A design company based in Mallorca, Spain, has developed an environmentally friendly building material made from masonry waste generated on the islands. This water-absorbent mortar not only creates zero additional waste products, but also eliminates emissions from transportation, as it is produced locally.
Mallorca is a popular tourist destination and generates a significant amount of construction waste. However, the rest of the Balearic Archipelago, which includes several small islands, does not produce as much waste. Nevertheless, the creation of this new green building material is a step forward in sustainable construction and waste reduction.
This innovative approach to waste management and construction is not only beneficial for the environment, but also for the local economy. By using locally sourced materials, the carbon footprint of transportation is reduced, and the waste generated on the islands is repurposed into a useful and practical product.
Properties of the material
In addition to its environmental benefits, the use of this water-absorbent mortar also has practical implications for construction. The material is durable and long-lasting, making it a suitable choice for a variety of building projects.
Overall, this new green building material is a positive development for the Balearic Archipelago and serves as a model for sustainable construction practices. By repurposing waste and reducing emissions, this design company is making a significant contribution to the preservation of the environment and the promotion of sustainable development.
Waste management in the Balearic Islands
Despite their small size, the Balearic Islands generate a substantial amount of construction and demolition waste, according to LOOP, a design initiative from the Balearic Islands’ Institute for Business Innovation. The waste, which consists of ceramic, stone, and concrete, amounts to 250,000 tons annually.
The issue with this waste is that there are limited options for sustainable landfilling. As a result, the waste must be transported to the mainland, requiring a fleet of barges and trucks waiting on the shore, as well as tipper trucks and bulldozers to transfer it. This transportation process not only contributes to emissions, but also puts a strain on the local infrastructure and economy.
To address this challenge, LOOP is working to find innovative solutions for waste management and reduction in the Balearic Islands. By repurposing waste into useful products, such as the water-absorbent mortar, LOOP is not only reducing the amount of waste that needs to be transported, but also promoting sustainable development and preserving the environment.
The design initiative is a positive step towards a more sustainable future for the Balearic Islands, and serves as a model for other small island communities facing similar waste management challenges. By finding new and innovative solutions, LOOP is helping to create a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable future for the Balearic Islands and beyond.
How did LOOP achieve a zero- waste material?
In an effort to create a more sustainable and circular supply chain, LOOP isolated the major waste products generated on Mallorca and analyzed their potential relationships. The islands produce a significant amount of ceramics, including roof tiles and bricks, which, when combined with crushed stone from walls and foundations and a natural white cement, create a hygroscopic mortar.
This innovative building material is not only suitable for all major construction projects that must meet strict EU energy standards, but also for the renovation of historic properties. By repurposing waste into a useful and practical product, LOOP is reducing the amount of waste that needs to be transported and promoting sustainable development in the Balearic Islands.
The hygroscopic characteristic of the mortar created by LOOP makes it ideal for maintaining a controlled environment and keeping humidity at bay. The mortar’s ability to attract and hold moisture helps prevent the buildup of moisture in sensitive environments. Additionally, the mortar’s drainage properties allow water to either seep into the ground or be captured and stored in lower layers for reuse or controlled release.
This unique combination of properties not only makes the mortar a practical solution for construction and renovation projects, but also a more sustainable one. By reducing the need for additional products to control humidity and manage water flow, the hygroscopic mortar created by LOOP is helping to promote a more efficient and environmentally-friendly building process.
Overall, the creation of this hygroscopic mortar is a testament to the innovative solutions that can be found by repurposing waste materials. By finding new and creative uses for waste products, LOOP is helping to create a more sustainable future for the Balearic Islands and beyond.
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