International Industrial Ecology Day 2023

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Understanding Diverging Stock Measurements of Floorspace and Materials in Buildings 17:00-18:00 CET (16:00-17:00 UTC)

Date: 30 November 2023, time 17:00-18:00 CET (UTC+1) 

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Measurements of floorspace and material stocks are key data inputs used in Industrial Ecology research, and also common outputs from Industrial Ecology models. While estimates of building floorspace stocks commonly rely on reported statistics, the use of GIS data sources and methods to estimate floorspace stocks is becoming increasingly widespread. Comparisons of stock estimates from statistics and GIS sources usually show very large differences, with GIS estimates often at least twice as large. Bottom-up estimates of material stocks are very sensitive to floorspace stock estimates, but also can vary a lot depending on the material intensity factors used. The existence of varying stock estimates does not only mean that some errors may exist in the data, it can also be that different things are being measured. The choice of which stock estimate to use can vary depending on the intended application, e.g. whether energy use in buildings or material stocks and flows are being modelled. In this session we will hear contributions from three researchers who are working on comparing floorspace and material stock estimates, and we will aim to start a broad discussion on how diverging estimates can be understood and explained. Potential explanatory factors include which buildings are included, how vacant and mixed-use buildings are treated, which floor area definition is used, and which material intensity factors are applied.

Convenor: Peter Berrill, Technical University Berlin

Contributors: Jay Arehart (University of Colorado Boulder), Jan Streeck (Institute of Social Ecology Vienna), Peter Berrill (Technical University Berlin)