Better Understanding Building Ressources

Gursans Guven

The building sector is a voracious consumer of primary materials. However, the study of building material use and associated impacts is challenged by the scarcity of publicly available data in the field and the heterogeneity of data organization and classification between published studies. 

A recent study titled “A construction classification system database for understanding resource use in building construction” makes two main contributions. First, the authors propose and demonstrate a building material data structure adapted from UniFormat and MasterFormat, two widely used construction classification systems in North America. Second, the dataset included provides fine-grained material data for 70 buildings in North America.

The dataset was developed by collecting design or construction drawings for the studied buildings and performing material takeoffs based on these drawings. The ontology is based on UniFormat and MasterFormat to facilitate interoperability with existing construction management practices and to suggest a standardized structure for future material intensity studies. The data structure supports investigation into how form and building design drive material use, opportunities to reduce construction material consumption, and a better understanding of how materials are used in buildings.

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