The use of forest-based materials for the efficient energy of cities: Environmental and economic implications of cork as insulation material

J. Sierra-Pérez, S. García-Pérez, S. Blanc, J. Boschmonart-Rives, X. Gabarrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2017 Elsevier Ltd Cork is a very interesting forest-based material for many industrial sectors as a natural and renewable material with a high geographical concentration in the Iberian Peninsula. Currently stoppers for beverages are its most valuable application, but the properties of the cork are an excellent opportunity to eco-innovate. Natural materials are being studied as potential sustainable solutions for building sector to reduce environmental impact and energy use of cities. This study introduces and evaluates the environmental and economic implications of using cork insulation boards as a solution for retrofit buildings in Barcelona metropolitan area. Results demonstrate a high potential of retrofit buildings with cork insulation boards from an environmental and economic perspective, therefore the present capacity of cork oak forest sector in Catalonia is not ready to absorb the potential demand that could be generated, as less than 50% of forests are not managed and harvested. This is also an opportunity for this sector to diversify its market and develop other products that can fit into many other sectors. The use of cork wastes and by-products to produce granulates would be a relevant circular economy strategy in order to substitute other non-renewable materials.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)628-636
JournalSustainable Cities and Society
Volume37
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

Keywords

  • Construction
  • Cork sector
  • Eco-innovation
  • Environmental impact
  • Mediterranean

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