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Special Issue "Sustainability in Civil Engineering: from Sustainable Materials to Sustainable Cities"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Engineering and Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 April 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Quoc-Bao Bui

Faculty of Civil Engineering, Ton Duc Thang University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
E-Mail
Interests: sustainable materials; soil-based materials; dynamic of structures
Guest Editor
Prof. Monika Woloszyn

LOCIE, CNRS-UMR 5271, Université Savoie Mont Blanc, Campus Scientifique Savoie Technolac, Le Bourget du Lac 73376, France
E-Mail
Interests: hygrothermal behavior; energy-efficient buildings; thermal simulation
Guest Editor
Prof. Geert Wets

Transportation Research Institute, Hasselt University, Wetenschapspark 5–Bus 6, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
Website | E-Mail
Interests: transportation; urban planning; traffic safety
Guest Editor
Prof. Radim Cajka

Faculty of Civil Engineering, VSB - Technical University Ostrava, Department of Structures, Technicka University, Czech
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Concrete structures; Soil-structure interaction; Finite element method; Temperature Loaded Structures

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sustainable development is an urgent demand of the society. The civil engineering domain has significant impacts on the environment. Indeed, it is reported in numerous studies that the civil engineering is responsible for several important problems such as the energy consumption, the CO2 emission and the natural resource depletion. Alternative solutions have been searched in the last decades to reduce environmental impacts in the civil engineering sector. Different approaches were proposed: reducing the energy consumption by using low-embodied energy materials (“eco-materials”);  developing the energy-efficient buildings with high thermal isolating, renewable energy integrations (solar, wind, geothermal,…), or by using the eco-architecture principles to optimize the energy consumption of the buildings. Today, sustainable development in civil engineering is not still restrained at a building scale and the city scale should be considered: the transport of the occupants between their residence and their work, the energy loss in the energy distribution network,… Therefore, this special issue aims to be a collection of different approaches which can contribute to a sustainability of the civil engineering sector: investigations on sustainable materials,; intelligent principles in architecture design; different tools to analyze, assess the energy performance, at a building scale and also at a city scale.

Dr. Quoc-Bao Bui
Prof. Monika Woloszyn
Prof. Geert Wets
Prof. Radim Cajka
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Sustainable materials
  • Low embodied energy materials
  • Bio-based materials
  • Soil-based material
  • Energy-efficient materials
  • Energy-efficient buildings
  • Energy-efficient solutions
  • Life cycle assessment (LCA)
  • Tools for sustainability assessment
  • Eco-architecture
  • Sustainable principles in architecture
  • Sustainable cities
  • Sustainable strategies in urban planning
  • Multi-criteria in sustainable design
  • Case studies

