What do we see?
The figure below shows the evolution of the amount of materials required for the construction sector in relation to the number of building permits issued. In 2019 we see a clear decrease, which puts the material footprint lower than earlier years.
In 2019, cement, steel, bricks and wood were the materials most in demand. Below we see a detailed overview of the required materials and their quantity. The data in the table on the left relates to residential buildings while the data in the table on the right reflects non-residential buildings.
What’s the aim?
The material footprint indicates how much pressure our housing puts on the environment. Buildings consist of a wide range of different materials, which means that we have to deal with a very extensive production chain. In a circular economy, we want to reduce the use of materials without impacting the needs of the population. We must therefore encourage a more efficient use of materials in the construction sector. This is the only way we can relieve the pressure on the environment.
What does this indicator measure?
This indicator shows the material footprint of the construction of residential and non-residential buildings in Flanders. It is based on a number of data sets from various sources. The data on the total built-up area in Flanders comes from Statbel. Metabolic meanwhile publishes the data on the consumption of construction materials. This is based on a similar consumption in Belgium and the Netherlands. Finally, the estimate of the amount of raw materials and energy comes from Gabi Software.