IDEMAT Calculation Rules


IDEMAT (short for Industrial Design & Engineering MATerials database) is a compilation of LCI data of the Sustainable Impact Metrics Foundation, SIMF, a non-profit spinn-off of the Delft University of Technology. It is designed for the need of designers, engineers and architects in the manufacturing and building industry.

The dataset has been developed to educate approx 500 students each year on how to apply LCA in the fuzzy front end of Industrial Design Engineering. The aim was to provide students with:
(1) extra data on plastics, alloys, and wood species (that were missing in Ecoinvent)
(2) extra data on end-of-life credits for recycling and combustion with heat recovery, to give students a better understanding of material and system choices in regard with circular design.

Until 2014 the dataset was based on Ecoinvent Version 2 LCIs, but after the introduction of EI Version 3, there wase a growing dissatisfaction on the lack of sufficient transparency (which was excellent in the EI Version 2)

and the inaccuracies of data on e.g. electricity (see Electricity in LCA) and transport (data seemed to be outdated). At that time it was decided to build a new dataset based on peer reviewed literature and measured data. The aim was to achieve:
(3) a better accuracy than Ecoinvent for the main emissions (CO2, SO2, NO2, PM2.5, etc.) in relation to electricity and transport,
(4) provide a good transparency of the source of LCI data (better than than e.g. Ecoinvent)

Idemat data are based on peer-reviewed scientific papers (472), plus additional LCI’s made by Delft University of Technology (652), and Plastics Europe (40). The remaining background processes (74) are from Probas (25), USLCI (20), ELCD (16), CESedupack (7), Univ Chalmers (4) and EI (2). SIMF has the aim is to replace these remaining background LCIs by processes from scientific literature as soon as it becomes available in peer reviewed papers, since many of these background databases appear to be highly inaccurate (outdated, or based on generic statistics, the so called Input-Output tables, rather than process flows).