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Sustainability, Volume 10, Issue 10 (October 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Controlling vehicle speed is a key tenet of the safe systems approach to road safety. Most research [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Methane, Nitrous Oxide and Ammonia Emissions from Livestock Farming in the Red River Delta, Vietnam: An Inventory and Projection for 2000–2030
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3826; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103826
Received: 29 September 2018 / Revised: 16 October 2018 / Accepted: 18 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
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Abstract
Livestock farming is a major source of greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions. In this study, we estimate methane, nitrous oxide and ammonia emission from livestock sector in the Red River Delta region from 2000 to 2015 and provide a projection to 2030 using
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Livestock farming is a major source of greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions. In this study, we estimate methane, nitrous oxide and ammonia emission from livestock sector in the Red River Delta region from 2000 to 2015 and provide a projection to 2030 using IPCC 2006 methodologies with the integration of local emission factors and provincial statistic livestock database. Methane, nitrous oxide and ammonia emissions from livestock farming in the Red River Delta in 2030 are estimated at 132 kt, 8.3 kt and 34.2 kt, respectively. Total global warming potential is estimated at 5.9 MtCO2eq in 2030 and accounts for 33% of projected greenhouse gas emissions from livestock in Vietnam. Pig farming is responsible for half of both greenhouse gases and ammonia emissions in the Red River Delta region. Cattle is another major livestock responsible for greenhouse gas emissions and poultry is one that is responsible for ammonia emissions. Hanoi contributes for the largest emissions in the region in 2015 but will be surpassed by other provinces in Vietnam by 2030. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Organic Farming Improves Soil Microbial Abundance and Diversity under Greenhouse Condition: A Case Study in Shanghai (Eastern China)
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3825; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103825
Received: 13 September 2018 / Revised: 11 October 2018 / Accepted: 16 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
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Abstract
Agricultural practices have significant impacts on soil properties and microbial communities; however, little is known about their responses to open field and plastic tunnels under organic and conventional farming. We therefore investigated the responses of soil chemical variables and microbial communities to different
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Agricultural practices have significant impacts on soil properties and microbial communities; however, little is known about their responses to open field and plastic tunnels under organic and conventional farming. We therefore investigated the responses of soil chemical variables and microbial communities to different agricultural management and cultivation types, including organic management in open field (OF), organic management in plastic tunnels (OP), conventional management in open field (CF) and conventional management in plastic tunnels (CP), by using a pyrosequencing approach of 16S rRNA gene amplicon. Both factors had significant influences on the soil properties and microbial communities. Organic farming increased the nutrient-related soil variables compared to conventional farming regardless of cultivation type, especially for the available N and P, which were increased by 137% and 711%, respectively, in OP compared to CP. Additionally, OP had the highest microbial abundance and diversity among treatments, whereas no difference was found between OF, CF and CP. Furthermore, OP possessed diverse differential bacteria which were mainly related to the organic material turnover (e.g., Roseiflexus, Planctomyces and Butyrivibrio) and plant growth promotion (e.g., Nostoc, Glycomyces and Bacillus). Redundancy analysis (RDA) showed that pH, electrical conductivity (EC), nutrient levels (e.g., available N and available P) and total Zn content were significantly correlated to the structure of the microbial community. Overall, our results showed that the long-term organic farming with high fertilizer input increased soil nutrient levels and microbial abundance and diversity under plastic-tunnel condition compared to other cultivation systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Crop Production Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Managing Growing Pains for the Sustainable Growth of Organizations: Evidence from the Growth Pathways and Strategic Choices of Korean Firms
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3824; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103824
Received: 3 August 2018 / Revised: 16 October 2018 / Accepted: 18 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
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Abstract
Life-cycle literature suggests that business organizations evolve in consistent and predictable manners, implying that organizational structures and strategies evolve as firms move through growth stages. The sustainable growth of firms involves successful transitions between growth stages through managing different types of organizational growing
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Life-cycle literature suggests that business organizations evolve in consistent and predictable manners, implying that organizational structures and strategies evolve as firms move through growth stages. The sustainable growth of firms involves successful transitions between growth stages through managing different types of organizational growing pains and maintaining sustainable competitive positions, suggesting shifts in the strategic orientation of the firms as the firms grow. Based on this approach, this study proposes a holistic framework to account for linkages between determinants of a firm’s growing pains and key areas of organizational development, based on a synthesis of qualitative and quantitative findings. From statistical analyses, Korean firms are found to have proceeded through distinct stages of growing pains as they reached organizational sizes as follows: 20, 100, 300, and 500 million USD in sales revenue. Furthermore, qualitative findings suggest that business strategies evolve to deal with different types of growing pains in life-cycle stages from the systemization of management system to the revitalization process. Our results expect to provide extensive knowledge on the role of strategic management to deal with firm’s growing pains, considering both internal and external factors governing organizations. Furthermore, this study expects to provide an insightful and practical framework for managing organizational growing pains and transitions required to build sustainably successful organizations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Whose Agency Counts in Land Use Decision-Making in Myanmar? A Comparative Analysis of Three Cases in Tanintharyi Region
