Advances in Sustainable Building Material Engineering

A special issue of Buildings (ISSN 2075-5309). This special issue belongs to the section "Building Materials, and Repair & Renovation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2020) | Viewed by 52018

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Instytut Techniki Budowlanej, Filtrowa 1, 00-611 Warszawa, Poland
Interests: sustainable concrete; concrete durability; sustainable concrete–polymer composites; concrete repair; concrete carbonation.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past seven decades, we have witnessed amazing advances, not just technological progress, but also human progress. Sustainable construction is a construction that meets the requirements of sustainable development and can be defined as a pursuit to ensure economic development and social health while reducing the negative impact of construction on the environment. Sustainable development is one of the leading civilization ideas, but also a necessity for civilization development, i.e., development that meets current needs without limiting the needs of future generations. Everything is from something, and every structure is from construction materials. The construction industry consumes more than 40% of produced energy, about 50% of the mass of materials, and the building industry emits 35% of greenhouse gases. Without any doubt, it is commonly accepted that sustainable development is now a fundamental requirement for construction. In general terms, sustainable products mean: minimal matter (energy + mass) consumed throughout the entire life cycle "from the cradle to the grave" with minimum negative impact on the environment, as well as ensuring the comfort of use. In economic terms, it means decoupling of resource use from economic growth and decoupling of environmental impact from resource use. In this case, “decoupling” also means “more for less”.

Civil engineering as a discipline of applied science is always searching for its place on the maps of knowledge. Each of the papers in this area combines two components: science and engineering, balanced in various ways. One of the dilemmas of building material engineering is the following controversy: requirement of durability (>50 years) versus the risk of innovation in the light of sustainability as the overriding theme. We need to ensure that each construction element meets the requirements, not only at the time of testing, but also that it will be good enough after many years of service life. In short, innovation versus sustainable building creates challenges and limitations.

The overriding sustainability requirement is also addressed covering building repair and protection, as well as finally demolition, re-use, and waste product recycling.

Topics of interest include (but are not limited to) the following themes:

  • Sustainable development challenging building material engineering;
  • Philosophy of sustainable building material engineering;
  • Innovation versus sustainability;
  • Building material sustainability measures;
  • The “comfort of use” as a sustainability indicator;
  • Nanotechnology versus sustainable building products;
  • Biobased building materials;
  • Improvement of the energy performance of buildings;
  • Durability as building sustainability requirement;
  • Sustainable materials and sustainable buildings;
  • Building repairing and protection as an ultimate act of sustainability;
  • Revitalization capacity in historic buildings;
  • Sustainable building demolition;
  • Building product reuse and recycling;
  • Circular building economy;
  • Concrete as recycling waste product deposit;
  • Carbon trapping concrete.

It is useful to mention that other Special Issues with “sustainability” as a keyword have already been or are planned to be published in Buildings, including:

  • 2020: Sustainable Built Environment: Advanced Ventilation and Energy Efficient Technologies;
  • 2019: Sustainable Development of Buildings: Design, Construction, Quality Inspection, Operation Management;
  • 2018: Building Sustainability Assessment;
  • 2018: Sustainable Vertical Urbanism;
  • 2018: Addressing Sustainable Building Refurbishment: A Journey through Energy Optimization and Structural Retrofit;
  • 2018: Sustainable Building Materials;
  • 2013: Sustainable Design and Construction.

Dr. Lech Czarnecki
Guest Editor

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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Buildings 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 2600 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 building materials
  • building material engineering
  • durability
  • sustainable building repairing
  • sustainable building demolution
  • recycling
  • nanotechnology
  • innovation.

