Building Inventory and Refurbishment Scenario Database Development for Switzerland
Journal article, 2017

© 2017, Yale University. Material usage and the related embodied environmental impact have grown in significance in the built environment. Therefore, cities and governments need to develop strategies to reduce both the consumption of resources during usage phase as well as the embodied impact of the current building stock. This article proposes a new component-based building inventory database as a basis to develop such strategies using building stock modeling. The developed database clusters the building stock according to building typology (single-family houses, multifamily houses, and office buildings), age, and the main construction systems of the different building components. Based on the component makeup, it lists the necessary material input and waste output for different refurbishment options for each building component. The advantages of the proposed database structure are shown based on two applications for the developed database for Switzerland. The component-based database allows optimization of refurbishment strategies not only from an energetic perspective, but also with respect to materials, both on the input (sourcing of materials) and the output (waste streams) level. The database structure makes it possible to continuously extend the data set by adding new refurbishment options or add data such as component-specific lifetimes, costs, or labor intensities of the refurbishment options. In combination with an aligned economic model, this would give an even more holistic view, impact, and feasibility of different refurbishment scenarios both in environmental and economic terms.

Embodied environmental impact

Building component

Material usage

Building stock modeling

Refurbishment database

Industrial ecology


York Ostermeyer

Chalmers, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Building Technology

Claudio Nägeli

Chalmers, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Building Technology

N. Heeren

Holger Wallbaum

Chalmers, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Building Technology

Journal of Industrial Ecology

1088-1980 (ISSN) 1530-9290 (eISSN)

Subject Categories

Construction Management

Environmental Management

Environmental Analysis and Construction Information Technology

Energy Systems



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