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Proposal by Maite Sainz & Macari de Torres.

Accredited consultants in Eco-innovation, product design and technological development.

Subsidized by ACCIO, the Department of Territory and Sustainability of the Generalitat de Catalonia, and the Waste Agency of Catalonia


Appearance and surface: Rugged surface texture, with sporadic appearance of coarse aggregate as finishing texture

Finish: Seen

Placement: exterior and interior

Colour: earth

Density: 2100Kg / m3

Compression resistance: 4.0 N / mm2

Cycle resistance moistening / drying = suitable

Resistance to erosion: apt

Water absorption test by capillarity: 4.5%

Oxidable organic material content: 0.06%

Impact resistance :> 24.6 joules

Coefficient of thermal conductivity: 0,778 W / Mk

Specific heat: 2.05 Mj / m3k

Thermal resistance: 0.514 m2.k / w

Thermal inertia – thermal damping: 83.74%

Thermal inertia – thermal gap: 9.15 hours


The objective of the Fetdeterra stand project at Construmat, was the presentation of Tapialblock. The stand was designed with the premise of coherence among the stand and the new product. Our efforts were focused on enhancing the presence of the material, and turning the visit to the stand into an experience to enjoy the sensations transmitted by the material itself.

Design Bases of:

-Use of a single material, the Tapialblock.

-Quick assembly and dismantling, thanks to the prefabricated system.

-The blocks are dry placed, to be able to reuse 100% of the blocks, and not generate any waste.

-Minimize costs in material, assembly and disassembly.

With this project, we obtain a positive social impact of the acceptance of the product, which is confirmed with the 1st prize obtained as innovative material at the fair. Minimal impact on the environment, achieved through the non-generation of waste, before, during or at the end of the event. Low economic impact by eliminating the cost of the material, by reusing 100% of the product, the blocks are recovered and then placed in a single-family house.

Recycled Tapialblock: Eco-innovative Materials for a Circular Economy

Recycled tapialblock: prefabricated block with earth and recycled aggregates without baking. 


Recycled Tapialblock is a prefabricated block with earth and recycled aggregates without baking, where the principles of Circular Economy are applied in the construction sector.

It is an Eco-innovative project. We use 100% recycled material. In the manufacturing process, existing precast concrete technology is reused. The product obtained is unique and capable of meeting the actual needs on the market.

The development of the project is based on solving environmental problems that affect the construction and rehabilitation of buildings, with the aim of Reducing, Recycling and Reusing.

– Reduced consumption of natural materials and waste

The construction sector is one of the economic activities that generates the most waste. Incorporate recycled soil and aggregate from construction and demolition waste, which is integrated into the base material of the prefabricated block, minimizes the extraction of raw materials, and reduces waste from the activity itself, avoiding the dumping of waste, revaluing it to introduce it back into the market, with which public spending on management of waste also decreases.

– Selection of materials with low environmental impact

Replace the earth with recycled material, no hazardous substances, no added chemical additives, the resulting product is recyclable and reusable.

– Reduction of the environmental impact of production

It is manufactured by reusing existing technology, the production process is adaptable to any prefabricated plant, cooking of the product is eliminated, energy consumption and CO2 emissions are reduced, it does not generate waste. 

– Optimization in handling, storage and transport

9 blocks per pallet, divided into three floors in height. Thanks to the size and strength of the block, uniformity and ease of handling are achieved, while saving space and cost-effectiveness of loading, unloading and transporting the product.

– Reduction of environmental impact during use

Thanks to the properties of the earth, among these, the thermal inertia capacity allows us to improve the energy efficiency inside the inhabited spaces, where it also regulates naturally the humidity and the temperature of the air.

– Lifetime increase

It is a durable material, we have the example of milenial rammed earth buildings that are in perfect condition.

In the event of demolition, it can be reused as a raw material, with a minimum of treatment, closing the life cycle of the product.


At Fetdeterra, we are ACCIO accredited advisors in the areas of green economy, eco-innovation, product design and technology development.

Fetdeterra is created with the aim of promoting a more sustainable, ecological and respectful construction with the environment. Using 100% recyclable materials, low economic and energy cost, which allows the construction of healthy and efficient habitats. We study what are the properties of the materials, what should be the optimal composition to obtain the maximum benefits. At the same time we open a path for its normalization and adaptation to current legislation.

