Cement-Free Mortar

KALK has developed a mortar without cement, which can be used in new construction and even be recycled, making it the world’s fi rst mortar to be Cradle to Cradle certified.

KALK’s main invention, Vitruv, is the world’s first Cradle to Cradle-certified function mortar. Following ancient building methods, the mortar is based on lime, sand, and nothing else. By using lime instead of cement, the mortar can be made at a lower temperature than cement-based mortar, and can reabsorb CO2 when it hardens. The masonry can be disassembled, enabling both lime mortar and bricks to be recycled for new buildings.
KALK also collaborates with the REBRICK project to recycle mortar washed from bricks. This way, recycled mortar can be mixed with the Vitruv mortar, which can consist of up to 20% recycled mortar. KALK’s production is powered by wind energy from the company’s own wind turbines, and in time the company aims to be completely waste-free.

Relevance of solution

Buildings are responsible for 36% of CO2 emissions in Europe and generate 30% of the region’s total waste.12 By making both mortar and construction materials recyclable, waste and demand for new materials from the sector can be greatly reduced, leading to less CO2 emissions.

Triple Bottom Line


When using Vitruv mortar, up to 30% less CO2 is discharged per m2 of masonry wall than when using conventional cement mortar.


Because of open poresin the lime mortar, walls made with Vitruvcan breathe, creating a healthier indoor climate.


By having a plan for reusing existing building materials,KALK can save energy and materials.


  1. European Commission. “Energy: Buildings.” (Undated.)
  2. European Commission.“Environment: Waste.” (2016.)