Media Releases

Holcim Canada, University of Toronto and the Ministry of Transportation complete first field application of Portland limestone cement

November 26, 2010

TORONTO, ON – In an effort to pro­mote inno­v­a­tive and sus­tain­able con­struc­tion solu­tions the Min­istry of Trans­porta­tion of Ontario (MTO), the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to (U of T) and Hol­cim (Cana­da) Inc. recent­ly part­nered to per­form the first pub­lic agency tri­al of a con­crete pave­ment sec­tion using a new class of cement called Port­land-lime­stone cement (PLC).

PLC has strong envi­ron­men­tal and sus­tain­able con­struc­tion ben­e­fits. The man­u­fac­tur­ing of PLC gen­er­ates sig­nif­i­cant­ly low­er green­house gas emis­sions and up to 10 per cent few­er car­bon diox­ide emis­sions as up to 15 per cent of the clink­er used to pro­duce reg­u­lar Port­land cement is replaced by lime­stone. The con­crete pro­duced with PLC is as strong and durable as con­crete made with reg­u­lar Port­land cement.

Based on pro­pos­als from Hol­cim Cana­da, the min­istry car­ried out two tri­als on exist­ing Cen­tral Region con­tracts uti­liz­ing PLC. The first tri­al used PLC in a cast-in-place con­crete bar­ri­er wall sec­tion, locat­ed on the west­bound QEW between Brant St. and Bur­loak Dri­ve. Based on the favourable out­come, a sec­ond tri­al was per­formed on Sep­tem­ber 2010 using PLC in slip­formed con­crete pave­ment on an exit lane to Hurontario Street of High­way 401 east­bound (watch how the PLC test­ing is being car­ried out   ). Both tri­als rep­re­sent­ed the first field appli­ca­tions of the new cement in struc­tur­al and pave­ment appli­ca­tions by a pub­lic agency in Cana­da.

The Depart­ment of Civ­il Engi­neer­ing at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to has played an instru­men­tal role in test­ing this con­crete and will be mon­i­tor­ing the tri­al sec­tions over the next three years to gain valu­able insight into field per­for­mance.

Accord­ing to Pro­fes­sor Doug Hooton, who also holds the Indus­tri­al Research Chair in Con­crete Dura­bil­i­ty and Sus­tain­abil­i­ty at U of T Engi­neer­ing, “The con­cretes being used by Hol­cim Cana­da in this con­tract had already result­ed in approx­i­mate­ly a 24 per cent reduc­tion in car­bon diox­ide emis­sions rel­a­tive to plain Port­land cement con­crete by using GranCem, a slag-based prod­uct. In this tri­al sec­tion, PLC has been used in com­bi­na­tion with GranCem and the car­bon diox­ide emis­sions are reduced by 33 per cent com­pared to plain Port­land cement con­crete with­out any antic­i­pat­ed impact on con­crete prop­er­ties or dura­bil­i­ty. The coop­er­a­tion with MTO in allow­ing this impor­tant tri­al shows the ministry’s com­mit­ment to adop­tion of inno­v­a­tive changes to improve green house gas emis­sions asso­ci­at­ed with new infra­struc­ture.”

“Although rel­a­tive­ly new to Cana­da, PLC has been used in Europe for over 25 years,” said Paul Ostran­der, Pres­i­dent and CEO of Hol­cim Cana­da. “Hol­cim Canada’s Cement plants in Mis­sis­sauga, Ontario and Joli­ette, Que­bec cur­rent­ly man­u­fac­ture PLC for tri­als in Ontario and Que­bec. Mov­ing for­ward, PLC will also qual­i­fy for LEED® cred­its.”

About Hol­cim (Cana­da) Inc.
Employ­ing approx­i­mate­ly 3,500 Cana­di­ans and gen­er­at­ing annu­al rev­enues over $1.3 bil­lion, Hol­cim (Cana­da) Inc. is a lead­ing pro­duc­er and sup­pli­er of prod­ucts and ser­vices for the con­struc­tion indus­try, serv­ing cus­tomers across Cana­da.

About Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to
Estab­lished in 1827, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to today oper­ates in down­town Toron­to, Mis­sis­sauga and Scar­bor­ough, as well as in 10 renowned aca­d­e­m­ic hos­pi­tals.

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to has assem­bled one of the strongest research and teach­ing fac­ul­ties in North Amer­i­ca, pre­sent­ing top stu­dents at all lev­els with an intel­lec­tu­al envi­ron­ment unmatched in breadth and depth on any oth­er Cana­di­an cam­pus. U of T fac­ul­ty co-author more research arti­cles than their col­leagues at any uni­ver­si­ty in the U.S. or Cana­da oth­er than Har­vard. As a mea­sure of impact, U of T con­sis­tent­ly ranks along­side the top five U.S. uni­ver­si­ties whose dis­cov­er­ies are most often cit­ed by oth­er researchers around the world.

Watch how the PLC test­ing is being car­ried out at:


For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact:

Junaina Saulat
Exter­nal Com­mu­ni­ca­tions