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3823; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103823
Received: 31 August 2018 / Revised: 11 October 2018 / Accepted: 12 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
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Abstract
Myanmar has experienced profound transformations of land use and land governance, often at the expense of smallholders. Empirical evidence on the agency of actors included and excluded in land use decision-making remains scarce. This study analyses who influences land use decision-making, how they
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Myanmar has experienced profound transformations of land use and land governance, often at the expense of smallholders. Empirical evidence on the agency of actors included and excluded in land use decision-making remains scarce. This study analyses who influences land use decision-making, how they do this, and under what circumstances smallholders are included. Comparing three land use trajectories in southern Myanmar, we analysed actors’ agency—conceived as the meanings and means behind (re)actions—in land use decision-making using data from focus groups and interviews. Results showed that uneven distribution of means can lead to unequal decision-making power, enabling actors with more means to exclude those with less means: smallholders. However, this only applies in the case of top-down interventions with mutually exclusive actor interests regarding use of the same land. Where interests are compatible or a mediator supports smallholders in negotiations, actors are likely to develop a collaboration despite unequal means, leading to smallholders’ inclusion in decision-making. Transformation of current land governance towards sustainable development could be promoted by providing mediators to actors with few means, ensuring equal access for all to formal land tenure, engaging with brokers in the land governance network, and improving access to knowledge and financial capital for actors with few means. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Coding Teaching on Students’ Self-Efficacy Perceptions of Technology and Design Courses
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3822; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103822
Received: 25 September 2018 / Revised: 15 October 2018 / Accepted: 16 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
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Abstract
The aim of this research was to examine the effect of coding teaching on students’ self-efficacy perceptions of technology and design courses. A consecutive-explanatory design in a combined research model was used in this study. The qualitative dimension of the research was carried
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The aim of this research was to examine the effect of coding teaching on students’ self-efficacy perceptions of technology and design courses. A consecutive-explanatory design in a combined research model was used in this study. The qualitative dimension of the research was carried out through a random experimental design with pre/post-tests with controlled groups, and the qualitative dimension was conducted through interview techniques. The participants were seventh grade students from Şehit Hüseyin Ruso Secondary school in Lefkoşa, North Cyprus, in the 2016–2017 academic year. The quantitative data were collected through the “Technology and Design Course Self-efficacy Perception Scale”, developed by the researcher, and the qualitative data were collected through interview forms oriented around “Coding Teaching and Revised Technology and Design Course Teaching Program”. The quantitative data were analyzed through related and unrelated sampling t-test, Cohen’s d effect size coefficiency, and two-way variance analyses, and the qualitative data were analyzed through content analysis. A significant difference was observed between the students, taking coding teaching, and self-efficacy perceptions of Technology and Design courses compared to the control groups. Besides, it was noted that students taking coding teaching courses exhibited a positive attitude towards the course, and they practiced their metacognitive thinking and social skills at top levels. Based on the students’ views, it is obvious that coding teaching has a positive effect on their self-efficacy perceptions of the subject. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Industry 4.0 in Management Studies: A Systematic Literature Review
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3821; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103821
Received: 8 August 2018 / Revised: 18 October 2018 / Accepted: 19 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
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Abstract
Recent developments in production processes and their automation have led to the definition of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, commonly known as “Industry 4.0”. Industry 4.0 is a very broad domain that includes: production processes, efficiency, data management, relationship with consumers, competitiveness, and much
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Recent developments in production processes and their automation have led to the definition of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, commonly known as “Industry 4.0”. Industry 4.0 is a very broad domain that includes: production processes, efficiency, data management, relationship with consumers, competitiveness, and much more. At the same time, obviously, Industry 4.0 has become a new theme for management scholars and business economics disciplines and a number of contributions covering various issues and aspects have been published. However, a systematic formulation of all these contributions is still lacking in management literature. Therefore, the aim of the paper is to analyze and classify the main contributions published on the topic of Industry 4.0 in management literature, seeking to give it a unique definition, discover the gaps still remaining in literature and outline future avenues of research in this domain. A systematic review of the literature of the major academic and research databases has been used as methodology to achieve the aim of the paper. This work contributes theoretically to the development of literature on Industry 4.0 and from a managerial perspective it could support entrepreneurs in better understanding the implications and fields of application of the Fourth Industrial Revolution as well as the interplay among them. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability Assessment of Organic Vegetable Production Using a Qualitative Multi-Attribute Model
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3820; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103820
Received: 10 September 2018 / Revised: 12 October 2018 / Accepted: 16 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
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Abstract
Organic agriculture is perceived as environmentally sustainable, but, under its umbrella, different production systems exist ranging from simplified organic productions to well diversified systems with a full implementation of agro-ecological approaches. Among several developed tools for agriculture sustainability assessment, multi-criteria models are increasingly
[...] Read more.