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of the Efficiency of Limestone Powder in Concrete and the Effects on the Environment
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 550; doi:10.3390/su10020550 (registering DOI)
Received: 16 January 2018 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 18 February 2018 / Published: 21 February 2018
PDF Full-text (1277 KB)
Abstract
The major environmental impact of concrete comes from the CO2 emissions, produced during the cement manufacturing process. The main goal of this research project is to evaluate the efficiency of limestone powder as a partial cement replacement, in order to reduce energy
[...] Read more.
The major environmental impact of concrete comes from the CO2 emissions, produced during the cement manufacturing process. The main goal of this research project is to evaluate the efficiency of limestone powder as a partial cement replacement, in order to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions. This study utilizes limestone powders, with different particle sizes, to replace a portion of Portland cement using various ratios. Due to the dilution effect when partially replacing cement, there is a reduction in the concrete’s physical properties. To assess the dilution effect, a modification to Féret’s equation is used to calculate an efficiency factor for the limestone powder when compared to cement. To measure the environmental impact, a life cycle assessment is conducted on concrete made with limestone powder combined with cement. This allows for an evaluation of the various cement/limestone powder ratios that will maximize the environmental benefit, with minimal reduction in concrete strength. Additional microstructural analysis using petrographic examination was completed to provide a visual understanding of the distribution of the limestone particles within the cement paste. The results indicate that the efficiency of limestone powder in partially replacing cement can be achieved by particle packing and particle distribution in the concrete and the benefits of emission reductions exceed the loss in compressive strength when higher levels of limestone powder is used to replace cement. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Study on Heat-Transfer Characteristics by a Ground-Heating Method
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 412; doi:10.3390/su10020412
Received: 22 November 2017 / Revised: 21 January 2018 / Accepted: 28 January 2018 / Published: 6 February 2018
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Abstract
The ground-heating method using the electric heating pipe improves many problems of the conventional soft-ground improvement method and the ground-heating method using fossil fuel. However, in order to use this method practically, it is necessary to experimentally verify the temperature change due to
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The ground-heating method using the electric heating pipe improves many problems of the conventional soft-ground improvement method and the ground-heating method using fossil fuel. However, in order to use this method practically, it is necessary to experimentally verify the temperature change due to the discharge of water vapor, and also to compare the theoretical solution and numerical analysis for estimation of the temperature distribution. From the experimental result, the loss of heat energy due to the discharge of water vapor is very large. Because the linear heat-source model and numerical analysis cannot consider the heat-energy loss by water vapor, the temperature change is estimated to be large. Therefore, it is necessary to design the installation depth of the electric heating pipe to suppress the discharge of water vapor. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable RC Beam-Column Connections with Headed Bars: A Formula for Shear Strength Evaluation
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 401; doi:10.3390/su10020401
Received: 28 December 2017 / Revised: 29 January 2018 / Accepted: 29 January 2018 / Published: 4 February 2018
PDF Full-text (4476 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Beam-column joints are critical regions for reinforced concrete (RC) frames subjected to earthquakes. The steel reinforcement is, in general, highly concentrated in these zones. This is why in many cases, headed bars are used. A headed bar is a longitudinal steel reinforcement whose
[...] Read more.
Beam-column joints are critical regions for reinforced concrete (RC) frames subjected to earthquakes. The steel reinforcement is, in general, highly concentrated in these zones. This is why in many cases, headed bars are used. A headed bar is a longitudinal steel reinforcement whose end has a special button added to reduce the bonding length of the steel rebar. This paper establishes a formula predicting the shear strength of exterior RC beam-column connections where the beam longitudinal reinforcements use headed bars. A database was collected, which contained 30 experimental data about the exterior beam-column joints using headed bars and subjected to quasi-static cyclic loading. First, from the collected database, a statistical study was carried out to identify the most influencing parameters on the shear strength of the beam-column joints tested. The three most important parameters were identified and an empirical modified formula was developed based on the formula existing in the standards. The study showed that the results obtained from the modified formula proposed in the present study were closer to the experimental results than that obtained from the formula existing in the standards. Finally, a numerical study was performed on two T-form RC structures and the numerical results were compared with the prediction calculated from the modified formula proposed. For two investigated cases, the proposed formula provided the results in the safety side and the differences with the numerical results were less than 20%. Thus, the proposed formula can be used for a rapid assessment of the shear strength of RC joints using headed bars. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Engineering Properties of Self-Consolidating Lightweight Aggregate Concrete and Its Application in Prestressed Concrete Members
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 142; doi:10.3390/su10010142
Received: 19 December 2017 / Revised: 6 January 2018 / Accepted: 7 January 2018 / Published: 9 January 2018
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Abstract
