Field: Sustainable construction
Global Technical function: Online sharing
Technical Function Unit: Promoting information sharing
Geographic Area: Spain

Public availability of an online construction/demolition waste catalogue in Spain

The construction/demolition waste catalogue program is managed by the Spanish Ministry for the Environment in collaboration with CEDEX (Spanish research and experimenting center for public construction). The program aims  to use such waste as a raw material for sustainable construction.

The challenge

An increasing amount of waste is one of the most severe problems is the world. Particularly, construction and demolition waste can be very is difficult to treat and manage properly.

The construction sector is very material intensive and ´consumes many resources. Finding recycled materials that could be used in buildings could help to decrease the environmental impacts of the sector.

The use of recycled materials in construction, allows on the one hand to reduce the demand for natural resources and on the other , to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

The measure

To tackle the above mentioned issue the Spanish Ministry for the Environment started a program and built an online sharing model and electronic catalogue where anyone can search for materials that could be reused in construction. The program is supporting private demand of waste as a construction material and in that way creating new business.

The website is based on the idea of promoting information sharing and it makes an online catalogue of waste materials that could be reused available to the public.  In the catalogue one can search by type of residue or type of application and it offers very specific information of different types of materials. The catalogue works so that users can add and modify the information which ensures that the catalogue is up-to-date all of the time. Users can also send questions and requests for further information.

Once the user goes to the website for the material, details as regards the  material can be found, as well as proposals for how it could be reused. For example used tires can be easily re-used as, for example, the foundations of a highway, a sports field  or even for filtrating wastewaters.

See for example used tires: http://www.cedexmateriales.vsf.es/view/ficha.aspx?idresiduo=287&idmenu=327

Lessons learnt

The development of the catalogue would not have been possible without vast networks and different departments of the CEDEX (Spanish research and experimenting center for the public construction) offering their expertise, as well as research results on the materials and construction processes.

Not all of the materials can be added to the catalogue as there are legislative issues related to some of them restricting their use or markets.

Further deployment

The catalogue is constantly being developed further as new possibilities for reuse are continuously being invented. The development is also made possible by a suggestion box where anyone can leave comments about the contents and material specifications, and the catalogue is developed based on the feedback of the users.

The estimated GML for this case is 7.