Quantification of construction materials in existing buildings (material intensity)
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.
- Climate change.
- Circular economy.
- End of life potential.
- Material efficiency.
- Material intensity.
- Mean lean green.
- Pre-demolition audit.
- Renewable energy.
- Waste and Resources Action Programme WRAP.
- Waste hierarchy.
- Waste management plan for England.
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The Circular Economy wiki is supported by the Circular Construction in Regenerative Cities (CIRCuIT) project, which is funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. CIRCuIT is a collaborative project involving 31 ambitious partners across the entire built environment chain in Copenhagen, Hamburg, Helsinki Region and Greater London. Through a series of demonstrations, case studies, events and dissemination activities, the project will showcase how circular construction practices can be scaled and replicated across Europe to enable sustainable building in cities and the transition to a circular economy on a wider scale.