Quantification of construction materials in existing buildings (material intensity)
The existing building stock can be considered as an accumulation of physical material resources that could be used in the future to reduce the burden on primary materials. This page presents a list of academic research that focusses on quantifying the materials found in existing buildings. There are typically two main approaches to material stock assessment and these are referred to as top-down and bottom-up (Figure 1). As explained by Marinova et al (2020), “the top-down approach calculates stocks at the aggregate level, as the result of net-additions-to-stock of a material over a period of time. The bottom-up approach divides the stock into categories of products or applications and estimates the stock by characterising each of its components with a material intensity ratio (e.g. kg/m2)”.
Figure 1 - Top-down and bottom-up perspectives (Schiller, Muller & Ortlepp, 2016, p.4)
Research on this topic ranges from individual developments, cities and regions to global assessments and covers a variety of building types (residential, commercial, etc.). The provided list is not exhaustive.
Marinova, S., Deetman, S., van der Voeet, E. and Daioglou, V. (2020). Global construction materials database and stock analysis of residential buildings between 1970-2050. Journal of Cleaner Production, 247, 119146.
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