The IDI and the UIB sign an agreement to promote the development of zero kilometre construction materials

The Balearic Institute for Business Innovation (IDI) has signed a collaboration agreement with the Balearic University Business Foundation (UIB/FUIB) to research and develop new materials based on waste and local raw materials, to incorporate them into the design of new products for the productive sectors.

According to a press release from the Department of Energy Transition, Productive Sectors and Democratic Memory, the agreement has been signed within the framework of the ‘LOOP, design and circularity’ project.

The IDI, an entity dependent on the Vice-Presidency and Regional Ministry for Energy Transition, Productive Sectors and Democratic Memory, launched the ‘LOOP’ project last April with the aim of raising awareness of the concept of circularity and linking it to design professionals and companies in order to create products that meet the standards of aesthetics, functionality and circular economy.

Through this collaboration between ‘LOOP’ and UIB/FUEIB, the Architectural Constructions and Building Engineering Research Group has identified different materials from the rejection of locally sourced materials that have great potential for transformation, making a clear commitment to local materials, which are linked to the territory and its circularity.

In this way, the first results have already been obtained with the research carried out by Carolina García Espinar, who currently works for the luxury property construction company, CSV Construccion, as site manager – within the framework of a final degree project (Building) at the UIB, tutored by Dr. Francesc Masdeu and Dr. Joan Muñoz – in which she has created a new zero-kilometre material with materials of organic origin, such as almond shells, olive pits, grape skins and flour, together with binders such as pine resin dissolved with acetone and crushed prickly pear cactus leaf. All these materials have been combined to create a variety of samples for the study.

The final combinations and dosages that show good cohesion, hardness and stability open up a new field of research for the development of new products.

So the next step is for designers to work with the new material to show its full potential. At this point, the scientific development has fulfilled its initial objective, and it is then that design, as the discipline capable of delivering the value, comes into play.

LOOP’ encourages the implementation of design as a strategic element in the competitive improvement of companies and brings together researchers and design professionals to develop products that meet the standards of aesthetics, functionality and circular economy.