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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: closed (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 (25 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Properties of Fired Bricks Incorporating TFT-LCD Waste Glass Powder with Reservoir Sediments
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2503; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072503
Received: 14 June 2018 / Revised: 16 July 2018 / Accepted: 16 July 2018 / Published: 17 July 2018
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Abstract
In view of increasing concerns over nonrenewable resource depletion and waste management, this study aimed to apply the Taguchi optimization technique to determine the process conditions for producing bricks by incorporating thin-film transition liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) waste glass powder with reservoir sediments.
[...] Read more.
In view of increasing concerns over nonrenewable resource depletion and waste management, this study aimed to apply the Taguchi optimization technique to determine the process conditions for producing bricks by incorporating thin-film transition liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) waste glass powder with reservoir sediments. An orthogonal array L16(45) was adopted, which consisted of five controllable four-level factors (i.e., cullet content, drying method, preheat time, sintering temperature, and error). Moreover, the analysis of variance method was used to explore the effects of the experimental factors on the density, water absorption, shrinkage ratio, loss on ignition, porosity, and compressive strength of the fired bricks. The microstructures of the fired specimens were investigated by scanning electron microscopy. Then, large-scale production techniques for fired bricks containing recycled TFT-LCD glass cullet and reservoir sediments were developed in a commercially available tunnel kiln. The test results showed that the structure of the fired specimen was loose at a sintering temperature ranging from 900 to 950 °C. However, the fired specimen showed a significant densification at the sintering temperature of 1050 °C. In addition, the Taguchi method was found to be a feasible approach for optimizing the process condition of bricks using recycled TFT-LCD glass cullet and reservoir sediments and it significantly reduced the number of tests. Further, the characteristics of fired bricks developed in the tunnel kiln were in compliance with Chinese National Standards class Ι building bricks criteria. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Energy-Efficient Learning System Using Web-Based Panoramic Virtual Photoreality for Interactive Construction Safety Education
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2262; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072262
Received: 13 April 2018 / Revised: 15 June 2018 / Accepted: 29 June 2018 / Published: 1 July 2018
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Abstract
Construction safety education plays a crucial role in improving the safety performance in the construction industry. Many research works have successfully adopted computerized three-dimensional model-based virtual reality (3D-VR) to provide students with adequate safety knowledge and skills before they enter construction sites. Despite
[...] Read more.
Construction safety education plays a crucial role in improving the safety performance in the construction industry. Many research works have successfully adopted computerized three-dimensional model-based virtual reality (3D-VR) to provide students with adequate safety knowledge and skills before they enter construction sites. Despite the advantages of improving learning outcomes, 3D-VR has limitations not only in reflecting real-world visibility but also in consuming significant energy and requiring strict user–device compatibility. Therefore, this research methodology was initiated with a thorough investigation of VR application in construction safety education. On the basis of a literature review, the study subsequently analyzes the energy-consumption problems of conventional VR systems. Initial findings motivate the development of an energy-efficient learning system (the interactive constructive safety education (eCSE)) using Web-based panoramic virtual photoreality technology for interactive construction safety education. The eCSE system provides three key interactive modules, namely, lesson delivery (LD), practical experience (PE), and knowledge assessment (KA), for use in mobile devices. The trial system has been developed and validated through scenarios derived from real construction sites. The preliminary evaluation reveals that the eCSE system not only overcomes the 3D-VR limitations in terms of energy efficiency, user device adaptability, and easy implementation, but also improves learning usability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Experimental Analysis of Stresses in Subsoil below a Rectangular Fiber Concrete Slab
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2216; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072216
Received: 11 May 2018 / Revised: 21 June 2018 / Accepted: 26 June 2018 / Published: 28 June 2018
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Abstract
This paper is focused on sensitivity analysis of the behavior of subsoil foundation systems by considering the variant properties of a fiber concrete slab that result in different relative stiffness of the whole cooperating system. The character of the slab and its properties
[...] Read more.
