Deconstruction and Recovery Information Modelling (DRIM): A Tool for identifying and reclaiming valuable materials at end-of-life of Buildings

Lead Research Organisation: Coventry University
Department Name: Ctr for Business in Society


More than 50,000 buildings are demolished yearly in the UK leading to huge demolition waste that ends in landfill (Power,
2014). It is noted that demolition waste comprises significant proportion of valuable building materials that could be re-used
for new constructions or refurbishment if recovered properly. However, no such tool currently exists that can help in
identification of valuable building materials for reuse & recycling. The overall aim of this project is to develop an
intelligence-based tool called Deconstruction and Recovery Information Modelling (DRIM) that will enable identification of
reusable and recoverable building materials at end-of-life of a building. DRIM Tool will enable: (i) production of
deconstruction plan; (ii) simulation of deconstruction process; (iii) production of deconstruction protocols during demolition
of the building to enable efficient recovery; (iv) improved demolition waste collection schemes. The tool is aimed at both
new and existing buildings sector. The Tool will use innovative technologies that include ontologies, NoSQL and big data
analytics to capture and predict end-of-life properties and value of building materials. It is about circular economy in the
construction industry.
Methodology and Plan: This is a 24 Months (M) project of 8 Work Packages (WP): (i) WP1 - Data collection on Materials
properties using workshops with Designers and Suppliers - Month 1 - 6 (6M); (ii) WP2 - Creation of Semantic Store with
End-of-Life Material Properties - Month 4 - 9 (6M); (iii) WP3 - Creation of Big Data Analytics Simulation Platform - Month 7 -
12 (6M); (iv) WP4 -Prototype DRIM Development - Month 9 - 12 (4M); (v) WP5 - Full DRIM Development - Month 13 - 21
(9M); (vi) WP6 - Security & Testing of DRIM tool - Month 22 - 23 (2M); (vii) WP7 - Exploitation and Dissemination - Month 4
- 24 (21M); and (viii) WP8 - Project Management - Month 1 - 24 (24M). - (Please see Appendix B for Gantt Chart).

Key Milestones, Deliverables & Realistic Timelines: WP1 - Gigantic Dataset of Material Properties @ M6; WP2 - Database
storage of End-of-Life Material Properties @ M9; WP3 - Big Data Analytics based Simulation Platform @ M12; WP4 -
DRIM Prototype @ M12; WP5 - DRIM Full System @ M21; WP6 - Packaged DRIM Tool @M23; WP7 - Exploitable &
Dissemination Outputs @ M4 to M24; and WP8 - Quarterly Project Reports & Meetings.
Clear Management Reporting Lines: Lara Ayris from Waste Plan Solutions Ltd. (WPS) will project manage and coordinate
project resources, with the support of Project Administrator and Exploitation Manager for wider roll-out. Project
Management Board (PMB) will be set to drive project, monitor project progress and provide relevant advice. Using
PRINCE2 methodology, Task managers for each WP will (i) manage day-to-day project activities (ii) meet with their WP
team on weekly basis (iii) meet monthly (iv) report quarterly to the PMB about work progress . - (Please see Appendix B for
Project Management Structure).
Rival Solutions: None of the existing waste tools within the industry (i.e. ArchiCAD, Revit, SMARTWaste, WRAP Netwaste,
etc.) has deconstruction and material recovery functionality. The DRIM tool is therefore unique within the industry. It will
provide a simulation platform to benchmark the whole-life sustainability of designs in terms end-of-life re-usable, recyclable
and recovered materials.
Alternative R&D Strategies: Concurrent Engineering (CE) model which is based on parellelization of tasks (Work
Packages) will be used as a R&D approach for this project, as compared to traditional waterfall model where tasks are
carried out sequentially. CE will therefore enable R&D completion within 2 years of project duration.

Planned Impact

The targeted Audience include: Contractors and their supply chains, public and private clients, sub contractors, architects,
engineers and the academic community. Our strategies to engage the target audiences are as follows:
A. Dissemination:
1. Demonstration Projects: Five demonstration projects to serve as case studies in workshops. This would be video
recorded and uncovered at a project dissemination workshop at the end of the project.
2. Public Website: A public website would be made available at, to be used as the main vehicle of
dissemination and interaction with the public who seeks information about the project and its areas of work.
3. Press Release: A press release, prepared by the consortium, would be launched by the kick-off date of the project and at
the end of the project announcing the project outputs and its benefits.
4. Leaflet: A public leaflet describing the DRIM Tool project would be prepared, which will be used for the presentation of
the project in main events (conferences, workshops, fairs, and so on), at both within the UK and Europe.
5. Newsletter: Quarterly Newsletter presenting the project's progress to the "outside world", containing sections that
Editorial, Under the Spotlight, Inside DRIM Tool, Looking Outside, and What's Next.
6. Participation in Target Events: The project consortium would be targeting major events within the construction industry
particularly the ones organised by RIBA, CIOB, RICS, ICE, ISructE, CIBSE, Constructing Excellence, UKCG, NFB, CPA,
among others. Some of these organisations are already member of the consortium. Their support would also be enlisted to
distribute the project leaflet to their member organisations.
7. Social Media Channels: To some extent, the Social Media channels to be used will be subject to a small-step trial-and
evaluation approach. It is not fully decided which channels existing today are the most suitable ones for the DRIM Tool
Project, and furthermore, new channels will evolve as the project runs. However, a few channels are identified as
(potential) starting points, which are listed below.
(i) Blog: A blog would be launched, hosted at the main DRIM Tool website. The blog is positioned to be a more informal
channel, with posts mainly written by individuals in the project. The posts are normally positioned as the viewpoint of the
individual, and not as the viewpoint of the project or of a project partner, when the author belongs to DRIM Tool Project.
(ii) Conversational Social Media Channels: A number of Social Media channels that are more suitable for a conversational
context are being identified, which include LinkedIn groups, Google+, etc.
(iii) Viral Marketing: The DRIM Tool Project will strive to create screencasts related to as many published papers and other
presentations as possible. These screencasts (video format), will be stored and published on established "web 2.0"
services, which include YouTube, Slide share and various photo sharing sites.
8. Academic Beneficiaries: Specifically, the project aims to engage academic community through the following activities:
Conference Papers, Research Papers, Special Interests Group, Guest Editing Special Issues, and Edited Monographs.
The academic Principal Investigator will lead these initiatives.


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Akinade O (2017) BIM-based deconstruction tool: Towards essential functionalities in International Journal of Sustainable Built Environment