China is experiencing a period of rapid urbanization and fervent construction activities, which are responsible for the accumulation of large amount of material stocks (MS). Fundamental in every society, buildings not only shape material flows before and during construction, but also during maintenance and demolition, inducing the extraction of resources and the production of construction waste. It is thus imperative to understand the amount, composition, and location of current building MS as a first step to design appropriate management strategies for an environmentally sustainable society. This research uses the latest GIS dataset of buildings in 14 representative Eastern China metropoles to quantify the current status of building MS by employing a bottom-up method. The selection of the study areas relies on the law of the primate city, which permits to quickly target the most important urban areas of a region. We review and discuss existing material intensity (MI) coefficients for Chinese buildings, and produce a new set of MIs manipulating those available in the literature. We then calculate the total MS, MS density, and per capita MS for each city. Results find that in 14 cities 7.9 Gt of building materials are currently stored in a total area of 3790 km 2 , resulting on an average density of 2.1 Mt/km 2. The per capita building MS results being 283 t/cap, and this value correlates with a growth of the per capita GDP. We conclude the research with a hotspot analysis of the spatial distribution of the MS, identifying the MS clusters.
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