Organic agriculture is perceived as environmentally sustainable, but, under its umbrella, different production systems exist ranging from simplified organic productions to well diversified systems with a full implementation of agro-ecological approaches. Among several developed tools for agriculture sustainability assessment, multi-criteria models are increasingly gaining importance. In this study, we evaluated the use of the multi-criteria DEXi-BIOrt tool, coupled with data from long-term experiments, for the sustainability assessment of different organic vegetable production scenarios. These scenarios were applied in two Italian areas: the Adriatic coast of Marche Region and the Metaponto plan of Basilicata Region. Despite the presence of some critical issues, DEXI-BIOrt proved to be a valid tool for the sustainability evaluation of organic vegetable productions. In both areas, the most sustainable scenarios resulted the well diversified organic systems characterized by proper rotations, inclusion of agro-ecological service crops, cultivation of local and different cultivars, and presence of short supply chain mechanisms. Conversely, the implementation of the simplified organic substitution scenarios does not guarantee a suitable level of sustainability. The findings of this study could support decision makers in the implementation of appropriate measures for enhancing organic production sustainability in the framework of post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Smart Technology for Sustainable Curriculum: Using Drone to Support Young Students’ Learning
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3819; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103819
Received: 11 September 2018 / Revised: 16 October 2018 / Accepted: 19 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
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Abstract
The study developed a sustainable curriculum in which one smart technology (drone) was employed to inspire student learning. The study investigated the effect of using drones on the development of students’ spatial visualization and sequencing skills and examined related instructional tasks for drone
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The study developed a sustainable curriculum in which one smart technology (drone) was employed to inspire student learning. The study investigated the effect of using drones on the development of students’ spatial visualization and sequencing skills and examined related instructional tasks for drone use in the classroom. An after-school drone-flying program was developed at a public elementary school in Taiwan, with 10 third-grade students voluntarily participating in a six-week educational experiment. During drone programming training, young children used a visual block programming language on tablet computers to code lightweight drones. A two-phase research model was adopted to collect the necessary information. In the first phase of the model, a design-based research methodology facilitated the overall instruction preparation process for the four-week workshops. The second phase of the model emphasized a mixed-method research approach, employing a quasi-experimental pretest and post-test design to analyze the effect of drone use and a qualitative method to observe students’ learning behavior and programming work. The results showed that drone programming significantly improved students’ learning of spatial visualization and sequencing skills. Gender, as a potential variable, only influenced students’ programming patterns. Specific programming styles, learning behaviors, and instructional design issues were identified for further discussion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ICT in Education and Sustainable Futures)
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Open AccessArticle Factors Contributing to Disaster Evacuation: The Case of South Korea
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3818; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103818
Received: 22 September 2018 / Revised: 18 October 2018 / Accepted: 18 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
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Abstract
There has been increasing interest in effective evacuation in response to natural disasters, particularly in understanding human evacuation behavior. It is important to determine the factors affecting evacuation decision making to promote prompt evacuation. This study focuses on the effects of past experiences
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There has been increasing interest in effective evacuation in response to natural disasters, particularly in understanding human evacuation behavior. It is important to determine the factors affecting evacuation decision making to promote prompt evacuation. This study focuses on the effects of past experiences on evacuation behavior in South Korea, especially the evacuation drill experience. Additionally, the influence of demographic and socio-economic characteristics on evacuation behavior is considered. After collecting data through telephone surveys, t-tests and logit regression models were used to evaluate the data. The results reveal that an evacuation drill experience is positively related to making a decision to evacuate. The results also confirm that certain demographic factors, such as age and household size, as well as socio-economic factors, such as household income and housing type, influence evacuation decisions. Besides these, knowing the location of a shelter is another factor that improves the chances of evacuation. Finally, discussions and suggestions for increasing participation in evacuation drills are provided. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Field Compaction of Aggregate Base Materials for Permeable Pavements Based on Plate Load Tests
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3817; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103817
Received: 27 September 2018 / Revised: 12 October 2018 / Accepted: 16 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
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Abstract
The permeable pavement is one of Low Impact Development technics that allows stormwater to infiltrate through the pavement surface and the underlying base layer, thereby reducing surface runoff and preventing water contamination. For permeable base layers of permeable pavements, open-graded aggregates are often
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The permeable pavement is one of Low Impact Development technics that allows stormwater to infiltrate through the pavement surface and the underlying base layer, thereby reducing surface runoff and preventing water contamination. For permeable base layers of permeable pavements, open-graded aggregates are often used to infiltrate and store stormwater in the pore of aggregate base layers. The mechanical behavior of open-graded aggregates has not been a major interest of pavement industry and society, and therefore there is much less information known for behavior of compacted open-graded aggregates comparing to dense-graded materials. This study aims at investigating the mechanical behavior of compacted permeable or open-graded aggregate base materials based on field experiments. Five different open-graded aggregates were selected, and they were compacted in the field up to 12 passes with a 10-ton vibratory compaction roller. The mechanical behaviors of aggregates were evaluated by conducting plate load tests at 2, 4, 8, and 12 passes of roller. For the test conditions considered herein, the strain modulus at the first loading seems to provide more consistent results with respect to aggregate types and level of compaction than other stiffness measures from plate load tests. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Organizational Performance and Sustainability: Exploring the Roles of IT Capabilities and Knowledge Management Capabilities
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3816; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103816
Received: 5 September 2018 / Revised: 15 October 2018 / Accepted: 17 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
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Abstract
This study explores the effects of organizational information technology (IT) capability in determining organizational performance and sustainable competitive advantage. Building on the resource-based and knowledge-based views of a firm, the study proposes a theoretical framework. In this framework, organizational IT capability is theorized