Self-consolidating lightweight aggregate concrete (SCLC) is a highly flowable and lightweight concrete. In this study, the properties of SCLC and prestressed SCLC members were tested and compared with those made of normal-weight self-consolidating concrete (SCC). The test results show that SCLC can be
[...] Read more.
Self-consolidating lightweight aggregate concrete (SCLC) is a highly flowable and lightweight concrete. In this study, the properties of SCLC and prestressed SCLC members were tested and compared with those made of normal-weight self-consolidating concrete (SCC). The test results show that SCLC can be used for prestressed concrete members. The use of lightweight aggregates with a particle density larger than 1100 kg/m3 can avoid the serious segregation of fresh concrete. In addition, the SCLC designed in this study can meet most of the SCC Rank 2 test standards, except for the V-funnel test. The water contained in the lightweight aggregates supplied sustained curing, so the level of drying shrinkage of the SCLC was lower than that of the conventional SCC. However, the level of creep of the SCLC was higher than that of the conventional SCC, because normal-weight aggregates are more able to inhibit the change of the concrete’s volume. On-site test results show that after 180 days of prestressing, the prestress loss was about 5.35–6.83% for the full-size SCLC members, which was smaller than that for the conventional SCC members (about 8.19–9.06% loss). Full article
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Open AccessArticle Using Microsimulation to Evaluate Safety and Operational Implications of Newer Roundabout Layouts for European Road Networks
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2084; doi:10.3390/su9112084
Received: 8 September 2017 / Revised: 23 October 2017 / Accepted: 3 November 2017 / Published: 13 November 2017
PDF Full-text (4454 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
“Standard” roundabouts, for example those designed in some European countries, can often be characterized by low levels of safety or capacity and a high degree of sustainability. Given the proliferation of newer layouts, it is of interest to explore whether design practices could
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“Standard” roundabouts, for example those designed in some European countries, can often be characterized by low levels of safety or capacity and a high degree of sustainability. Given the proliferation of newer layouts, it is of interest to explore whether design practices could be improved by capitalizing on the experience gained internationally. Operational aspects of some of these designs have been explored previously, but there is a need to compare both the operational and safety performance of new designs to that of standard roundabouts. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the safety and operational implications of various potential alternatives to the standard roundabouts that proliferate in Europe and elsewhere. Microsimulation is used to simulate traffic operations at roundabout layout alternatives at the same levels of volume to capacity (V/C) ratio and also with the same traffic flow. Operational performance measures include the common level of service parameters, while measures of safety are based initially on time to collision (TTC) values. Threshold values of TTC were then applied in defining conflicts that are used for crash-based safety evaluation by applying crash-conflict models estimated in published research. Interesting insights were revealed, suggesting that the newer layouts should be considered where warranted by cost-benefit considerations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Estimation of Non-Revenue Water Ratio for Sustainable Management Using Artificial Neural Network and Z-Score in Incheon, Republic of Korea
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1933; doi:10.3390/su9111933
Received: 21 September 2017 / Revised: 14 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 25 October 2017
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Abstract
The non-revenue water (NRW) ratio in a water distribution system is the ratio of the loss due to unbilled authorized consumption, apparent losses and real losses to the overall system input volume (SIV). The method of estimating the NRW ratio by measurement might
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The non-revenue water (NRW) ratio in a water distribution system is the ratio of the loss due to unbilled authorized consumption, apparent losses and real losses to the overall system input volume (SIV). The method of estimating the NRW ratio by measurement might not work in an area with no district metered areas (DMAs) or with unclear administrative district. Through multiple regression analyses is a statistical analysis method for calculating the NRW ratio using the main parameters of the water distribution system, although its disadvantage is lower accuracy than that of the measured NRW ratio. In this study, an artificial neural network (ANN) was used to estimate the NRW ratio. The results of the study proved that the accuracy of NRW ratio calculated by the ANN model was higher than by multiple regression analysis. The developed ANN model was shown to have an accuracy that varies depending on the number of neurons in the hidden layer. Therefore, when using the ANN model, the optimal number of neurons must be determined. In addition, the accuracy of the outlier removal condition was higher than that of the original data used condition. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Demystifying the Barriers to Transport Infrastructure Project Development in Fast Developing Regions: The Case of China
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1915; doi:10.3390/su9101915
Received: 2 October 2017 / Revised: 19 October 2017 / Accepted: 20 October 2017 / Published: 23 October 2017
PDF Full-text (875 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Transport infrastructure (TI) has become one of the primary drivers for sustainable economic growth and social progress. However, a wider take-up is currently inhibited in fast developing regions (FDRs) by many barriers, which have not been explored explicitly in previous studies. In this
[...] Read more.