We analyze the old construction systems to identify the advantages and correct the shortcomings, providing innovative constructive solutions for their use in the current context.

After the positive experience obtained with the initial project of development and creation of TAPIALBLOCK, a prefabricated block with natural extraction of earth, our proposal is to continue protecting and improving the environment, until developing a constructive system with prefabricated blocks, where the whole of the base material is replaced by earth and aggregates 100% recycled RECYCLED TAPIALBLOCK.

– Material

The product consists of gravel, sand, silt and clay from the recycling of excavated soil and inert construction and demolition waste.

The basis of the research is the knowledge of the material, the characterization of the land through standardized laboratory tests, from which the formulations of the land are developed.

Due to the proportion of the chosen format, the strength tests are performed not only on compression, but also on bending and cutting, to ensure that the material is able to withstand the stresses that occur during handling of the product.

– Manufacturing

For the manufacture of the blocks, the existing precast concrete industry is reused. In reference to these factories, we do not find similar precedents, in the case of materials for the Bioconstruction, they are technologically underdeveloped products.

With the adaptation of the machinery and the material to the productive system, the control of moisture, agglutination and mixing of the rammed earth, hardening and quality of the final product is guaranteed.

The material was formulated so that in the manufacture, the components of the rammed earth would be ordered in a random way, producing controlled segregations on the surface, as occurs in a traditional tapial, and thus avoiding the image of an industrialized product.

– Health and benefits for the user

Thanks to the specific properties of the minerals contained in the rammed earth, a healthy, balanced and relaxing environment is created, capable of transmitting a sensation of well-being. The strength lies in its mass, texture and colour.

Rammed Earth is a material that breathes and purifies the air, with thermal inertia to reduce the energy cost of building, regulates humidity and indoor temperature, absorbs electromagnetic waves and provides sound insulation.

– Sustainability for the environment

It does not generate any waste, nor toxic, it reduces CO2 emissions, it is a long-lasting material, recyclable and totally reusable.


Advantages offered by the prefabricated block of Rammed Earth versus the traditional construction system of mud walls are:

  • -Absolute control of the material, curing and product quality.
  • -Knowledge of the data and coefficients of the rammed earth product, for technical code justification.
  • -Constant geometry and regular dimensions.
  • -Reduction of execution time.
  • -Elimination of specialized labour.
  • -Minimization of the necessary materials and equipment.
  • -On-site costs Reduction.

– Handling

Prefabricated Rammed Earth blocks can be cut without problems, they must be manipulated with the help of block lifting clamps, mounted on crane or machine. These will have to guarantee the contact along the lateral surface of the block avoiding differential tensions on it.

– Placement

Placed with a minimum joint between blocks, which allows to introduce the mortar. The same mortar can be used for the base and the grouting of the pieces. It can be polished for a better integration of the joint with the block.

– Finishes and surface treatments

Both indoors and outdoors Tapialblock can be seen as finishing, if preferred, it can be coated or painted, always with materials compatible with the earth to avoid later pathologies.

In the case of coating with mortar, it is recommended to use a mortar of earth and / or lime, and paints based on silicates, minerals, fat lime paste or vegetables, to ensure maximum breathability of the support.


Proposal by Maite Sainz & Macari de Torres.

urbanNext (May 28, 2024) Recycled Tapialblock: Eco-innovative Materials for a Circular Economy. Retrieved from
Recycled Tapialblock: Eco-innovative Materials for a Circular Economy.” urbanNext – May 28, 2024,
urbanNext December 2, 2021 Recycled Tapialblock: Eco-innovative Materials for a Circular Economy., viewed May 28, 2024,<>
urbanNext – Recycled Tapialblock: Eco-innovative Materials for a Circular Economy. [Internet]. [Accessed May 28, 2024]. Available from:
Recycled Tapialblock: Eco-innovative Materials for a Circular Economy.” urbanNext – Accessed May 28, 2024.
Recycled Tapialblock: Eco-innovative Materials for a Circular Economy.” urbanNext [Online]. Available: [Accessed: May 28, 2024]

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