Apples to Oranges: Comparing Building Materials Data

From Research Journal Vol. 07.02 (Special Issue: Future of Architectural Research/ARCC 2015 Conference)

Why does no digital platform attempt to present all performance and sustainability characteristics for building materials in a way that side by side comparison is possible? Is the breadth of data too difficult to model? If the data could be visualized, what would it reveal? This article describes a digital platform with criteria that represents: look and feel; performance criteria; sustainability metrics; ecolabels and LEED points; access to materials safety data sheets, health product declarations, and environmental product declarations. With more than two hundred criteria, this populated model produces information at the scale of big data. Visual analysis of an initial input of data is most surprising in the area of sustainability, revealing significant voids in data and emerging patterns of disclosure.

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