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This study explores the effects of organizational information technology (IT) capability in determining organizational performance and sustainable competitive advantage. Building on the resource-based and knowledge-based views of a firm, the study proposes a theoretical framework. In this framework, organizational IT capability is theorized to strengthen organizational performance and sustainable competitive advantage, directly and indirectly, through organizational knowledge management capabilities. Data collected from the middle and senior managers of diverse organizations in an emerging economy have been used to test the relationships in the framework. To estimate the proposed relationships in the conceptual model, we use structural equation modeling through SmartPLS 3.2. The results confirm that organizational IT capability significantly impacts organizational performance and sustainable competitive advantage. Additionally, organizational knowledge management capabilities partially mediate the relationship between IT capability and the outcomes (i.e., organizational performance and sustainable competitive advantage). The study concludes with a discussion of the implications for academicians and managers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Knowledge and Intellectual Capital Management for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Alliance Portfolio Management and Sustainability of Entrepreneurial Firms
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3815; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103815
Received: 25 September 2018 / Revised: 14 October 2018 / Accepted: 16 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
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Abstract
The aim of the present work is to testify whether the alliance portfolio management capability has an impact on entrepreneurial firms’ sustainability. A moderating mediation model has been applied to a sample consisting of 101 entrepreneurial firms listed in New OTC Market (Over
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The aim of the present work is to testify whether the alliance portfolio management capability has an impact on entrepreneurial firms’ sustainability. A moderating mediation model has been applied to a sample consisting of 101 entrepreneurial firms listed in New OTC Market (Over the Counter Market) in China. Based on the research design, second-hand data and first-hand data were used. The findings reveal that the two dimensions of the alliance portfolio management capability, i.e., partnering proactiveness and relational governance, can trigger a higher value of the alliance portfolio and result in the sustainable growth of entrepreneurial firms. What is more, when the board of directors has centralized power, the alliance portfolio management capability will increase the value of the alliance portfolio and improve the sustainability of entrepreneurial firms. Unlike the previous literature, this study discovers the internal mechanism between the alliance portfolio management capability and firms’ sustainability in the context of entrepreneurship. The theoretical condition of this relationship is provided from the perspective of the board of directors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Carbonation-Induced Corrosion Initiation Probability of Rebars in Concrete With/Without Finishing Materials
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3814; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103814
Received: 16 August 2018 / Revised: 18 October 2018 / Accepted: 19 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
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Abstract
The carbonation of concrete is the prime deterioration factor in reinforced concrete (RC) structures. During carbonation, the atmospheric CO2 penetrates the concrete and lowers its alkalinity. The problem in predicting carbonation is difficult to address, and a reliable probabilistic carbonation assessment is
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The carbonation of concrete is the prime deterioration factor in reinforced concrete (RC) structures. During carbonation, the atmospheric CO2 penetrates the concrete and lowers its alkalinity. The problem in predicting carbonation is difficult to address, and a reliable probabilistic carbonation assessment is required to consider different variables such as the concrete quality, the chemistry of the reinforcing steel, and the quality of finishing materials. In the present study, we have used different finishing materials on concrete to minimize the effects of carbonation with a field survey and accelerated conditions. In one experiment, the measurement of the thickness of the concrete cover and the application of the finishing materials were done on-site, whereas, in the other experiment, these were done under accelerated conditions. The carbonation depth and the coefficient of silk wallpaper (SWP) were reduced by half in an accelerated 5% CO2 experiment compared to the plain ordinary Portland cement (OPC), owing to the external physical barrier that reduces the penetration of CO2 through the pores of the concrete. We found that carbonation did not reach the embedded rebar even after 100 years when SWP finishing material was used. The probability model predicted that 51 years would be required for OPC and water paint (WP) to reach a 30% onset of corrosion initiation through accelerated carbonation, while SWP would require 200 years. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Social Capital, Resource Constraints and Low Growth Communities: Lifestyle Entrepreneurs in Nicaragua
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3813; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103813
Received: 13 September 2018 / Revised: 12 October 2018 / Accepted: 17 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
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Abstract
In the context of the connections between lifestyle entrepreneurship and sustainability, we discuss the way in which social capital may partially substitute or compensate for manufactured and natural capital. In terms of methods we use a case study community of lifestyle entrepreneurs in
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In the context of the connections between lifestyle entrepreneurship and sustainability, we discuss the way in which social capital may partially substitute or compensate for manufactured and natural capital. In terms of methods we use a case study community of lifestyle entrepreneurs in Nicaragua, operating under conditions of material resource constraints and weak formal institutions. We find that social capital is highly important in such a community, with the entrepreneurs adopting a range of effectuation or coping practices that enable them to function. We document these practices and consider the broader implications of such capital substitution, noting the particularities of the case study but also the implications for sustainability and the economics of a materially resource-constrained world. We draw particularly on Bourdieu’s conception of social capital, which posits that societies inherently organize for multi-capital accumulation, a proposal that itself has implications for sustainability. We conclude that while significant substitution of social for manufactured and natural capital is feasible in communities with values that are supportive of this, it remains to be seen whether this would be attractive to the wider, consumer society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Teaching Methods in Biology Promoting Biodiversity Education
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3812; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103812
Received: 15 September 2018 / Revised: 8 October 2018 / Accepted: 17 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
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The aim of this qualitative survey was to investigate what kind of teaching methods have been used in biology to promote biodiversity education (BDE) and how the methods support biodiversity (BD) learning. We found, in total, 317 international scientific articles published since 2000
