The construction industry always has been an industry with significant challenges in the scope of sustainability. One of these challenges, but also an opportunity, is the use of materials from demolished buildings for new construction projects. This is called Circular Building. But how can you use digital techniques to improve the reuse of materials from demolished constructions?

As a Dutch engineering company, Buro Boot approached us for the development of a platform for Circular Building Materials.

The Challenge: Develop a circular marketplace

The core challenge was to develop a solution for the transaction of circular building materials and unlocking data on circular materials.

This challenge included several types of challenges on their own, ranging from certain business goals to reach the different types of user groups active in the circular construction business. At last, the platform should be able to connect with the current digital infrastructure of Buro Boot

The Solution

The final solution became an online marketplace for acquiring and adding circular building materials. This digital platform was built upon open-source technologies.

We approached the project by developing an interactive prototype first, based on our strategic intake. This prototype was a click-through design of an internet platform. Also, we defined the design language that should be used for the whole platform for a consistent brand experience. This included the necessary typography and the usage of certain brand colors.

A screenshot of the main landing page

To guide the product development from the perspective of the user, we held a strategic session with 14 involved parties to discover their needs and wishes for the platform.

From a technical perspective, the platform was developed using Open Source Technologies. As the platform was expected to have a large number of materials, we implemented ElasticSearch for a fast and user-friendly search experience.

The platform was extended with a REST-API that allowed for interaction with applications of Buro Boot. For example, when a building is demolished, an inventory of recyclable materials is made using certain digital tools. With the API, these tools could now push their data to the marketplace, so recyclable materials could become immediately visible.