Resources, Infrastructure Systems and built Environments

Department of Civil & Structural Engineering

What is Sheffield made of?


To move towards improved resource efficiency in the built environment it is crucial to have an understanding of existing building stocks and material flows so that options to optimise these can be explored and implemented. However, this information is not currently available at the data resolution required so that all resource efficiency options, from building life extension to component reuse (e.g. steel beam, bricks etc), can be explored. This project will investigate if freely available public datasets, including LiDAR, Digimap and planning information, can be combined to build up a detailed picture of building stocks and material flows in order to facilitate uptake of the circular economy (maintaining the value of materials for as long as possible) in the built environment.

By conducting a case study on the city centre of Sheffield different datasets will be tested and combined to model the building stocks and material flows. The accuracy of these datasets (and this technique) will be tested by comparison with walking surveys conducted on a random selection of the modelled area. There will then be a focus on a single street to ascertain if the collected data is sufficient to estimate the circular economic potential of the materials in these buildings, as well as to estimate the surface area that requires insulation.

This project was funded by the EPSRC Vacation Bursary Programme 



Research area(s)

Project dates

Start date: 
June 2016
End date: 
June 2016