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The aim of this qualitative survey was to investigate what kind of teaching methods have been used in biology to promote biodiversity education (BDE) and how the methods support biodiversity (BD) learning. We found, in total, 317 international scientific articles published since 2000 which described the teaching methods regarding BDE and the teaching, and/or the learning. From these ones 12 articles specifically addressed the teaching methods of BD. The content of these articles was analysed in detail. The detailed analysis was based on (a) the categories of the teaching methods used, (b) the conception of learning in the Finnish National Core Curricula for Secondary schools and (c) the revised Bloom’s taxonomy and Stanny’s verbs concerning the levels of taxonomy. The most used teaching methods were hands-on instruction, experiential learning, and teacher presentation. The least used ones were games, roleplay, debates, service learning, study trips, and visits. In all the articles, various teaching methods used during the lessons were described. The items concerning the teaching methods, which supported students learning were active participation and interaction—mentioned in all the articles—followed by observation, experimental work, experiential learning, and techniques for increasing environmental awareness. The understanding of the different perspectives of BD and the development of self-evaluation were addressed in only four and two of the articles, respectively. The four types of knowledge were supported by the used teaching methods in nine articles jointly. The lower levels of thinking skills were well-supported by the used teaching methods. The highest level of thinking skills, such as synthesis and evaluation, received the least amount of attention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Science Education Promoting Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Long-Term Decision on Wind Investment with Considering Different Load Ranges of Power Plant for Sustainable Electricity Energy Market
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3811; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103811
Received: 23 September 2018 / Revised: 10 October 2018 / Accepted: 15 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
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Abstract
The aim of this paper is to provide a bi-level model for the expansion planning on wind investment while considering different load ranges of power plants in power systems at a multi-stage horizon. Different technologies include base load units, such as thermal and
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The aim of this paper is to provide a bi-level model for the expansion planning on wind investment while considering different load ranges of power plants in power systems at a multi-stage horizon. Different technologies include base load units, such as thermal and water units, and peak load units such as gas turbine. In this model, subsidies are considered as a means to encourage investment in wind turbines. In order that the uncertainties related to demand and the wind turbine can be taken into consideration, these effects are modelled using a variety of scenarios. In addition, the load demand is characterized by a certain number of demand blocks. The first-level relates to the issue of investment in different load ranges of power plants with a view to maximizing the investment profit whilst the second level is related to the market-clearing where the priority is to maximize the social welfare benefits. The bi-level optimization problem is then converted to a dynamic stochastic mathematical algorithm with equilibrium constraint (MPEC) and represented as a mixed integer linear program (MILP) after linearization. The proposed framework is examined on a real transmission network. Simulation results confirm that the proposed framework can be a useful tool for analyzing the investments different load ranges of power plants on long-term strategic decision-making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Energy Systems: From Primary to End-Use)
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Open AccessArticle Risk Assessment of Underground Subway Stations to Fire Disasters Using Bayesian Network
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3810; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103810
Received: 18 September 2018 / Revised: 15 October 2018 / Accepted: 16 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
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Abstract
Subway station fires often have serious consequences because of the high density of people and limited number of exits in a relatively enclosed space. In this study, a comprehensive model based on Bayesian network (BN) and the Delphi method is established for the
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Subway station fires often have serious consequences because of the high density of people and limited number of exits in a relatively enclosed space. In this study, a comprehensive model based on Bayesian network (BN) and the Delphi method is established for the rapid and dynamic assessment of the fire evolution process, and consequences, in underground subway stations. Based on the case studies of typical subway station fire accidents, 28 BN nodes are proposed to represent the evolution process of subway station fires, from causes to consequences. Based on expert knowledge and consistency processing by the Delphi method, the conditional probabilities of child BN nodes are determined. The BN model can quantitatively evaluate the factors influencing fire causes, fire proof/intervention measures, and fire consequences. The results show that the framework, combined with Bayesian network and the Delphi method, is a reliable tool for dynamic assessment of subway station fires. This study could offer insights to a more realistic analysis for emergency decision-making on fire disaster reduction, since the proposed approach could take into account the conditional dependency in the fire propagation process and incorporate fire proof/intervention measures, which is helpful for resilience and sustainability promotion of underground facilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Analyzing Spatial Structure of Traditional Houses in Old Towns with Tourism Development and Its Transformation toward Sustainable Development of Residential Environments in Hexia Old Town, in China
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3809; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103809
Received: 20 September 2018 / Revised: 19 October 2018 / Accepted: 19 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
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Abstract
This study elucidates the spatial structure of traditional houses, and its transformation toward sustainable development of residential environments in old towns that are currently the focus of tourism development initiatives. Hexia old town in Huai’an District, China, was chosen for this study involving
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This study elucidates the spatial structure of traditional houses, and its transformation toward sustainable development of residential environments in old towns that are currently the focus of tourism development initiatives. Hexia old town in Huai’an District, China, was chosen for this study involving a field survey, questionnaire survey, and interviews. Data analysis identified three periods of residential transformation and three patterns of the residential transformation process. In all cases, there was low awareness of building conservation measures and lack of tourism development by the government, which has translated into ongoing residential transformations according to the demands of daily life. However, in the interests of tourism development, some businesses have started making use of vacant residences and traditional homes, and the relative proximity to work and home imply sustainability of residents’ lifestyles under these conditions. An improvement plan for an old town requires a thorough understanding of the circumstances surrounding residential modifications executed by residents, the problems faced in the living environment, as well as efforts to increase the residents’ awareness of the issue of sustainable living in that old town. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainability of Culture and Heritage)
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Open AccessArticle What Motivates Local Governments to Invest in Critical Infrastructure? Lessons from Chile
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3808; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103808
Received: 23 August 2018 / Revised: 30 September 2018 / Accepted: 16 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
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Abstract
In this study, we identify institutional factors and processes that foster local government decisions about disaster risk reduction, especially critical infrastructure investments and maintenance. We propose that municipal institutional capacities, organization, leadership, and multilevel governance will affect critical infrastructure investments by local governments.