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 2644 KiB  
Article
Impact of the Design of Walls Made of Compressed Earth Blocks on the Thermal Comfort of Housing in Hot Climate
by Césaire Hema, Adamah Messan, Abdou Lawane and Geoffrey Van Moeseke
Buildings 2020, 10(9), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10090157 - 3 Sep 2020
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 4231
Abstract
This study investigated the impact of the design of wall systems, mainly made of compressed earth blocks (CEB), on the indoor thermal comfort of naturally ventilated housing in hot climates of Burkina Faso. Conventional housing was modeled and calibrated using the WUFI® [...] Read more.
This study investigated the impact of the design of wall systems, mainly made of compressed earth blocks (CEB), on the indoor thermal comfort of naturally ventilated housing in hot climates of Burkina Faso. Conventional housing was modeled and calibrated using the WUFI® Plus dynamic simulation tool based on typical field surveys and the literature. This allowed testing the ability of different wall designs to impact thermal comfort. Thermal discomfort was assessed through an adaptive approach and was based on the annual weighted exceedance hours of overheating. Six designs of walls made of CEB and other locally available materials were simulated and compared to those made of classical hollow concrete blocks. The results of the simulation reveal that the profiles of thermal discomfort vary depending on the wall designs and building spaces. Thus, the wall made, from the outside toward the inside surface, of plywood of 2 cm, an insulation layer of 5 cm and a CEB layer of 29 cm thickness is the most suitable for an annual reduction in overheating for the living room. Regarding the bedroom, the most suitable wall is made of a 14 cm CEB layer, 5 cm insulating layer and 2 cm wood layer from the outside toward the inside surface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sustainable Building Material Engineering)
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18 pages, 4755 KiB  
Article
Old Dumped Fly Ash as a Sand Replacement in Cement Composites
by Jolanta Harasymiuk and Andrzej Rudziński
Buildings 2020, 10(4), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10040067 - 31 Mar 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3923
Abstract
The use of industrial residues to replace natural resources for the production of building materials is economically and ecologically justified. Fly ash (FA) taken directly from electro-filters is commonly used as a cement replacement material. This is not the case, however, for old [...] Read more.
The use of industrial residues to replace natural resources for the production of building materials is economically and ecologically justified. Fly ash (FA) taken directly from electro-filters is commonly used as a cement replacement material. This is not the case, however, for old dumped fly ash (ODFA) that has been accumulating in on-site waste dumps for decades and currently has no practical use. It causes environmental degradation, which is not fully controlled by the governments of developed countries. The aim of the study was to assess the possibility of using ODFA as a partial replacement for sand in cement composites. ODFA replaced part of the sand mass (20% and 30%) in composites with a limited amount of cement (a cement-saving measure) and sand (saving non-renewable raw material resources). ODFA was activated by the addition of different proportions of hydrated lime, the purposes of which was to trigger a pozzolanic reaction in ODFA. The quantitative composition of the samples was chosen in such a way as to ensure the maximum durability and longevity of composites with a limited amount of cement. The 28-day samples were exposed to seawater attack for 120 days. After this period, the compressive strength of each sample series was determined. The results suggest the possibility of using ODFA with hydrated lime to lay town district road foundations and bike paths of 3.5 to 5 MPA compressive strength. What is more, these composites can be used in very aggressive environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sustainable Building Material Engineering)
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16 pages, 2703 KiB  
Article
Experimental Investigation of Adhesion Failure between Waterproof Coatings and Terrace Tiles under Usage Loads
by Barbara Francke and Artur Piekarczuk
Buildings 2020, 10(3), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10030059 - 17 Mar 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 5591
Abstract
This paper analyses the mechanism of the loss of functional properties of water-impermeable products used under ceramic tiles bonded with adhesives. Recorded damages were caused by selected ageing factors and were measured by the loss of adhesion of individual layers of the set. [...] Read more.
This paper analyses the mechanism of the loss of functional properties of water-impermeable products used under ceramic tiles bonded with adhesives. Recorded damages were caused by selected ageing factors and were measured by the loss of adhesion of individual layers of the set. The analyzed phenomenon is found mainly on terraces and balconies located in a mid-European transitional climate, i.e., exposed to temperatures passing through 0 °C for three seasons a year. The tests reflected the action of three main functional factors, i.e., temperatures, water and freeze/thaw cycles. Tested waterproof coatings were grouped into three types, i.e., dispersion, cementitious and reaction resin-based products. Research kits consisted of liquid-applied water-impermeable products laid on a concrete substrate, adhesives and tiles. Comparing the effects of the action of the above-mentioned ageing factors revealed that water has the greatest impact on the reduction of the tensile adhesion strength of such sets. The adhesion of waterproof coatings to the concrete substrate showed higher values than the adhesion between the waterproof coating and the tile adhesive layers, regardless of the coating material. Both for samples not exposed to ageing factors, and for those exposed to such impacts, failure usually occurred in the adhesive layer or between the tile adhesive and the waterproof coating, without damaging the waterproof layer. The loss of adhesion of finishing layers to the substrate was not accompanied by a loss of tightness of the waterproof coating. The impact of negative water ageing was particularly destructive on the adhesion of cement-based tile adhesives to waterproof coatings made of polymer with a water dispersion of absorbability above 7% (V/V). There was no correlation among the results of adhesion of the finishing layers to the waterproofing layer after the action of the three ageing factors, i.e., water contact, elevated temperature and freeze/thaw cycles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sustainable Building Material Engineering)
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16 pages, 3638 KiB  
Article
A Fractal Model of Cracking of Cement Matrix Composites
by Janusz Konkol
Buildings 2020, 10(3), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10030052 - 11 Mar 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3873
Abstract
