top of page
  • Byron Chan

Circular Series: RIBA Stage 6

With the ACAN’s Circular Series reaching RIBA Stage 6, the focus shifts towards facilitating handover and looks at how building data can support future material reuse. To present this topic, we have the following speakers: Pablo van den Bosch from Madaster and Gilli Hobbs, an independent sustainability and circular economy advisor.


Held on the 8th April 2021, our virtual event 'Circular Series: RIBA Stage 6' is available to watch in full above.

Using data to support the circular economy

A significant amount of waste comes from construction where most of this material is often not readily available or known about. As the architect Thomas Rau put it, "waste is just material without an identity."

One solution is to capture information about this waste is through a digitalised form. In this process, information can be tagged to the materials and uploaded to a database where relevant users can access this.

From van den Bosch’s perspective, handover does not only mean handing over the keys of a building to the client; handover is also about passing on data of a building such as the materials, assets, value, and the embodied carbon over to the client. By identifying what building materials exists, its value and its potential for reuse, this information could be hugely beneficial in driving the circular economy.

Understanding the basics

To implement this development in practice, Hobbs outlined the basics of what data might be required at RIBA Stage 6. Key decisions need to be made with regards to the kind of information, how to capture this information in documentation and how the client is going to receive and update this. These considerations are listed in the following table:

(source: Gilli Hobbs)

Further guidance, relevant to the documentation for disassembly and deconstruction, can be found in the standard BS ISO 20887:2020.

While national standards are needed to address conformity in data classification and methodologies, Hobbs recommended having multiple formats for the time being and making sure that all material records are kept.

Digital twins

Providing a solution to capturing material data, Van den Bosch presented the cloud-based platform Madaster developed by his company to meet their vision of facilitating the circular economy within construction.

Information about a building element or product is uploaded to what van der Bosch refers to as a circular ecosystem. In relation to handover, the client is given “a whole set of agreements with other entities using the data that [the architect or professional] has been generating in order to create a particular building.” In essence, it is a digital twin in the form of an online material register providing clients with up to date information on the quantity, circularity, toxicity and financial value of products used in their buildings.

Uploading to the (local) ecosystem (source: Pablo van den Bosch)

Tools like these allow for the information to be passed on to the relevant parties when planning future changes involving the disassembly and reuse of buildings. Through data, we can realise the value that already exists in existing buildings and materials, seeing it not as waste but as a valuable resource to use in the future.


Speaker bios

Pablo van den Bosch

Co-founder of Madaster and Board Member of Madaster Services

Van den Bosch studied public affairs at the Erasmus University Rotterdam and was partner in a global consultancy that he started in 2003. In 2017 Pablo initiated Madaster, the register for products and materials in the built environment. He initially focused on establishing the not-for-profit Madaster Foundation. Currently he fulfills the role of Board Member Public Affairs and Internationalization.

Gilli Hobbs

Independent Sustainability and Circular Economy Advisor

Working in France & UK, Hobbs provides technical expertise of sustainability to built environment projects, specialising in resource efficiency and the circular economy. As a former director at BRE, she worked in areas such as low carbon buildings, circular & lean construction, renewable technology and sustainable communities in UK and overseas projects. With over 25 years’ experience, she has contributed to projects such as EU BAMB (Buildings as Material Banks), EC study on Circular Economy Principles, Home of 2030 project, and EU CIRCuIT (Circular Construction in Regenerative Cities).



Get involved

The ACAN Circular Economy Group is working to push for a radical shift in the construction industry so that all buildings in the UK are designed and built in line with circular economy principles. It is our mission to reimagine current building practices to enable regenerative design at all scales and stages of a project, and for the construction industry to have a positive impact on human and planetary health.

Interested in contributing to the ACAN Circular Economy Group?

Please contact us for details on how to join.

For news, events and updates relating to ACAN, please sign up to our mailing list.

119 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page