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In this study, we identify institutional factors and processes that foster local government decisions about disaster risk reduction, especially critical infrastructure investments and maintenance. We propose that municipal institutional capacities, organization, leadership, and multilevel governance will affect critical infrastructure investments by local governments. To examine these ideas, we employ qualitative analysis to compare two representative medium–sized cities in Chile. Our results suggest that there are two main institutional factors that constitute the foundation for improvements in critical infrastructure in Chile: municipal institutional context and the local administration’s links with decision makers at higher levels of governance. These results imply that future interventions to strengthen local government efforts for disaster risk reduction in terms of critical infrastructures would benefit from a pre-intervention diagnosis of the target location’s existing institutional context and linkages with external governance actors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Justifying Soil Protection and Sustainable Soil Management: Creation-Ethical, Legal and Economic Considerations
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3807; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103807
Received: 21 August 2018 / Revised: 8 October 2018 / Accepted: 17 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
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Abstract
Fertile soils form an important basis for survival for humans, but also for animals, plants and ecosystems, on which all terrestrial organisms rely. Soil is not only of central importance to the global provision of food and in the fight against hunger; climate,
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Fertile soils form an important basis for survival for humans, but also for animals, plants and ecosystems, on which all terrestrial organisms rely. Soil is not only of central importance to the global provision of food and in the fight against hunger; climate, biological diversity and water bodies are also highly dependent on soil quality. Soil conservation is therefore a decisive factor in the survival of humanity. Pope Francis also emphasized this in his encyclical “Laudato si’”. However, increasing pressure is being exerted on soils, which poses an enormous challenge to the international community and thus also to the church. Against this background, in this article, which is based on a Memorandum of the German Bishops’ Working Group on Ecological Issues, arguments and justifications for soil protection and sustainable soil management are developed from different angles—from a creation-ethical, a legal, and an economic perspective. All three perspectives point in the same direction, namely that in the use of soils public interests that serve the society and the environment should be given priority over private interests. These arguments may serve as an important reference point in political and societal debates about soils, and may support strategies for sustainable soil management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment and Governance of Sustainable Soil Management)
Open AccessArticle Promoting the Development of Enterprise Niche: Case Study on China’s Organizational Ambidexterity
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3806; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103806
Received: 31 August 2018 / Revised: 14 October 2018 / Accepted: 15 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
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Abstract
This paper aims to take the longitudinal development history of the Lenovo Cross-border complex nested R&D organization as the research object, to explore the development rules of enterprise niche. Strategic positioning is the core issue of enterprise management, and enterprise niche is the
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This paper aims to take the longitudinal development history of the Lenovo Cross-border complex nested R&D organization as the research object, to explore the development rules of enterprise niche. Strategic positioning is the core issue of enterprise management, and enterprise niche is the core issue of strategic positioning. This study elaborates on the three stages of enterprise R&D organizational ambidexterity promoting enterprise niche evolution, discusses the process model of space development, and reveals the life cycle of enterprise niche. It reveals the deep reason for promoting enterprise niche to develop—the ambidexterity of complex nested organization. The conclusion helps to promote the successful space development of enterprise niches through Cross-border merger and acquisition, and to enhance global sustainable development for the companies from emerging markets such as China. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Paradigm Found? Immanent Critique to Tackle Interdisciplinarity and Normativity in Science for Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3805; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103805
Received: 4 October 2018 / Revised: 17 October 2018 / Accepted: 18 October 2018 / Published: 21 October 2018
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Abstract
The ambition of this two-part article is to argue for immanent critique as a research strategy in sustainability studies. We do this by picking up and developing two central, cross-cutting themes in sustainability research, namely interdisciplinarity and normativity. It is widely suggested that
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The ambition of this two-part article is to argue for immanent critique as a research strategy in sustainability studies. We do this by picking up and developing two central, cross-cutting themes in sustainability research, namely interdisciplinarity and normativity. It is widely suggested that the problem-driven and solution-focused orientation in sustainability studies necessitates interdisciplinarity and an engagement with questions of normativity, each creating problems regarding how science is conducted. For interdisciplinarity, questions remain regarding by what scientific procedure rational (i.e., non-arbitrary) interdisciplinarity can be accomplished. For normativity, it is unclear whether normativity can be addressed scientifically, or only politically; in other words, can normativity be objectively incorporated in sustainability research, and if so, how? Ultimately, the paper asks and answers the following questions: when should a researcher move from one discipline to another in sustainability research and, how do we judge the validity of the normative values that are deemed necessary for sustainability? In Part I, we show the silences, gaps, vagueness and inadequacies of how these themes are currently addressed in sustainability science literature, and from this move to propose immanent critique as a potential strategy for dealing with them in a scientific manner. In Part II, we exemplify our strategy by applying it to re-construct the debate over sustainable development, by far the most prominent topical focus in sustainability science research, producing a novel systematized typology of sustainable development approaches in the process. We conclude with reflections on how this paper amounts to an initial contribution to the construction of a Lakatosian research programme in sustainability studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
Open AccessArticle The Effect of Climate Change on Spring Maize (Zea mays L.) Suitability across China
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3804; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103804
Received: 19 September 2018 / Revised: 17 October 2018 / Accepted: 19 October 2018 / Published: 21 October 2018
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Abstract
Spring maize (Zea mays L.) is a thermophilic C4 crop which is sensitive to climate change. This paper provides a detailed assessment of the effect of climate change on the crop from a new perspective, by predicting the probability of the
