ in Ulm today. He succeeds long-standing President Gerhard Hirth, who has been at the helm of VDZ for 12 years.

Un fiordo de hormigón, protagonista del nuevo museo Munch en Oslo

Una mole de hormigón de 60 metros de altura emerge a orillas del fiordo de la capital del país escandinavo y, junto a la Ópera —estructura insignia de la nueva zona moderna de la ciudad—, pretende hacerse con las miradas de locales y foráne

Cement: Spanish demand jumps 22% YoY in March

Cement consumption in Spain soared 21.5 per cent YoY in March to 1.1Mt as the housing sector showed some recovery, according to Oficemen, the country’s cement association.

The Netherlands: first Concrete Sustainability Council certificates awarded

The first certificates for Concrete Sustainability Council (CSC) responsible sourcing were awarded during Building Holland, one of the major trade fairs for building, renovation and redevelopment in The Netherlands.

UK construction sector upbeat despite Brexit

The UK construction sector remains sanguine about the risks posed by Brexit. According to the latest Market/CIPS UK Construction Purchase Maangers’ Index (PMI), optimism regarding year-ahead business picked up to its second highest level since December 2015 on reduced Brexit-related anxiety and a resilient economy backdrop.

Updated cement standards guide

Cembureau (the European Cement Association) has published an updated version of its Cement Standards of the World publication, with a complete overview of all standards for cement across 84 countries.