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News 13 sep 2021



The ambition of the Dutch government is clear: 50% less use of raw materials by 2030 and a waste-free economy by 2050. The real estate sector plays a vital role in realizing this ambition and is on the eve of perhaps the most important transition yet. The transition to a circular building economy. Circularity is seen as the means to reduce the use of raw materials and the production of waste. Madaster and SGS Search are entering into a new collaboration in this context: the identification and registration of materials from existing real estate.

Existing real estate as a raw material bank

The built environment contains some 80% of all materials used, causes 40% of global primary energy consumption and roughly one-third of (man-made) CO2 emissions. Making the built environment more sustainable therefore has real impact. ‘The goal of this collaboration is to map the quality, value and reusability of the huge resource bank that is existing real estate,’ said Martijn Oostenrijk, Director of Madaster. ‘We combine SGS Search’s inspection capacity and construction expertise with the power of Madaster as a central materials database to identify existing buildings on a larger scale.’

From building material inventory to material passport

A building materials inventory by SGS Search provides insight into the total structure and composition of a building, including the dismountable and reusable elements. The building is mapped at material level and the value of these materials is determined. Because the inventory is consistent with the methodology of a NEN 2767 condition measurement, the implementation is also efficient for existing properties. By registering the inspection data in the database of Madaster, materials become traceable and infinitely available. From Madaster, anyone can create a web-based materials passport of their building. This passport contains a lot of information about the quality, origin and location of materials and provides insight into the circularity and financial (residual) value of a building.

What are the benefits?

With a materials passport, reusing materials becomes easier, smart design is encouraged and waste is eliminated. This is an important component for demonstrating and proving sustainability. The passport provides insight into the CO2 footprint of materials and the extent to which it can contribute to the organization’s CO2 targets, and offers property owners and managers benefits in various building phases:

  • During (renovation) demolition: insight into released material flows and insight into promising building elements for high-quality reuse makes it possible to give substance to circular demolition and construction and renovation objectives.
  • In the operation phase:
    o Asset management is easier with a materials passport, due to better and more efficient sustainable management of a building.
    o In renovation, adjustments are easier to implement due to insight into the adaptability of the building.
    o When (re)financing, insight into the fixed, material and financial value of a building is important. Good documentation can reduce risks in (re)financing and ensure lower premiums.


SGS Search is part of SGS and the inspection and consultancy agency for the (sustainably) built environment. With the building materials inventory, SGS Search offers insight into the quality and value of buildings on element and material level.

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