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Respo Circular Terrazzo turns construction waste into beautiful flooring

Respo Circular Terrazzo is high-quality flooring made onsite from construction waste, creating a circular economy for materials otherwise headed for landfill. “Respo Circular Terrazzo is sustainable, designable and a good economic investment,” states Tom-Roald Wollertsen, Head of Marketing & Business Development at Ellingard.Published 8 Dec 2023 (updated 10 Dec 2023) · 3 min read
View from the top of spiral staircase made of terrazzo

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At a glance

  • Terrazzo made from construction waste
  • Produced and delivered onsite
  • Reduces costs and carbon emissions

The generic term “terrazzo” may be unfamiliar, but everyone recognises the stunning floor tiles that date back to ancient times. Resourceful Venetian mosaic workers in the 16th century are credited with launching the “modern” terrazzo era when they discovered a way to reuse marble remnants. While terrazzo started out as a sustainable product due to its long lifetime, today this innovation has made it even more sustainable.

“Most products and materials are made from producers all around the world, which is then shipped thousands of miles. This causes environmental damage from mining, logging, long-distance transport and landfill waste when they are discarded,” Wollertsen explains.

Sustainable terrazzo provides high-design options

Respo Circular Terrazzo is mosaic flooring made from discarded building materials such as ceramic tile, marble, granite and glass from windows and office walls. The unique composition is then mixed and shaped into flooring. It can also be used for stairs, walls and furniture.

At the mixing stage, a variety of samples are made for the customer, who can choose which one they prefer. “The design options are unlimited,” says Wollertsen. “Customers can play with the shapes, colours and binders. They can make it their own.”

The end result is beautiful, polished, high-quality flooring that represents the customer’s values.

Respo Circular Terrazzo is delivered as an entire package, from project design and mapping materials to production and installation of the finished product, preparation of a project-specific EPD and after-market activities. In most cases, the flooring is made and installed onsite.

Terrazzo flooring made from discarded building materials
Respo Circular Terrazo's sustainable process using discarded materials slashes carbon emissions compared with the conventional process using new materials.

Green Respo Circular Terrazzo makes economic sense

“High sustainability is good economics. Every time we consume energy, we spend money too,” says Wollertsen.

He points to the many places where the product lowers costs while at the same time reducing CO2 emissions and other environmental impacts: no factory or mining operations, no transport of heavy materials to construction site, no landfill waste or transport from the construction site to the landfill.

“We estimate that our sustainable process using discarded, used materials reduces CO2 emissions by 70 to 80 per cent compared to the conventional method of buying new materials,” he adds.

Moreover, Respo Circular Terrazzo will last an impressive 200 years. “Our customers are making an investment in their buildings’ future and in the coming generations. Put another way, they are buying themselves a good conscience.”

Circular economy creates added value

Adopting a circular economy approach in a high-growth, high-waste sector such as construction presents a huge opportunity to capture more value. For investors and construction clients, this means an improved return on investment, while also contributing to achieving carbon emission targets.

“Our product has hit the market at the right time in terms of sustainability. Customers want green products, and more people are concerned about climate change as extreme weather worsens,” says Wollertsen.

The company that makes Respo Circular Terrazzo, Ellingard Gruppen, has customers in Norway and Sweden and is involved in a project in Portugal.

Respo Circular Terrazzo was named a finalist in the Norwegian Construction Industry’s Innovation Award 2023.

Grey terrazzo flooring under brown leather booths
The design options for Respo Circular Terrazzo are unlimited.


Østre Aker vei 103, 0596 OSLO, Norway


Tom-Roald Wollertsen

Head of Marketing & Business Development

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