This Working Group that began its work in 2016 works on the study and detection of trends and strategic areas more significant to improve the competitiveness of the productive fabric of our region in the macroactivity of Habitat, which encompasses according to the economic specialization pattern of the RIS3 a: construction materials, construction and civil works and habitat.

The construction sector in recent years has not paid the same attention as other industrial sectors to the improvement of production methods and new trends that allow increases in productivity.

After these years of crisis that have significantly affected the sector, there is a rebound in the economy that should favor the rebound of this sector, although it must face new constructive challenges linked mainly to:

Sustainability criteria with the aim of reducing energy consumption in the building sector and the associated CO2 emissions, and which implies, among other aspects, the proper use of resources and their recyclability.

Criteria in which the digitalization of processes and the application of BIM methodology are present.

This sector is a complex system in which different agents are involved: manufacturers, prescribers, builders, users and that uses different materials.

The sector is aware of its environmental impact, of the consumption of resources, of the waste emissions in the life cycle of buildings, both in the manufacturing processes of the materials, and in the construction, use of the building and subsequent demolition.

By this reason it seems necessary to know in depth what issues and objectives are important, for fulfilling the responsibility of the sector at the time of proposing measures that help to favor this productive change towards circular economies and of high efficiency, both energetic and constructive. In this aspect and aligning efforts with the RIS3, although this activity continues to represent an important economic weight in the region, it does not have scientific or technological expertise in exclusive areas of the sector, however there is the possibility of generating added value in this area. activity, from collaboration and knowledge of other macroactivities.

In the Regional Strategy of Research and Innovation for an Intelligent Specialization of Castilla y León, 5 thematic priorities have been identified, and according to the revision of the same in the 2017 annuity, they have not undergone major changes. The application of the areas of action identified can also be applied in this macroactivity.

Agri-food as a catalyst for the extension of innovation in the territory

This priority is related above all when adding industrial value in the development of biomaterials for use in construction.

Manufacturing and processing technologies, especially in transport sectors such as Automotive and Aeronautics, making materials and components the keys to leadership and sustainability.

As the strategy underlines this priority, the potential of the Region to position itself competitively in the models of Industrial Digitalization or Industry 4.0, Circular Economy and Sustainability is unquestionable, these models being the main challenges it faces. the construction Factors such as ecodesign and eco-innovation of both materials and products (both construction and civil works) are and will be relevant in construction. It is also important the collaboration of the automotive sector and infrastructures to promote measures that support the development of the electric vehicle (that the advance in the development of this type of vehicles, also translates into an advance in infrastructures)

Natural Heritage, Cultural Heritage and Spanish Language and endogenous resources, basis of territorial sustainability.

In this priority, the collaboration of habitat is more identified to position itself within the models of Cultural Industries, Circular Economy, Fight against Climate Change and Efficient Use of Resources, especially in the use and enhancement of endogenous resources, acting in production and reuse of by-products, application of treatment technologies for heritage conservation, process efficiency, reuse of materials, etc.

R & D in Information and Communication Technologies, Energy and Sustainability for regional global competitiveness based on the transversality of technologies and knowledge.

Being this line the most transversal of all, Habitat also collaborates in the areas on which to focus efforts such as:

  • ICT (technologies for industry 4.0, Big Data, Green ICT in all sectors)
  • Energy in all areas (energy efficiency, renewable energy, energy rehabilitation of industrial processes, etc.)
  • Technologies for sustainability (ecodesign, efficiency in raw materials, recycling, recycling and recovery industry, climate change, etc.)

These Working Groups carry out annual reports that help to detect, identify, communicate or promote these trends and strategic areas in the different sectors identified in our region in order to help boost growth and competitiveness policies.

The work developed in the past years has been linked to the use of endogenous resources and the importance of them not only from the point of view of obtaining raw materials and provide greater added value to products, but also by the possibilities that offers development in the communities in which this activity is based.

Sector's Data

Socioeconomic context:

It is well known that the construction sector has been one of the most affected by the crisis period, as evidenced by the decline in the weight of the construction industry both nationally and regionally. Specifically, at the regional level, it is currently at 5.6%, while in the years prior to the crisis it was around 10%.

Contribution of construction to GDP

€ million National Regional
2015 2016 2015 2016
Gross Domestic Product at market price 1.079.998 1.118.522 53.563 55.392
VAB Construction 54.927 57.005 3.010 3.097
VAB Construction on GDP 5,1 5,1 5,6 5,6

Data obtained from the INE. National and Regional Accounting


The number of companies in the construction sector registered with social security in this last annuity has increased both nationally and regionally.

National Regional
2016 2017 Variación 2016 2017 Variación
113.485 119.103 4,9% 6.942 7.105 3,3%

In relation to the size of the companies, it is usually a very atomized sector with a high percentage of microenterprises (in the national case 86.8%).

Employment data

In the following graphs the evolution of the active population of the sector in the last 9 years is represented. These values ​​being the annual average of the data provided by the INE in the Labor Force Survey. In both cases it shows how job is recovering, being at regional level this increase of 4.7% in the last annuity.

Also as important data of the sector, it is worth noting that it is mainly made up of workers over 55 years old, a very old sector, with a good part of its workers close to retirement. For this reason there is going to be a loss of knowledge since they are the best connoisseurs of the trade, although most do not have official qualifications. Added to this problem is the lack of generational relief, because it is not an attractive sector for young people after the period of crisis suffered, which makes them think of other professional sectors, and with little interest from young people to qualify.