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Spring maize (Zea mays L.) is a thermophilic C4 crop which is sensitive to climate change. This paper provides a detailed assessment of the effect of climate change on the crop from a new perspective, by predicting the probability of the potential distribution of spring maize across China. The affected area of spring maize suitability was identified, and then the affected area was subdivided into the improved area and the deteriorated area. Our results confirmed that there was a detrimental consequence for spring maize suitability under observed climate change from 1961–1990 to 1981–2010. However, our results revealed that warming scenarios of 1.5 °C and 2 °C were helpful for the suitable area expansion of spring maize. The affected area was smaller under warming scenarios than under historical climate change, revealing that temperature rise alone was not enough to trigger a “tipping point” (a threshold value after which abrupt shifts occur) for spring maize, even if warming is 2 °C above the level of 1961–1990. Our results not only benefit China in the design of mitigation and adaptation strategies, but also provide a theoretical judgement that the impact of global warming on the crop ecosystem is not serious if other climate factors remain unchanged. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Analyzing the Long-Term Service Life of MEP Using the Probabilistic Approach in Residential Buildings
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3803; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103803
Received: 9 September 2018 / Revised: 12 October 2018 / Accepted: 15 October 2018 / Published: 21 October 2018
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Abstract
Establishing an effective long-term maintenance plan is essential to ensure the sustainability of a building. Among the various components of a building, the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) components are complexly affected by various parameters, such as quality and user pattern, with respect
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Establishing an effective long-term maintenance plan is essential to ensure the sustainability of a building. Among the various components of a building, the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) components are complexly affected by various parameters, such as quality and user pattern, with respect to the service life. Besides, these components are replaced at different points in time, which becomes one of the main risks when establishing a maintenance plan for the building. Therefore, it is very important to consider the uncertainty in calculating the service lives of MEP components in a systematic and reasonable way. This study aims to systemize the MEP components of residential buildings and analyze their service life patterns using a probabilistic approach for long-term maintenance planning. The analysis was performed on 54,318 maintenance cases from 1998 to 2017 at 65 twenty-five-year-old rental apartment buildings in South Korea. Before performing the analysis, a service life matrix was established by classifying the MEP components into 12 types and setting the service life time at 6–25 years. Then, the service life distribution was derived for each MEP component. The probabilistic approach can provide information for rational maintenance decision-making regarding each MEP component as well as basic service life settings. Since the performance of the MEP components deteriorates due to various reasons, de facto uncertainty exists in the service life of each component; thus, the probabilistic approach can serve as an important decision-making method. If probabilistic methods are developed by acquiring the cost data in addition to the frequency of maintenance activity used in this study, a more effective long-term maintenance plan can be established. Full article
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Open AccessErratum Erratum: Qu, Q., et al. A Performance Evaluation Study of Human Resources in Low-Carbon Logistics Enterprises. Sustainability 2017, 9, 632
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3802; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103802
Received: 3 October 2018 / Accepted: 15 October 2018 / Published: 20 October 2018
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Abstract
In the published article, “A Performance Evaluation Study of Human Resources in Low-Carbon Logistics Enterprises. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Application of Green Production)
Open AccessArticle Consumer Perceptions of the Commodification and Related Conservation of Traditional Indigenous Naxi Forest Products as Credence Goods (China)
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3801; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103801
Received: 10 June 2018 / Revised: 28 August 2018 / Accepted: 28 August 2018 / Published: 20 October 2018
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Abstract
Commodification of Traditional Knowledge (TK) has been posited as a possible, although contested, alternative for the conservation of indigenous resources. Here we examine the case of the Chinese Naxi minority, with particular reference to the practice of sacred “Dongba” papermaking. The commodification of
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Commodification of Traditional Knowledge (TK) has been posited as a possible, although contested, alternative for the conservation of indigenous resources. Here we examine the case of the Chinese Naxi minority, with particular reference to the practice of sacred “Dongba” papermaking. The commodification of TK is a complex process with many pitfalls and trade-offs between the environment, economy, and social empowerment. In the process of commodification, consumers have arisen as an important force in environmental politics. To date, little is known about the way domestic tourists, the main consumer base of indigenous products, perceive Dongba paper. In this context, we examined their knowledge of Naxi culture, their willingness to pay for sustainably produced paper, and their perceptions of the product’s authenticity. This socio-economic study is based on a survey (n = 415) in rural Southwest China. We found a significant potential to market Dongba paper as a sustainable indigenous product. Although knowledge about Naxi culture was circumscribed (3% could identify the plant used for papermaking), the majority of respondents (55%) was willing to pay for TK protection. Respondents also preferred third-party labelling. We posit that TK products could be seen as credence goods, necessitating certification to ensure product authenticity and establish consumer trust. Markedly, the survey also found that attitudes as to who should provide third-party assurance are contradictory. The Chinese government was preferred as the strongest assurance of genuineness, but paradoxically, commanded the least trust in its ability to manage and fund the conservation of TK. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Research on Potential Evaluation and Sustainable Development of Rural Biomass Energy in Gansu Province of China
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3800; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103800
Received: 20 September 2018 / Revised: 14 October 2018 / Accepted: 17 October 2018 / Published: 20 October 2018
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Abstract
The development and utilization of renewable energy is an important way to solve the environmental dilemma. Biomass energy is a kind of renewable energy and one of the most widely distributed and easily accessible energy forms. It has currently become a main direction
