Material-intensity database of residential buildings: A case-study of Sweden in the international context

Material intensity coefficient (MIC) databases are crucial for bottom-up material stock studies. However, MIC databases are site specific and not available in many countries. For this reason, a MIC database of residential buildings in Sweden was created in this study. As these had not previously been explored, considerable attention was paid to MIC database results, variables and limitations. Next, to contextualize the results, the database was compared and discussed with other studies in other geographical scales and regions. The MIC database is based on (1) specialized architectural-data and (2) densities of construction materials. The study looked at 46 typical residential buildings in Sweden, 12 single-family (SF) and 34 multi-family (MF) structures, built within the time period 1880-2010. The results show specific trends for material intensity and composition, but also for the mass distribution of different building elements. Additionally, it was shown that the number of floors and the footprint size of a building have a considerable impact on the MICs, especially for buildings with a low number of floors, such as SF structures. Furthermore, when compared to MIC databases from other countries, the study database, which relates to Sweden, shows a higher intensity for wood and steel. Finally, contradictory MIC results for similar geographical regions were highlighted and discussed. This showed that to achieve consistent standardized MIC databases, further analysis of MIC databases for different geographical scales and regions are needed, and this is therefore recommended.

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