This paper is focused on sensitivity analysis of the behavior of subsoil foundation systems by considering the variant properties of a fiber concrete slab that result in different relative stiffness of the whole cooperating system. The character of the slab and its properties are very important for the character of external load transfer. However, the character of the subsoil also cannot be neglected because it determines the stress–strain behavior of the entire system and, consequently, the bearing capacity of the structure. The sensitivity analysis was carried out based on experimental results, which included both the stress values in the soil below the foundation structure and settlements of the structure that are characterized by different quantities of fibers in it. Flat GEOKON dynamometers were used for the stress measurements below the observed slab, the strains inside the slab were registered by tensometers, and the settlements were monitored geodetically. This paper is focused on the comparison of soil stresses below the slab for different quantities of fibers in the structure. Results obtained from the experimental stand can contribute to more objective knowledge of the soil-slab interaction, the evaluation of real carrying capacity of the slab, the calibration of corresponding numerical models, the optimization of quantity of fibers in the slab and finally, contribute to higher safety and more economical designs of slabs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Reviewing the Long-Term Sustainability of Urban Water System Rehabilitation Strategies with an Alternative Approach
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1987; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061987
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 7 June 2018 / Accepted: 12 June 2018 / Published: 13 June 2018
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Abstract
It is generally difficult to assess the performance of an infrastructure with a substantially longer life span than economic models can handle, and the life cycle concepts in urban water systems are normally limited to single-asset projects. In order to explore the long-term
[...] Read more.
It is generally difficult to assess the performance of an infrastructure with a substantially longer life span than economic models can handle, and the life cycle concepts in urban water systems are normally limited to single-asset projects. In order to explore the long-term impact of urban water infrastructure rehabilitation strategies, a life cycle approach for survival functions is suggested. A life cycle factor based on survival functions is introduced, which is a measuring value of the total expected service life of all pipes within a group of pipes. Another factor, termed the sustainability factor, is based on the relationship between the life cycle factor and a rehabilitation reference method, which makes it possible to correct the long-term performance of rehabilitation methods based on their expected service life provision. A case study presents the implications for investments in infrastructure rehabilitation when applying the sustainability factor in long-term planning, and shows the importance of considering the service life of rehabilitation methods when planning renewal interventions that minimize costs over their life cycles. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Design Solutions for Sustainable Construction of Pre Engineered Steel Buildings
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1761; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061761
Received: 15 April 2018 / Revised: 23 May 2018 / Accepted: 25 May 2018 / Published: 28 May 2018
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Abstract
Sustainable construction of ecofriendly infrastructure has been the priority of worldwide researchers. The induction of modern technology in the steel manufacturing industry has enabled designers to get the desired control over the steel section shapes and profiles resulting in efficient use of construction
[...] Read more.
Sustainable construction of ecofriendly infrastructure has been the priority of worldwide researchers. The induction of modern technology in the steel manufacturing industry has enabled designers to get the desired control over the steel section shapes and profiles resulting in efficient use of construction material and manufacturing energy required to produce these materials. The current research study is focused on the optimization of steel building costs with the use of pre-engineered building construction technology. Construction of conventional steel buildings (CSB) incorporates the use of hot rolled sections, which have uniform cross-section throughout the length. However, pre-engineered steel buildings (PEB) utilize steel sections, which are tailored and profiled based on the required loading effects. In this research study, the performance of PEB steel frames in terms of optimum use of steel sections and its comparison with the conventional steel building is presented in detail. A series of PEB and CSB steel frames is selected and subjected to various loading conditions. Frames were analyzed using Finite Element Based analysis tool and design was performed using American Institute of Steel Construction design specifications. Comparison of the frames has been established in terms of frame weights, lateral displacements (sway) and vertical displacements (deflection) of the frames. The results have clearly indicated that PEB steel frames are not only the most economical solution due to lesser weight of construction but also have shown better performance compared to CSB frames. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Study on Application Potential of Seasonal Thermal Energy Storage-Hybrid Ground Source Heat Pump in Taiwan—Taking Experiments in Tainan as Examples
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1746; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061746
Received: 4 May 2018 / Revised: 24 May 2018 / Accepted: 24 May 2018 / Published: 26 May 2018
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Abstract
Ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) are widely used in building energy conservation in many countries and regions. However, they are rarely seen in Taiwan. The main reason is the extraordinary imbalance between the heating load and cooling load of buildings in Taiwan. Hybrid
[...] Read more.
Ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) are widely used in building energy conservation in many countries and regions. However, they are rarely seen in Taiwan. The main reason is the extraordinary imbalance between the heating load and cooling load of buildings in Taiwan. Hybrid ground source heat pump (HGSHP) is a hybridization of a traditional GSHP system, and can effectively balance the heat injected into and extracted from the ground over an annual cycle. This study focuses on the application of seasonal thermal energy storage HGSHP (STES-HGSHP). Based on the data of six experiments in Tainan, Taiwan, this study finds out the ways to make the process of cold energy storage run with high efficiency, including (1) increasing the flow rate in the ground coupled heat exchanger (GCHE); (2) using double-U GCHE instead of single-U GCHE; (3) starting the process of cold energy storage at the time with low wet bulb temperature; (4) storing more cold energy than necessary in order to lower the ground temperature. Finally, by analyzing the level of wet bulb temperature in winter, this study confirms that the application of STES-HGSHP has great potential in Tainan. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Measuring the Sustainability of Construction Projects throughout Their Lifecycle: A Taiwan Lesson
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1523; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051523
Received: 7 April 2018 / Revised: 2 May 2018 / Accepted: 8 May 2018 / Published: 11 May 2018
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Abstract
Researchers have proposed many industrial or national sustainability evaluation indicator systems during the past decade, although there has not yet been a project-level sustainability evaluation system for the evaluation and execution monitoring of the sustainability status for a construction project. Without such an
[...] Read more.
Researchers have proposed many industrial or national sustainability evaluation indicator systems during the past decade, although there has not yet been a project-level sustainability evaluation system for the evaluation and execution monitoring of the sustainability status for a construction project. Without such an evaluation system, it will be difficult for the planners to plan the sustainable project objectives, for the contractors to select the sustainable execution alternatives, and for the facility managers to operate sustainable constructed facilities. To meet the abovementioned requirements, this paper presents an effort conducted in Taiwan to propose a Construction Project Sustainability Assessing System (CPSAS) considering three pillars of sustainability: environmental, social, and economic, based on the theoretical backgrounds from the literature and former successful sustainable projects. The proposed CPSAS comprises four levels: Level 1, 3 main pillars; Level 2, 8 categories; Level 3, 19 sub-categories; and Level 4, 31 indicators. Different selections of indicators for application in different project phases are suggested according to the prioritization via questionnaire surveys. A procedure for sustainable project management with the proposed CPSAS is suggested to the project management team. Finally, three green building projects and two civil infrastructure construction projects of Taiwan were tested to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed CPSAS. It is concluded that the proposed CPSAS is useful for construction stakeholders to achieve sustainability more effectively during the execution of a construction project. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Houses Based on Wood as an Ecological and Sustainable Housing Alternative—Case Study
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1502; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051502
Received: 14 April 2018 / Revised: 2 May 2018 / Accepted: 7 May 2018 / Published: 9 May 2018
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Abstract
Sustainability of cities is currently a much-debated topic. The trend in Central Europe we witness nowadays is that people are going back from the impersonal and restrictive conditions of tower blocks to the more natural and relaxed conditions of family houses. New approaches
[...] Read more.
Sustainability of cities is currently a much-debated topic. The trend in Central Europe we witness nowadays is that people are going back from the impersonal and restrictive conditions of tower blocks to the more natural and relaxed conditions of family houses. New approaches to urbanization in the context of the sustainability of cities can be characterized by their use of innovative technologies and energetically efficient and ecologically acceptable construction materials. Companies have substantially responded to this trend, meeting the demand by offering a wide range of solutions. Alongside the traditional and long-established construction materials (brick, concrete), including wood, companies are introducing modern, innovative, and viable construction alternatives. Modern methods of construction (MMC), to which modern houses based on wood belong, promote the idea and application of environmentally and energetically efficient constructions. Just as the construction process itself significantly contributes to the depletion of natural resources, the production of construction materials contributes to significant environmental pollution and greenhouse emissions (particularly CO2). Sustainability assessments of construction projects increasingly involve the use of methodologies which assess sustainability criteria throughout a product’s Life-cycle. For our analysis of suburban housing clusters designed to serve as family houses, we chose an actual family house construction completed using a modern construction system based on wood. For the sake of comparing the modern construction method, we created an alternative model of a construction based on a traditional masonry construction system. The main objective of this contribution is to analyze selected variants of constructions in terms of environmental and economic sustainability characteristics, as part of a broader assessment of permanent sustainability, by applying the life-cycle assessment (LCA) and life-cycle cost (LCC) methodologies within specified assessment boundaries. A partial objective of this contribution is to point towards the ways of applying the LCA and LCC assessment methodologies, such as in the decision-making processes involved in alternative investment strategies for the construction of urban clusters in the context of sustainability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Failure Impact Assessment for Large-Scale Landslides Located Near Human Settlement: Case Study in Southern Taiwan
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1491; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051491
Received: 16 March 2018 / Revised: 25 April 2018 / Accepted: 7 May 2018 / Published: 9 May 2018
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Abstract
In 2009, Typhoon Morakot caused over 680 deaths and more than 20,000 landslides in Taiwan. From 2010 to 2015, the Central Geological Survey of the Ministry of Economic Affairs identified 1047 potential large-scale landslides in Taiwan, of which 103 may have affected human
[...] Read more.
In 2009, Typhoon Morakot caused over 680 deaths and more than 20,000 landslides in Taiwan. From 2010 to 2015, the Central Geological Survey of the Ministry of Economic Affairs identified 1047 potential large-scale landslides in Taiwan, of which 103 may have affected human settlements. This paper presents an analytical procedure that can be applied to assess the possible impact of a landslide collapse on nearby settlements. In this paper, existing technologies, including interpretation of remote sensing images, hydrogeological investigation, and numerical analysis, are integrated to evaluate potential failure scenarios and the landslide scale of a specific case: the Xinzhuang landslide. GeoStudio and RAMMS analysis modes and hazard classification produced the following results: (1) evaluation of the failure mechanisms and the influence zones of large-scale landslides; (2) assessment of the migration and accumulation of the landslide mass after failure; and (3) a landslide hazard and evacuation map. The results of the case study show that this analytical procedure can quantitatively estimate potential threats to human settlements. Furthermore, it can be applied to other villages and used as a reference in disaster prevention and evacuation planning. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sacrificial Pseudoreplication in LEED Cross-Certification Strategy Assessment: Sampling Structures
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1353; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051353
Received: 3 April 2018 / Revised: 20 April 2018 / Accepted: 25 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
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Abstract
The study aims to suggest sampling structures to avoid sacrificial pseudoreplication in the evaluation of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified projects. The sampling includes two structures that exclude sacrificial pseudoreplication and one structure that leads to sacrificial pseudoreplication: (i) The state
[...] Read more.
The study aims to suggest sampling structures to avoid sacrificial pseudoreplication in the evaluation of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified projects. The sampling includes two structures that exclude sacrificial pseudoreplication and one structure that leads to sacrificial pseudoreplication: (i) The state is the sampling frame in which LEED projects are treated as primary sampling units; (ii) The US is the sampling frame, the state is the primary sampling unit in which LEED projects are treated as evaluation units; and (iii) The US is the sampling frame in which LEED projects are pooled from different states and treated as primary sampling units. The three sampling structures are applied to the evaluation of the Silver-to-Gold cross-certification performances of LEEDv3 for new construction and LEEDv3 for existing buildings. The same cross-certification strategy was revealed if either structure (i) or structure (ii) was applied, while it was poorly estimated and misinterpreted if structure (iii) was applied, i.e., sacrificial pseudoreplication had occurred. Full article
Open AccessArticle Flowchart on Choosing Optimal Method of Observing Transverse Dispersion Coefficient for Solute Transport in Open Channel Flow
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1332; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051332
Received: 21 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 23 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
PDF Full-text (2016 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There are a number of methods for observing and estimating the transverse dispersion coefficient in an analysis of the solute transport in open channel flow. It may be difficult to select an optimal method to calculate dispersion coefficients from tracer data among numerous
[...] Read more.
There are a number of methods for observing and estimating the transverse dispersion coefficient in an analysis of the solute transport in open channel flow. It may be difficult to select an optimal method to calculate dispersion coefficients from tracer data among numerous methodologies. A flowchart was proposed in this study to select an appropriate method under the transport situation of either time-variant or steady condition. When making the flowchart, the strengths and limitations of the methods were evaluated based on its derivation procedure which was conducted under specific assumptions. Additionally, application examples of these methods on experimental data were illustrated using previous works. Furthermore, the observed dispersion coefficients in a laboratory channel were validated by using transport numerical modeling, and the simulation results were compared with the experimental results from tracer tests. This flowchart may assist in choosing the better methods for determining the transverse dispersion coefficient in various river mixing situations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Identifying Effective Fugitive Dust Control Measures for Construction Projects in Korea
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1206; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041206
Received: 5 March 2018 / Revised: 8 April 2018 / Accepted: 12 April 2018 / Published: 17 April 2018
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Abstract
In recent years, the awareness of the seriousness of the damage caused by fugitive dust and the need to manage it have increased. In particular, construction sites comprise 84% of business places that have reported fugitive dust generation, and they are required to
[...] Read more.
In recent years, the awareness of the seriousness of the damage caused by fugitive dust and the need to manage it have increased. In particular, construction sites comprise 84% of business places that have reported fugitive dust generation, and they are required to have inspection and management to prevent the occurrence of fugitive dust at construction sites. However, the number of complaints in the construction industry due to fugitive dust has increased. The reason for this increase is the fact that existing control measures are defined based on emission processes rather than construction work types, which makes it difficult to apply fugitive dust control measures to construction sites. Therefore, this research evaluated the effectiveness of fugitive dust control measures for construction sites in Korea through a Delphi study. This Delphi study was conducted in two rounds with 12 experts in an on-site panel, and the factors that were determined to be effective control measures were convergence, the content validity ratio (CVR), and stability. This study’s results will be utilized to direct the establishment of future guidelines for fugitive dust control measures based on types of construction work. Full article
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Open AccessArticle EAF Slag Aggregate in Roller-Compacted Concrete Pavement: Effects of Delay in Compaction
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1122; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041122
Received: 9 March 2018 / Revised: 28 March 2018 / Accepted: 3 April 2018 / Published: 9 April 2018
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Abstract
This study investigates the effect of delay in compaction on the optimum moisture content and the mechanical propertie s (i.e., compressive strength, ultrasonic pulse velocity, splitting tensile strength, and modulus of elasticity) of roller-compacted concrete pavement (RCCP) made of electric arc furnace (EAF)
[...] Read more.
This study investigates the effect of delay in compaction on the optimum moisture content and the mechanical propertie s (i.e., compressive strength, ultrasonic pulse velocity, splitting tensile strength, and modulus of elasticity) of roller-compacted concrete pavement (RCCP) made of electric arc furnace (EAF) slag aggregate. EAF slag with size in the range of 4.75–19 mm was used to replace natural coarse aggregate in RCCP mixtures. A new mixing method was proposed for RCCP using EAF slag aggregate. The optimum moisture content of RCCP mixtures in this study was determined by a soil compaction method. The Proctor test assessed the optimum moisture content of mixtures at various time after mixing completion (i.e., 0, 15, 30, 60, and 90 min). Then, the effect of delay in compaction on the mechanical properties of RCCP mixtures at 28 days of age containing EAF slag aggregate was studied. The results presented that the negative effect on water content in the mixture caused by the higher water absorption characteristic of EAF slag was mitigated by the new mixing method. The optimum water content and maximum dry density of RCCP experience almost no effect from the delay in compaction. The compressive strength and splitting tensile strength of RCCP using EAF slag aggregate fulfilled the strength requirements for pavement with 90 min of delay in compaction. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Beyond the Certification Badge—How Infrastructure Sustainability Rating Tools Impact on Individual, Organizational, and Industry Practice
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1038; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041038
Received: 5 February 2018 / Revised: 25 March 2018 / Accepted: 29 March 2018 / Published: 31 March 2018
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Abstract
Sustainability consideration in designing, constructing, and operating civil infrastructure requires substantive action and yet progress is slow. This research examines the impact third-party infrastructure sustainability rating tools—specifically CEEQUAL, Envision, Greenroads, and Infrastructure Sustainability—have beyond individual project certification and considers their role in driving
[...] Read more.
Sustainability consideration in designing, constructing, and operating civil infrastructure requires substantive action and yet progress is slow. This research examines the impact third-party infrastructure sustainability rating tools—specifically CEEQUAL, Envision, Greenroads, and Infrastructure Sustainability—have beyond individual project certification and considers their role in driving wider industry change. In this empirical study, engineering and sustainability professionals (n = 63) assess and describe their experience in using rating tools outside of formal certification and also the impact of tool use on their own practice and the practices of their home organizations. The study found that 77% of experienced users and 59% of infrastructure owners used the tools for purposes other than formal project certification. The research attests that rating tool use and indeed their very existence has a strong influence on sustainability awareness and practice within the infrastructure industry, providing interpretation of sustainability matters in ways that resonate with industry norms. The rating tools impact on individuals and their professional and personal practice, on the policies and practices of infrastructure-related organizations, and more widely on other industry stakeholders. The findings can be used to increase the value gained from sustainability rating tool use and to better understand the role such tools play in creating cultural change within the industry. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Diatomite–Limestone Powder Ratio on Mechanical and Anti-Deformation Properties of Sustainable Sand Asphalt Composite
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 808; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030808
Received: 16 February 2018 / Revised: 9 March 2018 / Accepted: 12 March 2018 / Published: 14 March 2018
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Abstract
Diatomite has gained more and more interest as a new resource, since it has potential as a favorable alternative to mineral filler in the construction of asphalt pavement compared with ordinary limestone powder. In this paper, the mechanical and anti-deformation properties of sand
[...] Read more.
Diatomite has gained more and more interest as a new resource, since it has potential as a favorable alternative to mineral filler in the construction of asphalt pavement compared with ordinary limestone powder. In this paper, the mechanical and anti-deformation properties of sand asphalt composites with various proportions of diatomite were investigated by a uniaxial compression failure test, a uniaxial compression repeated creep test, and a low-temperature splitting test in order to determine the optimal replacement content of ordinary limestone powder. Five groups of sand asphalts with various volume ratios of diatomite to limestone (0:1, 0.25:0.75, 0.5:0.5, 0.75:0.25, and 1:0) were determined by the simplex-lattice mixture design (SLD) method. The results reveal that the compression strength, anti-deformation properties, and low-temperature crack resistance of sand asphalts are improved through the use of diatomite. Furthermore, the optimal ratio (0.327:0.673) of limestone to diatomite is determined by the SLD method, according to secant modulus and creep strain results. Full article
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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; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020550
Received: 16 January 2018 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 18 February 2018 / Published: 21 February 2018
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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
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Open AccessArticle A Study on Heat-Transfer Characteristics by a Ground-Heating Method
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 412; https://doi.org/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; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020401
Received: 28 December 2017 / Revised: 29 January 2018 / Accepted: 29 January 2018 / Published: 4 February 2018
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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
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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; https://doi.org/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
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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; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9112084
Received: 8 September 2017 / Revised: 23 October 2017 / Accepted: 3 November 2017 / Published: 13 November 2017
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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; https://doi.org/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; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9101915
Received: 2 October 2017 / Revised: 19 October 2017 / Accepted: 20 October 2017 / Published: 23 October 2017
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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
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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; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091652
Received: 19 August 2017 / Revised: 13 September 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 18 September 2017
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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
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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; https://doi.org/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
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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; https://doi.org/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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