Part 1b: Material Stock Accounting

Goal: Carry out the material stock accounting (MSA) for the materials that you determine and the defined system (see below) through data collection and processing. You will arrive at weight-based data for the residential and non-residential building material stock (of all buildings in the municipality), broken down for the various building typologies, and a spatial representation of the data.

Defined system

The system boundaries for the MSA are as follows:

  • Spatial boundaries: those corresponding to the administrative boundaries of the municipality/city.
  • Temporal boundaries: one reference year. While the exact year is not of too great importance, since the building material stock typically does not change drastically over time, it should be close in time to the two reference years of the MFA, in order to get a sense of proportionality between the flows and stocks.
  • Material boundaries: The material scope encompasses the material that can be found by cities in their building typologies’ material composition. The number of materials can be different from city to city depending on data availability.
  • Object of study in material terms: focus on the built environment and specifically on residential and non-residential buildings. Therefore, other urban infrastructure such as bridges, roads, railways etc. are excluded.


There are four data collection and processing steps to the material stock accounting, as explained on the following pages and illustrated below:

  1. Step 1: Find locations, land use and floor areas of buildings
  2. Step 2: Gather building typologies
  3. Step 3: Determine building typology’s material composition
  4. Step 4: Calculate material stock and spatialise it


  • Accounting spreadsheets, such as OpenOffice Calc, Google sheets or Excel
  • GIS mapping tool, such as QGIS