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Blogs 16 may 2023

Data for circularity

Madaster Norway recently participated in a pilot project concerning a product data template for the practical implementation of reuse mapping. A common data structure, standardized data templates as well as assessment methods are needed to facilitate and automate the exchange of data on circularity and reuse. This will contribute to efficient processes and a more reliable exchange of information and, eventually, to a more circular building sector.

We need to agree on data templates for reuse

To meet our climate targets, it is essential to reduce emissions from the building and construction sector. Adopting a circular economy also necessitates the use of more sustainable materials, as well as greater reuse and recycling of materials. Achieving both objectives requires us to establish standardized requirements for documenting the properties of building materials. For this purpose, two international BIM standards — EN ISO 23386 (Data Dictionaries) and EN ISO 23387 (Product Data Templates (PDT)) — have been developed. The Norwegian industry is working hard to implement both standards as well as new processes to increase reuse and build circular. A common data structure, standardized data templates and assessment methods are needed to facilitate and automate the exchange of data on circularity and reuse. This will contribute to efficient processes and a more reliable exchange of information and, eventually, to a more circular building sector.

Data for circular economy

With these standards, all actors will be able to share the same set of reliable, machine-readable properties, definitions, and building objects. This will make BIM processes more efficient and information exchange more reliable. The standards will help ensure quality and completeness in descriptions of buildings, equipment and infrastructure. To support this, a coalition of industry organizations in March 2021 formed the PDT Norge association. The purpose of the association is to promote standardization of the exchange of product information in the building, construction and real estate industry, by developing, managing and distributing digital product data templates (PDT), in accordance with the NS-EN ISO 23386 and NS-EN ISO 23387 standards.

An active Madaster Network

In June 2021, the Norwegian Minister of Local Government and Modernization, established ‘The Coordination Council’ (Samordningsrådet), a collaboration between government and industry with the goal of achieving a more sustainable industry through digitalization. The council has partly funded and supported several pilot projects, with the aim of facilitating efficient design and construction processes, sustainable consumption, reuse and digitalization. Among these are two pilot projects to propose Product Data Templates for describing circularity and reuse mapping. Madaster Pioneers, partners and management have been active in this field and involved in pilot projects because we see the need to agree on which data to share in the digital ecosystem for circular buildings. Mapping of circularity and reuse potential is carried out by reuse advisors in varying documented processes. One of the challenges the industry faces is that these advisors use different tools or Excel spreadsheets for analysis and for preparing reports/results, and neither methods nor data requirements are standardized or defined across suppliers. The reuse value of data obtained in today’s mapping processes is low for the actors that are involved in aspects other than reuse mapping. The most recent project was initiated by Madaster, our pioneers Rambøll and partner Rehub, and facilitated by Mindshift on behalf of Samordningsrådet. It aims to develop a data template for the practical implementation of reuse mapping of Hoffsveien 1D, owned by Madaster pioneer Storebrand Eiendom. Based on the experience gained from using this template, the project established a general template for the mapping of reuse potential in buildings, and presented PDT Norge with a draft Product Data Template (PDT) for the reuse of building materials. We also identified areas that should be standardized to facilitate uniform mapping and the exchange of reuse data throughout the value chain.

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