Features: Material Flow Analysis

At Firstplanit, we are a data-driven company that aims to take complex information and make it easy for users to interpret. Our database comprises of thousands of materials comprehensively assessed against sustainability metrics. The scope of our platform encompasses much more than carbon emissions. Our latest feature provides an analytical Material Flow Analysis (MFA), quantifying all of the project’s input and output product flows.  

When collecting and evaluating the materials and products for your project, Firstplanit categorises circularity into four main metrics:  

  • Recycled Content: Products not made solely from virgin materials contain recycled constituents within their mass.   
  • Reclaimed/ Reused: Products previously used in buildings, temporary works, or other projects are then either slightly altered, re-sized, refinished, or adapted to be used again are considered reclaimed.  
  • End-of-Life Plan: The product’s manufacturer has a plan for the materials at the end of the product’s first use.  
  • Recyclability Potential: Products that can be taken away from the waste stream, collected in sufficient quantities, treated using existing industrial recycling processes and put back into use as raw materials.  

For resource depletion, in addition to the circular attributes, Firstplanit examines:  

  • Rapidly Renewable Content: Products made from abundant raw material that can regenerate themselves do not result in significant loss of biodiversity, increased erosion, or air quality impacts are considered rapidly renewable.  

For waste reduction, in addition to the circular attributes, Firsplanit examines:  

  • Rapidly Degradable Content: Products that can be quickly broken down into biomass or simpler molecules by biological organisms and processes are considered rapidly degradable.  

If an input flow material does not meet our recycled, reclaimed/reused or rapidly renewable criteria, it is considered virgin/non-renewable.  Products that do not meet EOL, recyclability potential and rapidly degradable criteria for output flows are considered landfill waste streams. 

After selecting the products for your project, our impact reports will provide you with a series of graphics displaying information vital to understanding the sustainability of your project. Information will instantaneously adjust as you add and remove new products to a project.  

We will display the material flow using a Sankey diagram. Sankey diagrams are flow diagrams, with the nodes’ width proportional to each attribute’s total weight. The advantage of a Sankey diagram is that users can visualise the material flows and interpret crucial connections between input and output flows.  


A set of donut charts for material Circularity during the project’s construction and demolition will be used to compliment the Sankey Diagram. 


The information can be used for guidance by a plethora of project stakeholders: from organisations in their ESG reporting, to architects, environmental consultants and engineers in minimising the use of virgin materials, potential landfill waste and increase the project circularity. 

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