Circularity Indicator

The background

Madaster’s mission is to eliminate waste in construction by giving materials an identity. Madaster, however, is not an end in itself but rather a means: the platform serves as a systemic intervention to stimulate circularity in the construction industry. Madaster makes it possible to store information about buildings and materials, it wants to connect to the financial side of circular construction, and it wants to give every building a circularity score in order to stimulate users to strive for maximum circularity.


Madaster offers the possibility to make a materials passport for a building easily, but it also wants to give an indication of the circularity of the building. This is one of the reasons behind Madaster’s desire for a ‘Circularity Indicator’.

The question

As part of the Madaster Circularity Team, think about the development of a ‘Circularity Indicator’ that gives users of the Madaster platform an easy and understandable indication of the circularity of their building.

Current situation and future

Circularity is a complex subject that is difficult to summarize in a ‘linear’ formula. It is important that the Circularity Indicator grows and develops with the platform, so it continuously encourages the users of the platform to make the right choices that contribute to a circular construction economy.

The process

In order to develop the Circularity Indicator, we first looked at Madaster’s ambitions. Their desire to stimulate circularity in construction was only possible by involving a large group of users and experts in the development of an understandable ‘formula’ for circularity. However, the aim was also to gradually add more complexity to the Circularity Indicator – for example, by rating the reuse of materials as higher value than recycling – and to value the design and assembly techniques in the circularity of a building. Potential solutions for the Circularity Indicator could follow different directions; using existing research and the team’s expertise, these directions were analyzed, then tested by users and experts. This led to an agreed formula for the Circularity Indicator.

The results

In September 2017, Madaster launched a ‘Minimum Viable Product’, which incorporated an initial, simplified version of the Circularity Indicator. In the comig months, Madaster’s Circularity Indicator will continue being developed; at every step, users and experts will be involved in changes to the Circularity Indicator.

“Copper8 is a logical collaboration partner for Madaster because we have the same motivations. Cécile, Noor and their team are full of energy and entrepreneurship, which enables them to use their knowledge, experience and creativity to make the circular economy more tangible and rewarding.” Pablo van den Bosch Co-founder

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