Digital material inventories for sustainable urban mining
Research Project, 2022 – 2027

The main goal of this project is to develop a method supporting reuse and recycling of urban construction materials based on digital twins to save greenhouse gas emissions. Cities are responsible for 70% of greenhouse gas emissions and 80% of resource consumption. Especially, for construction materials, there is a high potential for circular economy (CE) strategies and urban mining. To enable this urban mining of construction materials, a detailed inventory of the material stock is needed. Current modelling approaches use a few representative sample projects and extrapolate the data to the city level. However, to be able to reuse materials and components, it needs to be known where they are, when they will be available, and in what condition they are. Such a detailed inventory does not exist today. The project addresses this lack by using of the concept of an urban digital twin (UDT). The information about the materials will be collected using a unique combination of remote sensing, computer vision, and statistical approaches. Using novel detailed material libraries and machine learning, the information will be added to the UDT. Furthermore, the method of Life Cycle Assessment is developed further to allow for dynamic assessment of the environmental impact of different CE strategies considering the uncertainties. Finally, the methods will be implemented in a prototype tool and tested with stakeholders in two real world case studies as a basis for further utilisation.


Alexander Hollberg (contact)

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Technology

Aida Eghbali

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Technology

Josie Harrison

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Technology

Leonardo Rosado

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Technology

Yinan Yu

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Functional Programming


Digital Twin Cities Centre

Gothenburg, Sweden


Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF)

Project ID: FFL21-0082
Funding Chalmers participation during 2022–2027

Related Areas of Advance and Infrastructure

Sustainable development

Driving Forces

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