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ACCIONA Construction researches new materials to improve air quality in nearly zero-energy buildings

  • The ECO-SEE project explored the properties of sustainable materials to improve indoor air quality in buildings constructed with these materials.
  • The initiative was financed by the European Union and 18 institutions took part in it.

ACCIONA Construction's R&D Centre participated in the recently concluded ECO-SEE research project (Eco-innovative, Safe and Energy Efficient wall panels and materials for a healthier indoor environment), which searched for alternative materials to improve air quality and energy efficiency in nearly zero-energy buildings.

The ECO-SEE project, financed by the European Union as part of the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development, focused on the use of sustainable materials to create healthier, more energy efficient construction elements applicable to these buildings. Some of the materials used include sheep’s wool, hemp, cellulose, wood and clay. Trials have shown the capabilities of these materials to regulate temperature and humidity in buildings and to remove contaminants from the air.

ACCIONA Construction, through its R&D centre, was one of the 18 project participants, which also included universities and research centres, sector associations and medium and large companies from eight countries.

ACCIONA’s participation focused on the physical, chemical and acoustic aspects of the sustainable materials listed, as well as the scalability of photocatalytic lime coatings and the installation and monitoring of new ECO-SEE products.

Trials were run in two demonstrations: a panel installed on the façade of a building at the Seville machinery depot and in two experimental sheds at the ACCIONA DemoPark in San Sebastián de los Reyes, Madrid.

The results show that these sustainable materials reduce heating energy consumption by 30% and air-conditioning by 10%. Acoustically, the results of the ECO-SEE panel were similar to those of conventional panels, in line with the strictest requirements of the Technical Building Code. Indoor air quality measurements confirmed that CO2 levels, volatile organic compounds and other chemical compounds were also lower in the demonstrations in which the materials developed in the project had been used.

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