18 February 2016 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
The incorporation of “intelligent assets” into the built environment will lead to “predictive maintenance models”, according to research by the World Economic Forum and the non-profit Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
The report Intelligent Assets: Unlocking the Circular Economy Potential states that pairing circular economy principles with the information generated by intelligent devices creates a fertile ground for innovation that could lead to a built environment that is more “flexible and modifiable”.
It adds that in such a circular economy all roads, bridges, public spaces, sports facilities, office buildings and private homes would be connected to “a digital library” that would reveal up-to-date condition of the assets’ components to not only enable predictive maintenance and performance models, but also to be “a platform for a secondary materials market”.
The report says: “The connectivity of constructions could pave the way for closing the material loops for the largest source of waste in modern society.”
The report adds: “A key reason for the value degradation of building material is the lack of knowledge of material composition or value. In addition, the utilisation of buildings is poor, resulting in inefficient resource use.”
This report was carried out in conjunction with Project MainStream, an initiative that is a part of the World Economic Forum, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and consultancy McKinsey & Company.