First Open Data Initiative for a Sustainable AEC Industry

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – The architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry brings together separate players that collaborate on large national and international building projects. When these seemingly disparate entities are integrated into a single industry, it enables architects, engineers and building contractors to perform more efficiently to achieve the greater goals of sustainability.

Flux, HBN, thinkstep and Google have come together to launch the Quartz database, which is the result of a year-long collaboration among these stakeholders to promote the transparency of building product information. For the first time, the Quartz database brings together data on the impacts building materials have on both human health and environmental sustainability.

Flux, a technology company delivering collaboration tools to increase efficiency in building architecture and engineering, along with Google, Healthy Building Network (HBN), a nonprofit devoted to reducing toxic building materials, and thinkstep, a global sustainability software, data and services firm, launched the Quartz database at VERGE 2015.

Drew Wenzel, Campus Design Technical Specialist at Google, said that the company is deeply committed to building the healthiest environment possible. Using healthy products and materials is integral to this mission. According to Wenzel, the Quartz project is providing actionable health and environmental data that project teams can use to efficiently and reliably make decisions at a much earlier stage in the design process.

Heather Gadonniex, director of sustainable building and construction at thinkstep, said that information gaps and incompatible datasets can make data difficult to analyze, stifling decision making from whole building design to product selection. The company believes transparent and open data can help solve the challenge of curating the enormous amount of information necessary for meaningful analysis.

The Quartz database aggregates and standardizes the industry’s current supply of isolated, disjointed data into an open database of relevant, valuable and actionable information that is well organized and easy to understand. Key AEC stakeholders will have a truly open, vendor-agnostic mechanism to compare, contrast and evaluate materials based on their impact on the environment and human health.

Source: Market Wired

Image Credit: Flickr via Habitat for Humanity