Valorization of Building Retrofitting Waste as Alternative Materials in Gypsums

Mercedes Del Río Merino, Jaime Santa Cruz Astorqui, Paola Villoria Sáez*, Carmen Viñas Arrebola, Antonio Rodríguez Sánchez, César Porras Amores
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Escuela Técnica Superior de Edificación, TEMA Research Group, Spain

© 2017 Del Río Merino et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Edificación, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain; E-mail:



The lack of treatment of construction demolition waste (CDW) is a problem that must be solved immediately. It is estimated that the unused CDW generates an increase in the use of new materials close to 20% of the total materials consumed worldwide. Because of that, the use of CDW in building materials is an interesting alternative to guarantee their application. In the last years, many research works are being carried out in order to analyze the viability of using CDW as a substitute for the traditional raw materials that cause high environmental impact.

However, much remains to be done, because these works generally characterize materials but not specific applications that allow the agents of construction to provide assurance required by the projects.


The research group TEMA from the School of Building Construction (UPM) is working on this topic with the University of Seville, University of Burgos and the University of Zaragoza, developing a research project called "Waste to resources (W2R)". The main goal of the project is to develop new materials, elements and construction systems, manufactured with CDW generated in building retrofitting works, to be used in improving the energy efficiency of buildings.


In this article, some of the results of the W2R project are presented, namely the identification, quantification and characterization of the types of waste generated in renovation works to improve the energy efficiency of buildings and their possible applications as fillers in plasters to improve the performance of the original materials with a significant reduction in raw material, and thus reduce the environmental impact.


Concrete and ceramics are the most commonly generated waste categories in building rehabilitation works to improve the energy efficiency of the buildings. These waste categories are generated during the preparation of the surface prior to the execution of the works. Also, mixed waste from insulation materials can be highlighted due to its volume.

Keywords: Resources, Recycling, Building waste, Energy efficiency, Gypsums, Construction Demolition Waste (CDW).