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The development and utilization of renewable energy is an important way to solve the environmental dilemma. Biomass energy is a kind of renewable energy and one of the most widely distributed and easily accessible energy forms. It has currently become a main direction of renewable energy development. This paper took Gansu Province of China as the research object to calculate its theoretical reserves of biomass energy resources and then evaluate its potential of biomass energy development by using TOPSIS method under different agricultural development and geographical environmental conditions. Spatial autocorrelation analysis was also performed to reveal the spatial distribution and temporal evolution of the potential of biomass energy development in Gansu Province. The results show that: (1) The total reserves of biomass energy resources from agricultural wastes in Gansu Province reach 7.28 × 107 t/year, with equivalent biogas production of about 1.95 × 1010 m3/year. (2) In most counties of Gansu Province, the Ci value is smaller than 0.5000, indicating that the potential of biomass energy development is relatively low in Gansu Province. (3) The spatial agglomeration of biomass energy development potential occurs mainly in the Hexi area, the Gannan area and the Loess Plateau area of East Gansu Province. (4) There is an area with obvious high-low (H-L) agglomeration of biomass energy development potential to the north-west side of the Gannan area with low-low (L-L) agglomeration of biomass energy development potential. It is a key zone to help drive biomass energy development in the Gannan area. (5) The spatial range of positive correlation (high-high and low-low agglomeration) areas shrunk during the evaluation period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Ma Kahana ka ‘Ike: Lessons for Community-Based Fisheries Management
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3799; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103799
Received: 3 August 2018 / Revised: 16 October 2018 / Accepted: 17 October 2018 / Published: 20 October 2018
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Abstract
Indigenous and place-based communities worldwide have self-organized to develop effective local-level institutions to conserve biocultural diversity. How communities maintain and adapt these institutions over time offers lessons for fostering more balanced human–environment relationships—an increasingly critical need as centralized governance systems struggle to manage
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Indigenous and place-based communities worldwide have self-organized to develop effective local-level institutions to conserve biocultural diversity. How communities maintain and adapt these institutions over time offers lessons for fostering more balanced human–environment relationships—an increasingly critical need as centralized governance systems struggle to manage declining fisheries. In this study, we focus on one long-enduring case of local level fisheries management, in Kahana, on the most populated Hawaiian island of O‘ahu. We used a mixed-methods approach including in-depth interviews, archival research, and participation in community gatherings to understand how relationships with place and local governance have endured despite changes in land and sea tenure, and what lessons this case offers for other communities engaged in restoring local-level governance. We detail the changing role of konohiki (head fishermen) in modern times (1850–1965) when they were managing local fisheries, not just for local subsistence but for larger commercial harvests. We also highlight ways in which families are reclaiming their role as caretakers following decades of state mismanagement. Considerations for fisheries co-management emerging from this research include the importance of (1) understanding historical contexts for enhancing institutional fit, (2) enduring community leadership, (3) balancing rights and responsibilities, and (4) fostering community ability to manage coastal resources through both formal and informal processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocultural Restoration in Hawaiʻi)
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Open AccessArticle Embedding Higher Education into a Real-World Lab: A Process-Oriented Analysis of Six Transdisciplinary Project Courses
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3798; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103798
Received: 12 September 2018 / Revised: 15 October 2018 / Accepted: 16 October 2018 / Published: 20 October 2018
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Abstract
Since the early days of the emerging research format of Real-world Labs (RwLs), higher education plays a vital role in them. Examples have been presented on teaching activities in RwLs, but the reasons for and evidence of their inclusion stays limited. To start
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Since the early days of the emerging research format of Real-world Labs (RwLs), higher education plays a vital role in them. Examples have been presented on teaching activities in RwLs, but the reasons for and evidence of their inclusion stays limited. To start a systematic discussion on the embedding of higher education in RwLs, this paper presents the case of six Transdisciplinary Project Courses carried out in the RwL “District Future—Urban Lab” in Karlsruhe/Germany. The paper presents the discourses on the role of learning in RwLs and compares it to those on Transition Labs and Urban Living Labs. To offer a new approach to address this aspect, the paper introduces a social practice perspective to map out the interrelations between an RwL and higher education therein. The detailed analysis of the processes is used to identify the potential of the RwL to support learning. It shows that all dimensions of social practice can be identified in the interplay between Real-world Lab and Transdisciplinary Project Courses, even though to a very different degree and in different phases. The text closes with lessons learned for teaching project courses in RwLs and similar labs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pedagogical Innovations for Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Progressive Collapse Resistance of Steel Moment Frames Designed with Different Connection Details Using Energy-Based Approximate Analysis
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3797; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103797
Received: 15 September 2018 / Revised: 11 October 2018 / Accepted: 18 October 2018 / Published: 20 October 2018
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Abstract
This study evaluates the progressive collapse resistance performance of steel moment frames, individually designed with different connection details. Welded unreinforced flange-bolted web (WUF-B) and reduced beam section (RBS) connections are selected and applied to ordinary moment frames designed as per the Korean Building
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This study evaluates the progressive collapse resistance performance of steel moment frames, individually designed with different connection details. Welded unreinforced flange-bolted web (WUF-B) and reduced beam section (RBS) connections are selected and applied to ordinary moment frames designed as per the Korean Building Code (KBC) 2016. The 3-D steel frame systems are modeled using reduced models of 1-D and 2-D elements for beams, columns, connections, and composite slabs. Comparisons between the analyzed results of the reduced models and the experimental results are presented to verify the applicability of the models. Nonlinear static analyses of two prototype buildings with different connection details are conducted using the reduced models, and an energy-based approximate analysis is used to account for the dynamic effects associated with sudden column loss. The assessment on the structures was based on structural robustness and sensitivity methods using the alternative path method suggested in General Services Administration (GSA) 2003, in which column removal scenarios were performed and the bearing capacity of the initial structure with an undamaged column was calculated under gravity loads. According to the analytical results, the two prototype buildings satisfied the chord rotation criterion of GSA 2003. These results were expected since the composite slabs designed to withstand more than 3.3 times the required capacity had a significant effect on the stiffness of the entire structure. The RBS connections were found to be 14% less sensitive to progressive collapse compared to the WUF-B ones. Full article
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