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Distinguishing facts from fiction

Auteur: Germien Cox, Madaster

As an independent research organisation, TNO has been providing independent and reliable solutions to the major challenges facing society for more than 85 years. By connecting people and knowledge, TNO is able to create innovations that sustainably strengthen the competitiveness of industry and the wellbeing of society. More than 3200 professionals work on this every day. TNO focuses on innovations in nine societal domains, including the domain of Circular Economy & Environment, which focuses largely on 'shaping and accelerating sustainability'. Ultimately, sustainability is perhaps our greatest social challenge. After all, how are we all going to live up to the agreements made at the climate conference in Paris at the end of 2015 and put a circular Netherlands on the map in 2050? And to what extent can we achieve the intermediate target of a 50% reduction in primary raw material requirements by 2030? Companies, public authorities and other organisations are diligently looking for solutions. TNO can help.

Willemijn van der Werf, as Business Developer for Circular Economy within the unit 'Circular Economy & Environment' at TNO, is responsible for the development of projects in which several partners have been involved for a long time. From B2B projects to research projects such as those in Horizon 2020 (the European subsidy programme for research and innovation in Europe). According to Willemijn, one of the innovations within the circular unit of TNO is the BOB (BOuwmateriaal in Beeld) model. This innovation project that TNO started about 3 years ago is based on the idea that insight into the potential supply and demand of building materials is necessary for the building and construction industry to set up a circular economy.

What exactly is this BOB model? Willemijn van der Werf replies: "The BOB model provides a large-scale estimate of the materials present in the Dutch built environment, including demand forecasts for these materials based on construction, demolition and renovation scenarios from the EIB (Economic Institute for Building). In addition, the model shows the environmental footprint of the potential reuse. A unique feature of this project is that it was mapped by combining public databases with building profiles developed by TNO." The BOB model is not a completed project and will be further developed in the future. Willemijn van der Werf explains: "The potential supply of materials in a given region is identified on the basis of EIB forecasts on renovation and demolition. However, we can refine and detail this offer by working together with other parties.

Think, for example, of cities that share with us their demolition calendar and schedule in relation to renovation projects. In addition, the BOB model contains a lot of environmental data. This makes it possible to perform strong impact calculations at regional level so that well-founded choices can be made. Useful when renovating or reusing."

The fact-based BOB model clearly provides national and local authorities with a reliable tool to better address circular issues in the built environment at area level. Issues relating to demolition, renovation or reuse. However, in order to be able to provide information about the materials used at the building level as well, TNO sought cooperation with Madaster. Willemijn van der Werf explains: "With the BOB model we have a lot of data from the built environment of the whole of the Netherlands at our disposal. TNO is still unique in this respect. However, it is not very detailed. Madaster provides information on materials used at building level. This is very interesting for the further development of the BOB model. It gives a much more detailed picture of all the materials used in the built environment throughout the Netherlands. BOB also offers Madaster users more insight into regional data that may be important in the demolition, renovation or reuse of buildings in which they are closely involved as owners or managers."

TNO's collaboration with Madaster clearly leads to an enrichment of databases for both parties. More data and more detailed data. The ambition is to link both databases and possibly make (a part of) them accessible via a sneak preview or perhaps via the Madaster user interface. As a result, the supply and demand for materials in the built environment can be better linked, which facilitates the creation of a circular economy by the building and construction industry.

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