A calculation model that provides insights into the residual financial value of building products, such as the interior and exterior facades of homes and offices...TNO and C2C ExpoLAB have jointly developed the Residual Value Calculator for this very purpose.
The built environment is responsible for half of the total materials used in the Netherlands and approximately 25 Mton of waste is produced annually in the construction and demolition sector. If we want to reduce our ecological footprint, we need to think more about raw materials, scarcity and limiting demand (reduce, refuse) and keep products in circulation for longer (reuse, recycle, repurpose).
Over the lifespan of homes and offices, we are accustomed to writing them off as ultimately having little to no value. However, building components, such as internal walls, often have a residual value at the end of their functional life that is higher than the return from the materials alone. Besides a certain amount of wood or concrete, for example, the product also contains craftsmanship, technology and machine use that together represent a specific value. Destruction of the product leads to a loss of that added value.
A wooden inner wall, for example, lasts a long time but changes its function on a regular basis through the expansion of personnel and/or the creation of open-plan offices. If the owner decides to demolish and process it into wood chips for the chipboard industry, only the raw materials remain and the added value is often lost. But suppose that the inner walls are disassembled into their components, given a new layer of paint and reconstituted elsewhere. The product can then be used for another ten years, the added value is retained and the owner not only contributes to the circular use of materials, but is financially better off.
At any given moment, the Residual Value Calculator shows users what their building products or the components of their property portfolio are still worth. To calculate the residual value after a number of years, the calculation model uses factors such as the price of raw materials, quality, detachability and the costs of transport, maintenance and repairs.
Once the residual financial value of building materials is clear to building product suppliers, project developers, housing corporations and building project financiers, there will be an incentive to disassemble rather than demolish them at the end of their economic lifetimes. The prototype of the Residual Value Calculator was developed on the basis of internal walls within offices. We are now working on a prediction model for a larger portfolio of building products.