Authors: Jeroen Verberne (Copper8), Germien Cox (Madaster)

The Madaster Platform continues on! Following the release of the Madaster Circularity Indicator (CI), in September of last year, a new version became available in May. The CI has been developed to encourage owners, financers, designers, builders and manufacturers to apply circular construction, and the indicator has become considerably more comprehensive. This comprehensiveness was based, among other things, on market feedback, expert knowledge and Madaster Platform partners. Below, Jeroen Verberne (consultant at Copper8) explains this development in greater detail.


The first CI version enabled users to determine a building’s level of circularity by using IFC and/or Excel files. It provided insight into a building’s level of circularity, on the basis of the data supplied. The degree of circularity is determined on the basis of circular values during three phases of a building’s life cycle: (i) construction, (ii) use, and (iii) end of lifespan. The CI score has been developed in such a way that it allows comparison between building scores. For the first CI version, the circular properties of all materials were logged and set by Madaster (e.g. type of material applied, expected average lifespan and waste scenario). Subsequently, a CI score was allocated to a particular building on the basis of available data and the determined properties. Once the CI score was determined, the user was able to add to the data and adjust IFC and/or Exel models. There was, and still is, no restriction on the number of changes or adjustments. After each adjustment (i.e. new files having been uploaded), a building’s CI score would be re-determined. The score was based solely on what was known, while in practice only few models were 100% complete.


The new CI version now also recognises products, in addition to the materials! By way of automatic mapping (key words), data from IFC and Excel files are being linked to a ‘Madaster database’. This not only saves the user some time by using the required data from the IFC files, but it also means the data that are used for determining the CI score are more reliable and complete. The circular properties of all materials, determined by Madaster, have progressed into a dynamic set of variables that can be adjusted for each material and product. This means users may apply project-specific data and register ‘individual’ products and materials for, for example, steel, concrete and various types of flooring.

Madaster’s development of the Madaster Circularity Indicator (CI) is based on a study by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (2015), which is based on measuring circularity. Various experts contribute to this development at Madaster, including those from Copper8, EPEA and TNO.

Because a CI score can now also be determined on product level, circular choices can be made on both building and product level. The dynamic set of variables now also contains information on: rapidly renewable aspects, recycling efficiency and the waste from recycling processes.


Next to the addition of products to the CI, the new version now also contains correction factors. A building’s CI score is corrected by two factors that also take completeness of Madaster’s source data into account in the total score. A reliable CI can only be achieved for buildings for which all products and materials have been registered. It is important that the source file used is of the highest possible standard. A suitable basis, here, is the BIM Basis-ILS.


In order to expand on input and reliability, external databases that contain reliable data —preferably provided by the suppliers themselves— must be coupled, and a ‘Circulaire BIM Information Development Manual’ (IDM) must be employed as a guideline, as well as a fixed set of rules for the implementation of IFC files.

Madaster is currently talking with partners who could provide input in the form of information about the materials applied, utilisation time versus consumption period, distinction between the chances of high-quality and low-quality reuse, and the impact of materials on people and nature.

Furthermore, Madaster is currently developing the financial tab, which will show the historical, current and future value, at the level of materials, products, elements, buildings and portfolios. The future coupling between the circularity and financial tabs will provide the link with financial value, on both product and element level, which will increase the financial value of real estate.