The modern methods of materials (including cement matrix materials) design and testing impose the application of an approach appropriate to materials engineering. A quantitative description of the association between the properties of these materials and their structure is a necessity. What remains the [...] Read more.
The modern methods of materials (including cement matrix materials) design and testing impose the application of an approach appropriate to materials engineering. A quantitative description of the association between the properties of these materials and their structure is a necessity. What remains the scientific aim, however, is the clarification and description of the occurring phenomena by means of models mapping their actual behavior in the closest way possible. The article presents a cracking fractal model based on tests on the morphology of concrete fracture surfaces. The recorded fractal nature of the cracking of cement matrix materials enabled fractal geometry in the model development to be applied. Owing to the application of statistical analysis, together with an extensive base of data on the profile lines separated out of the real fracture surfaces of concrete, it was possible to develop a cracking fractal model. Not only does this model satisfy the condition of the equality of the fractal dimension of the real and model profile lines, it also offers the possibility of introducing an order to the apparently chaotic phenomena, such as the cracking process. An advantage and novelty of the model is that unlike the other authors’ proposals, there is a possibility of reaching an infinitely large number of solutions for model profile lines, which approximates the model to the real-life scenario. The results of fractal tests were supplemented with strength measurements, identifying concrete’s compressive and fracture toughness (determining the critical stress intensity factor KIcS). A connection between the fractal dimension and the investigated properties of concrete was demonstrated. A higher fractal dimension was observed in the profile lines separated out of the fracture surfaces of concretes of higher water–cement ratio. The advantages of the model include the simplicity and applicability in model studies on other materials of the cement matrix. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sustainable Building Material Engineering)
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14 pages, 2360 KiB  
Article
Influence of Rendering Type on the Environmental Characteristics of Expanded Polystyrene-Based External Thermal Insulation Composite System
by Bartosz Michałowski, Marta Marcinek, Justyna Tomaszewska, Sebastian Czernik, Michał Piasecki, Robert Geryło and Jacek Michalak
Buildings 2020, 10(3), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10030047 - 7 Mar 2020
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 5065
Abstract
External thermal insulation systems (ETICS) are relevant facade applications of functional components allowing to reduce energy consumption in buildings to fulfill the provisions of nearly Zero-Energy Buildings (nZEBs). ETICS systems generally are made of adhesives, thermal insulation material, renders with mesh reinforcement, primers, [...] Read more.
External thermal insulation systems (ETICS) are relevant facade applications of functional components allowing to reduce energy consumption in buildings to fulfill the provisions of nearly Zero-Energy Buildings (nZEBs). ETICS systems generally are made of adhesives, thermal insulation material, renders with mesh reinforcement, primers, and finish coats. Their main parameters are thermal characteristics and durability, both determined by the specific composition of the systems. Growing concerns on the environment and depletion of natural resources drive the need for the determination of the environmental characteristic of ETICS due to its growing market demand. This analysis focuses on a life cycle assessment (LCA) of a commonly used EPS based ETICS system with four different renderings, produced in several locations. The scope of this study concerns raw materials extraction, transport, production, and energy provision up to the finished, packed, and ready-for-sale product at the factory gate. The authors compared the environmental impact allocated to the 1 m2 of the produced system by taking into account the thickness of EPS and within different environmental impact categories. The results of the current impacts were compared to those obtained five years earlier, considering the technological and environmental progress of the production process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sustainable Building Material Engineering)
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24 pages, 11117 KiB  
Article
The Role of Glass Compounds in Autoclaved Bricks
by Anna Stepien, Beata Potrzeszcz-Sut, Dale P. Prentice, Tandre J. Oey and Magdalena Balonis
Buildings 2020, 10(3), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10030041 - 29 Feb 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 5432
Abstract
This study describes the relationship between the physio-mechanical and chemical properties of sand-lime materials which have undergone hydrothermal treatment, and which were modified through the introduction of glass components (90% glass sand, GS). Process parameters such as temperature, pressure and saturation vapor pressure [...] Read more.
This study describes the relationship between the physio-mechanical and chemical properties of sand-lime materials which have undergone hydrothermal treatment, and which were modified through the introduction of glass components (90% glass sand, GS). Process parameters such as temperature, pressure and saturation vapor pressure were found to have a significant impact on the series of chemical reactions as well as on the formation and transformation of solid hydrates. During the stirring process of sand-lime mass, the temperature of the reaction between lime and water in the presence of quartz sand (QS) was determined to be 83 °C. In the presence of glass sand, measured temperature was only 42 °C. Thermodynamic equilibrium-based modelling was applied to predict stable phase assemblages in the studied systems. It was found that compositional modification along with the application of the autoclaving process resulted in the formation of two crystalline phases: natrolite and gyrolite. Compressive strength and density were also assessed. The strength of fresh laboratory samples was found to be greater than their traditional analogues by 15 MPa. In addition to experimental characterization, sand-lime materials were also modeled using neural networks (backpropagation neural network, BPNN) which serve as a universal approximation method capable of modelling complex functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sustainable Building Material Engineering)
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12 pages, 1767 KiB  
Article
Proposal of an Assessment Method of the Impact Sound Insulation of Lightweight Floors
by Łukasz Nowotny and Jacek Nurzyński
Buildings 2020, 10(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10010013 - 16 Jan 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4431
Abstract
Lightweight floors are in line with a sustainable construction concept and have become increasingly popular in residential buildings. The acoustic performance of such floors plays a pivotal role in the overall building quality rating. There is, however, no clear and complete method to [...] