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Special Issue "Sustainable Construction"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Víctor Yepes

Concrete Science and Technology Institute (ICITECH), Department of Construction Engineering and Civil Engineering Projects, Universitat Politècnica de València Valencia, 46022 Valencia, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: multi-objective optimization; life-cycle assessment; decision-making; sustainability; concrete structures; CO2 emissions; construction management
Guest Editor
Dr. Tatiana García-Segur

Concrete Science and Technology Institute (ICITECH), Department of Construction Engineering and Civil Engineering Projects, Universitat Politècnica de València Valencia, 46022 Valencia, Spain
E-Mail
Interests: multi-objective optimization; durability; safety; sustainability; post-tensioned bridges; maintenance; blended cement; recycled concrete

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This "Sustainable Construction" Special Issue comprises selected papers for Sustainability. Construction is one of the main sectors generating greenhouse gases. This industry consumes large amounts of raw materials, such as stone, timber, water, etc. Additionally, infrastructure should provide service over many years without safety problems. Therefore, their correct design, construction, maintenance and dismantling are essential to reduce economic, environmental and societal consequences. That is why promoting sustainable construction is becoming extremely important nowadays. This Special Issue is seeking papers that explore new ways of reducing the environmental impacts caused by the construction sector, as well promoting social progress and economic growth. These objectives include, but are not limited to:

  • The use of sustainable materials in construction
  • The development of technologies and processes intended to improve sustainability in construction
  • The optimization of designs based on sustainable indicators
  • The reduction of the economic, environmental and social impact caused by production processes
  • The promotion of durable materials that reduce the future maintenance
  • The life-cycle assessment
  • Decision-making processes that integrate economic, social, and environmental aspects

Papers selected for this Special Issue are subject to a rigorous peer-review procedure with the aim of rapid and wide dissemination of research results, developments and applications.

Prof. Dr. Víctor Yepes
Dr. Tatiana García-Segura
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
  • life-cycle assessment
  • sustainable and efficient technologies and processes
  • design optimization
  • durable materials
  • maintenance minimization
  • decision-making

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Displaying articles 1-12
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Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Life Cycle Cost Assessment of Preventive Strategies Applied to Prestressed Concrete Bridges Exposed to Chlorides
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 845; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030845
Received: 23 February 2018 / Revised: 12 March 2018 / Accepted: 13 March 2018 / Published: 16 March 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1967 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper applies Life Cycle Assessment methodology to aid in the decision making to select the preventive measure against chloride corrosion in concrete structures that works best for the socio-economic context of the structure. The assumed model combines the concepts of Life Cycle
[...] Read more.
This paper applies Life Cycle Assessment methodology to aid in the decision making to select the preventive measure against chloride corrosion in concrete structures that works best for the socio-economic context of the structure. The assumed model combines the concepts of Life Cycle Cost Analysis and Social Life Cycle Analysis to assess the impacts on users derived from the maintenance activities associated with each alternative analyzed in terms of economic costs. The model has been applied to a prestressed concrete bridge to obtain a preventive measure that can reduce the total costs incurred over the period of analysis by up to 58.5% compared to the cost of the current solution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Construction)
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Open AccessArticle An Optimization-LCA of a Prestressed Concrete Precast Bridge
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 685; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030685
Received: 30 January 2018 / Revised: 23 February 2018 / Accepted: 1 March 2018 / Published: 2 March 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2747 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The construction sector is one of the most active sectors, with a high economic, environmental and social impact. For this reason, the sustainable design of structures and buildings is a trend that must be followed. Bridges are one of the most important structures
[...] Read more.
The construction sector is one of the most active sectors, with a high economic, environmental and social impact. For this reason, the sustainable design of structures and buildings is a trend that must be followed. Bridges are one of the most important structures in the construction sector, as their construction and maintenance are crucial to achieve and retain the best transport between different places. Nowadays, the choice of bridge design depends on the initial economic criterion but other criteria should be considered to assess the environmental and social aspects. Furthermore, for a correct choice, the influence of these criteria during the bridge life-cycle must be taken into account. This study aims to analyse the life-cycle environmental impact of efficient structures from the economic point of view. Life-cycle assessment process is used to obtain all the environmental information about bridges. In this paper, a prestressed concrete precast bridge is cost-optimized and afterwards, the life-cycle assessment is carried out to achieve the environmental information about the bridge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Construction)
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Open AccessArticle Can the SDGs Provide a Basis for Supply Chain Decisions in the Construction Sector?
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 629; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030629
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 21 February 2018 / Accepted: 21 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1005 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Construction sector is characterised by complex supply networks delivering unique end products over short time scales. Sustainability has increased in importance but continues to be difficult to implement in this sector; thus, new approaches and practices are needed. This paper reports an
[...] Read more.
The Construction sector is characterised by complex supply networks delivering unique end products over short time scales. Sustainability has increased in importance but continues to be difficult to implement in this sector; thus, new approaches and practices are needed. This paper reports an empirical investigation into the value of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially Sustainable Consumption and Production (SDG12), when used as a framework for action by organisations to drive change towards sustainability in global supply networks. Through inductive research, two different and contrasting approaches to improving the sustainability of supply networks have been revealed. One approach focuses on the “bottom up” ethical approach typified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification of timber products, and the other on “top-down” regulations exemplified by the UK Modern Slavery Act. In an industry noted for complex supply networks and characterised by adversarial relationships, the findings suggest that, in the long term, promoting shared values aligned with transparent, third-party monitoring will be more effective than imposing standards through legislation and regulation in supporting sustainable consumption and production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Construction)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Crack on Durability of RC Material under the Chloride Aggressive Environment
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 430; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020430
Received: 5 January 2018 / Revised: 31 January 2018 / Accepted: 4 February 2018 / Published: 7 February 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (6175 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Exposed to aggressive environments, the rebar in reinforced concrete (RC) bridges will be corroded gradually. Durability of RC material mostly depends on the rebar corrosion behavior. In this research, influences of crack on rebar corrosion were investigated. Firstly, RC specimens with different crack
[...] Read more.
Exposed to aggressive environments, the rebar in reinforced concrete (RC) bridges will be corroded gradually. Durability of RC material mostly depends on the rebar corrosion behavior. In this research, influences of crack on rebar corrosion were investigated. Firstly, RC specimens with different crack number, width and spacing were prepared and the rebar corrosion was conducted through an accelerated chloride penetration method. Then, corrosion current densities of rebar were calculated from electrochemical test methods including liner polarization (LP), Tafel potentiodynamic polarization (TPP) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) measurements. Finally, the discussion was presented about a more reasonable electrochemical testing method for rebar corrosion in RC material. Besides, the significant influence factor among crack width, number and spacing was evaluated based on both One-way analysis of variance (One-way ANOVA) and Turkey’s honest significant difference (Turkey’s HSD) test. The results revealed that a more reasonable way to obtain corrosion current densities of rebar is combining EIS measurement with TPP measurement. Crack number shows the most significant effect on corrosion behavior of rebar, while crack spacing possesses the least one. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Construction)
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Open AccessArticle Comprehensive Sustainability Evaluation of High-Speed Railway (HSR) Construction Projects Based on Unascertained Measure and Analytic Hierarchy Process
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 408; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020408
Received: 4 January 2018 / Revised: 25 January 2018 / Accepted: 26 January 2018 / Published: 5 February 2018
PDF Full-text (976 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper aims to evaluate the sustainability of high-speed railway (HSR) construction projects in a comprehensive manner. To this end, the author established an index system, involving 4 primary indices, 9 secondary indices, and 32 tertiary indices. The analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and
[...] Read more.
This paper aims to evaluate the sustainability of high-speed railway (HSR) construction projects in a comprehensive manner. To this end, the author established an index system, involving 4 primary indices, 9 secondary indices, and 32 tertiary indices. The analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and the unascertained measure were introduced to calculate the weights of these indices. Then, the index system was applied to evaluate the sustainability of the China’s Harbin-Dalian Passenger Dedicated Line (PDL). The results show that the Harbin-Dalian PDL project achieved good results in terms of process, economic benefit, impact, and sustainability, and will bring long-term benefits in the fields of tourism, economy, and transport capacity, as well as many other fields. In spite of its good overall sustainability, the project needs to further increase its economic benefits and reduce its negative environmental impact. For this purpose, it is necessary to adopt the management mode of “separation between network and transportation” and apply noise prevention measures like noise barriers, tunnels, and overhead viaducts. This research lays a solid basis for the sustainability evaluation of HSR construction projects, and simplifies the modelling process for designers of HSR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Construction)
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Open AccessArticle A Study on the Analysis of CO2 Emissions of Apartment Housing in the Construction Process
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 365; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020365
Received: 25 November 2017 / Revised: 25 January 2018 / Accepted: 26 January 2018 / Published: 31 January 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3332 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recent research in the construction industry has focused on the reduction of CO2 emission using quantitative assessment of building life. However, most of this research has focused on the operational stage of a building’s life cycle. Few comprehensive studies of CO2
[...] Read more.
Recent research in the construction industry has focused on the reduction of CO2 emission using quantitative assessment of building life. However, most of this research has focused on the operational stage of a building’s life cycle. Few comprehensive studies of CO2 emissions during building construction have been performed. The purpose of this study is to analyze the CO2 emissions of an apartment housing during the construction process. The quantity of CO2 emissions associated with the utilization of selected building materials and construction equipment were used to estimate the CO2 emissions related to the apartment housing life cycle. In order to set the system boundary for the construction materials, equipment, and transportation used, 13 types of construction work were identified; then the CO2 emissions produced by the identified materials were calculated for each type of construction work. The comprehensive results showed that construction work involving reinforced concrete accounted for more than 73% of the total CO2 emissions. The CO2 emissions related to reinforced concrete work was mainly due to transportation from the supplier to the construction site. Therefore, at the time that reinforced concrete is being supplied, shipping distance and fuel economy management of concrete transportation vehicles should be considered thoroughly for significant reduction of CO2 emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Construction)
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Open AccessArticle Bio-Inspired Sustainability Assessment for Building Product Development—Concept and Case Study
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010130
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 23 December 2017 / Accepted: 29 December 2017 / Published: 8 January 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (6089 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Technological advancement culminating in a globalized economy has brought tremendous improvements for mankind in manifold respects but comes at the cost of alienation from nature. Human activities nowadays are unsustainable and cause severe damage especially in terms of global depletion and destabilization of
[...] Read more.
Technological advancement culminating in a globalized economy has brought tremendous improvements for mankind in manifold respects but comes at the cost of alienation from nature. Human activities nowadays are unsustainable and cause severe damage especially in terms of global depletion and destabilization of natural systems but also harm its own social resources. In this paper, a sustainability assessment method is developed based on a bio-inspired sustainability framework that has been developed in the project TRR 141-C01 “The biomimetic promise.” It is aims at regaining the advantages of societal embeddedness in its environment through biological inspiration. The method is developed using a structured approach including requirement specification, description of the inventory models on bio-inspiration and sustainability assessment, creation of a bio-inspired sustainability assessment model and its validation. It is defined as an accompanying assessment for decision support, using a six-fold two-dimensional structure of social, economic and environmental functions and burdens. The method is applied and validated in 6 projects of TRR 141 and its applicability is exemplarily shown by the assessment of “Bio-flexi”, a biobased and biodegradable natural fiber reinforced plastic composite for indoor cladding applications. Based on the findings of the application the assessment method itself is proposed to be advanced towards an adaptive structure and a consequent outlook is provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Construction)
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Open AccessArticle Diagnosis of Sustainable Business Strategies Implemented by Chilean Construction Companies
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010082
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 26 December 2017 / Accepted: 27 December 2017 / Published: 30 December 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2544 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Construction companies need to formulate sustainable construction business strategies to create a competitive advantage and remain in the market. This requires that construction firms incorporate sustainability into their business model. However, the current situation of the firm must be known before following the
[...] Read more.
Construction companies need to formulate sustainable construction business strategies to create a competitive advantage and remain in the market. This requires that construction firms incorporate sustainability into their business model. However, the current situation of the firm must be known before following the path to be a sustainable construction firm. Therefore, the aim of this research is to identify sustainable business strategies and their level of implementation in Chilean construction companies. A survey was designed and applied to 245 construction firms to provide statistically valid and reliable information, thus supporting both the senior managers’ decision-making process and the companies’ strategic planning. The main results show that the companies do not pursue business strategies that promote profound organizational changes; instead, they focus their short-term efforts on urgent market demands. This is evidenced by the lack of the function of sustainability management as a permanent role in the organization. Also, this study found that only 32% of Chilean construction companies implement business strategies towards sustainability. Construction firms with higher turnover and subjected to stricter regulations, such as construction companies working in the mining sector, incorporate more sustainable business strategies across their organizations. The lack of a sustainability-oriented vision can affect the transformation of strategy into a competitive advantage, a step that is necessary to support both the company’s permanence in the market and its long-term sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Construction)
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Open AccessArticle Performance Evaluation and Life Cycle Cost Analysis Model of a Gondola-Type Exterior Wall Painting Robot
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1809; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9101809
Received: 12 September 2017 / Revised: 1 October 2017 / Accepted: 6 October 2017 / Published: 8 October 2017
PDF Full-text (5554 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The amount and market size of apartment complex exterior wall painting work continues to increase each year in South Korea. Nevertheless, there are difficulties with the supply and demand of human resources due to the high risks associated with conventional painting work. To
[...] Read more.
The amount and market size of apartment complex exterior wall painting work continues to increase each year in South Korea. Nevertheless, there are difficulties with the supply and demand of human resources due to the high risks associated with conventional painting work. To resolve these issues, research and development has recently been conducted on a Gondola-type Exterior Wall Painting robot (GEWPro). The aims of this study were to develop a performance evaluation and life cycle cost (LCC) analysis model for a GEWPro and deduce its performance and economic efficiency through a case study. According to the results, the performance of the automated method was 16.8% higher than that of the conventional method, and the economic efficiency was also superior (benefit/cost ratio 6.39). These results show that the proposed performance evaluation and LCC analysis model can predict the productivity and economic efficiency of automated methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Construction)
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Open AccessArticle Behaviour of a Sustainable Concrete in Acidic Environment
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1556; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091556
Received: 29 July 2017 / Revised: 23 August 2017 / Accepted: 30 August 2017 / Published: 1 September 2017
PDF Full-text (3254 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainability has become one of the most important considerations in building design and construction in recent years. Concrete is susceptible to acid attack because of its alkaline nature. The socioeconomic losses associated with infrastructure deterioration due to acid attack exceed billions of dollars
[...] Read more.
Sustainability has become one of the most important considerations in building design and construction in recent years. Concrete is susceptible to acid attack because of its alkaline nature. The socioeconomic losses associated with infrastructure deterioration due to acid attack exceed billions of dollars all around the world. An experimental investigation was carried out to study the behaviour of sustainable concrete in 3% sulphuric acid and 1.5% nitric acid environment in which cement was replaced by a combination of fly ash and ultra fine fly ash. It was found that the compressive strength loss of concrete in these acid environments was the minimum in which cement was replaced by 30% fly ash and 10% ultra fine fly ash. This mix also showed the lowest mass loss when exposed to these acids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Construction)
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Open AccessArticle Remote Sensing Techniques for Urban Heating Analysis: A Case Study of Sustainable Construction at District Level
Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1308; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9081308
Received: 20 June 2017 / Revised: 20 July 2017 / Accepted: 24 July 2017 / Published: 26 July 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3679 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, many new districts in urban centres have been planned and constructed to reshape the structure and functions of specific areas. Urban regeneration strategies, planning and design principles have to take into account both socioeconomic perspectives and environmental sustainability. A district
[...] Read more.
In recent years, many new districts in urban centres have been planned and constructed to reshape the structure and functions of specific areas. Urban regeneration strategies, planning and design principles have to take into account both socioeconomic perspectives and environmental sustainability. A district located in the historical city centre of Terni (Italy), Corso del Popolo, was analysed to assess the construction effects in terms of surface urban heat island (SUHI) mitigation. This district is an example of urban texture modification planned in the framework of the regeneration of the ancient part of the town. The changes were realised starting from 2006; the new area was completed on June 2014. The analysis was carried out by processing Landsat 7 ETM+ images before and after the interventions, retrieving land surface temperature (LST) and albedo maps. The map analysis proved the SUHI reduction of the new area after the interventions: as confirmed by the literature, such SUHI mitigation can be ascribed to the presence of green areas, the underground parking, the partial covering of the local roadway and the shadow effect of new multi-storey buildings. Moreover, an analysis of other parameters linked to the impervious surfaces (albedo, heat transfer and air circulation) driving LST variations is provided to better understand SUHI behaviour at the district level. The district regeneration shows that wisely planned and developed projects in the construction sector can improve urban areas not only economically and socially, but can also enhance the environmental impact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Construction)
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Open AccessArticle A Sustainable Graphene Based Cement Composite
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1229; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071229
Received: 2 May 2017 / Revised: 23 June 2017 / Accepted: 4 July 2017 / Published: 13 July 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (5132 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The rheological properties of fresh cement paste with different content of graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs), different shear rate cycles and resting time was investigated. The rheological data were fitted by the Bingham model, Modified Bingham model, Herschel–Bulkley model and Casson model to estimate the
[...] Read more.
The rheological properties of fresh cement paste with different content of graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs), different shear rate cycles and resting time was investigated. The rheological data were fitted by the Bingham model, Modified Bingham model, Herschel–Bulkley model and Casson model to estimate the yield stress and plastic viscosity, and to see trend of the flow curves. The effectiveness of these rheological models was expressed by the standard error. Test results showed that yield stress and plastic viscosity increased with the increase in the content of graphene in the cement based composite and resting time while the values of these parameters decreased for higher shear rate cycle. In comparison to control sample, the GNP cement based composite showed 30% increase in load carrying capacity and 73% increase in overall failure strain. Piezo-resistive characteristics of GNP were employed to evaluate the self-sensing composite material. It was found that, at maximum compressive load, the electrical resistivity value reduced by 42% and hence GNP cement based composite can be used to detect the damages in concrete. Finally, the practical application of this composite material was evaluated by testing full length reinforced concrete beam. It was found that graphene–cement composite specimen successfully predicted the response against cracks propagation and hence can be used as self-sensing composite material. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Construction)
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