Transport infrastructure (TI) has become one of the primary drivers for sustainable economic growth and social progress. However, a wider take-up is currently inhibited in fast developing regions (FDRs) by many barriers, which have not been explored explicitly in previous studies. In this study, a three-dimensional framework (i.e., macro environment, local environment, and the construction process) is proposed to structure the barriers in a reasonable way. Professionals’ opinions on the importance of the barriers are collected through questionnaire survey. The survey results were analyzed by the ranking analysis technique. It is found that the top five barriers are “difficulty in survey and design during the construction process”, “weak support from economy”, “insufficient funding”, “harsh regional climate”, and “cost overrun”. Further analysis, based on a factor analysis, indicates that these critical barriers could be grouped into three clusters: “administration on transport infrastructure”, “construction technology and cost management”, and “geographical and economic conditions”. The research findings demonstrate the usefulness of the proposed framework, and the implication is that a barriers-based checklist favors stakeholders to improve the efficiency and sustainability of TI development in FDRs. Although the study is situated in China, it sheds light on the subject in other developing countries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Reduction of CO2 Emissions by Application of High-Strength Reinforcing Bars to Three Different Structural Systems in South Korea
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1652; doi:10.3390/su9091652 (registering DOI)
Received: 19 August 2017 / Revised: 13 September 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 18 September 2017
PDF Full-text (3297 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry consume approximately 23% of the national energy annually, and are considered among the highest energy consuming industries. Recently, several studies have focused on establishing strategies to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide in the AEC industry
[...] Read more.
The architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry consume approximately 23% of the national energy annually, and are considered among the highest energy consuming industries. Recently, several studies have focused on establishing strategies to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide in the AEC industry by utilisation of low-carbon materials, material reuse, recycling and minimal usage; selection of an optimal structural system and structural optimisation; and optimisation of construction operations. While several studies examined material selection and replacement in concrete, there is a paucity of studies investigating the replacement and implementation of high-strength re-bars to lower the carbon dioxide emissions in buildings. To fill this research gap, the purpose of this study involves calculating the emissions of carbon dioxide by applying high-strength reinforcement bars in three different types of buildings. The input–output analysis method was adopted to compute the emissions of carbon dioxide by using the yield strength and size. This study showed that the application of the high-strength re-bars is beneficial in reducing the input amount of materials, although the quantity of reinforcing bars on the development and splice increased. Furthermore, the application of high-strength deformed bars is also advantageous as a means of carbon dioxide reduction in the studied structural systems. In this study, the CO2 emissions of three different structural systems indicated that implementing SD500 re-bars is the most effective method to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview The Sustainability of Concrete in Sewer Tunnel—A Narrative Review of Acid Corrosion in the City of Edmonton, Canada
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 517; doi:10.3390/su10020517
Received: 14 January 2018 / Revised: 10 February 2018 / Accepted: 12 February 2018 / Published: 14 February 2018
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Abstract
This paper is intended to conduct a narrative review on the acid corrosion of sewer tunnel concrete in the City of Edmonton—an investigation on the MIC (microbially induced corrosion) mechanism and the potential control methods to improve the sustainability of concrete. Firstly, three
[...] Read more.
This paper is intended to conduct a narrative review on the acid corrosion of sewer tunnel concrete in the City of Edmonton—an investigation on the MIC (microbially induced corrosion) mechanism and the potential control methods to improve the sustainability of concrete. Firstly, three categories of main influencing factors were identified for the rate of MIC: hydraulic parameters, environmental factors, and concrete mixture design. Secondly, it is found that the sewer tunnel design plays an essential role in the control of the MIC. Building on that, a review was conducted on eight municipal drainage design standards in consideration of the MIC, indicating a lack of design standards of the flow velocity and pipe material. Finally, an investigation was done for cement-based rehabilitating techniques and materials. Full article
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Open AccessReview State-Of-The-Art Review of Geosynthetic Clay Liners
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2110; doi:10.3390/su9112110
Received: 13 October 2017 / Revised: 9 November 2017 / Accepted: 11 November 2017 / Published: 16 November 2017
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Abstract
An important component of modern landfills is the liner system for the prevention of leachate contamination of surrounding ground. Among landfill liner systems, geosynthetic clay liner (GCL) has gained widespread popularity across the world because of its lower hydraulic conductivity as well as
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An important component of modern landfills is the liner system for the prevention of leachate contamination of surrounding ground. Among landfill liner systems, geosynthetic clay liner (GCL) has gained widespread popularity across the world because of its lower hydraulic conductivity as well as its ability to self-heal local damage, which is almost unavoidable in the field. Over the past few decades, numerous studies have been conducted to examine the performance of GCLs, particularly in regard to hydraulic conductivity, chemical compatibility, water-swelling, self-healing capacity, diffusion characteristics, gas migration, and mechanical behavior. In this paper, a brief introduction on modern GCL products is firstly given. Subsequently, the main findings of previous publications on the critical properties influencing the long-term performance of GCLs are summarized in a comprehensive manner. Finally, further research perspectives on polymer-treated GCLs are presented. This paper provides general insights that help readers gain a state-of-the-art overview of GCLs and trends for future development. Full article
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