(National Employment Evolution)

(Regional Employment Evolution)

(Construction sector in Castilla y León by age range)

EMPLOYMENT EVOLUTION: Source Active Population Survey. Annual average data in thousands of people.
CONSTRUCTION SECTOR BY AGE RANGE: Source Active Population Survey. Annual data in thousands.

R + D + i activities (national range)

  Constrution IRS Code Numbers
(41,42,43)  2015
IRS Code Numbers
(41,42,43)  2016
Total National Industry year 2016
number of innovation companies 900 1.020 18,475
Spending on innovation 145.145 126.630 13.857.481
% turnover in new and improved product 8,43 5,99 16,68

% of companies that consider the following values of great importance Construction IRS code numbers (41,42,43) Total National Industry
a) Cost factors: Total 34,13 32,24
Lack of funds from companies 24,56 21,99
Lack of funding from sources outside the company 20,18 17,66
Too high cost 26,23 24,82
b) Knowledge factors: Total 25,11 20,62
Lack of qualified personnel 15,18 13,03
Lack of information about technology 13,5 10,81
Lack of information about markets 13,15 9,85
Difficulty finding partners to innovate 12,71 11,19
c) Market Factors: Total 25,05 20,78
Market dominated by established companies 17,56 14,84
Uncertainty regarding the demand for innovative goods and services 19,96 15,75
d) Reasons not to innovate: Total 42,47 35,05
It is not necessary, due to previous innovations 13,63 11,32
It is not necessary, because there is no demand for innovations 36,85 30,41

Regarding to the main factors that hinder innovation, they emphasize that they do not innovate because there is no reason to innovate, mainly because there is no demand for innovations, this factor is followed by cost factors, mainly the cost that is too high to innovate, having a weight similar knowledge factors, which highlights the lack of qualified personnel and market factors in which highlights the uncertainty regarding the demand for innovative goods and services.

According to the observatory of construction, this sector has two handicaps added to the reception of innovations and digital technologies that are the lack of young people in the sector and the lack of qualification through the educational system of job profiles with competencies for innovation.

In this sense, the resistance to change and the lack of digital and innovative culture is making the digital transformation of the sector more expensive. This slowness along with the demand for new job profiles highlight the gap between the pace of integration of technology in the sector and its demand.


Considering the importance of the construction materials, the data of the monthly reports provided by CEPCO Spanish Confederation of Associations of Manufacturers of Construction Products are shown.

The loss of jobs in the construction materials sector, since January 2008, reaches, in the first quarter of the year, the figure of 258,684. The unemployment rate stands at 10.96%, 5.78% below the national rate.

Unemployment Rate 2008-2018


Exports of Construction Materials in Spain grew during the first two months of the year by 7.3%, with respect to the same period of 2017.

The cement demand maintains a growth close to 12%, chaining twelve months of positive growth.

The analysis of the sector at national level points to a slow recovery that is taking place unevenly for the different activities of the Construction Industry and in the different territories. The evolutionary study of the indicators of the sector and its labor structure are very far from what they were in the years prior to the crisis. The recovery, to be solid, must be strengthened on stable and sustainable values ​​that avoid a new precarious situation for the sector.

In the case of Cyl, the number of affiliates increases in the month of January 2018 to 59,616, of which 59% belong to the General Regime, which experiences an annual increase of 6.9% and 41% to the Self-employed Regime, with a slight decrease of 0.7%. The number of companies registered with Social Security at the beginning of the year is 7,170, which represents 10.6% of the total number of companies in the community.

The bidding for public works in Castilla y León grew 34% in 2017, closing the year with a volume of 922.1 million euros, which represents 7.2% of the total tendered nationwide. Of this volume tendered 39.8% corresponds to the regional administration, 32.5% to the central and 27.7% to the local.

As for the authorized visas for homes in 2017, these have meant a total of 4,955, the highest figure in the last six years (73% new work, 2.2% expansion and 24.8 in reform)

The number of contracts registered in the fourth quarter of 2017 was 8,772, 2.8% more than the same quarter of the previous year. By activity highlights the increase in Civil Engineering, followed by Specialized construction activities and finally construction of buildings. In terms of most contracted occupations, it stands out: masons, building construction laborers and operators of facilities and machinery.

Number of contracts
Interannual Variation

Source: Construction Observatory


New construction materials and sustainability

YEAR 2016

Target: To describe the trends and processes by which materials such as wood or cement can contribute to reduce the environmental impact in construction (focused on its use in buildings). To do this, we have searched for:

  • Describe as an element of competitiveness and as an opportunity the production and / or use of these new materials and techniques in the sector.
  • Analyze how these materials can be a strategic element from the environmental and sustainable point of view.

New constructive trends and industrial analysis of ceramic and stone materials in Castilla y León


The materials included belong to the sector of industrial minerals, ornamental rocks and aggregates. The choice of these materials has been based on their more direct relationship with construction products and in a parallel way, considering natural stone, its use in Architectural Heritage, an area in which Castilla y León stands out significantly.

Objective: On the one hand to know the business fabric and describe new trends and constructive processes in the use of stone and ceramic materials, taking advantage of the great potential of the community of mineral resources, and on the other hand to know the training required by the extractive and production companies of these materials and show the sector the educational offer of the community.

The Circular Economy a determining factor in the construction


Target: Show trends and processes of circular economy in different construction areas, mainly in the demolition and manufacture of materials and know their evolution and implementation in Castilla y León.

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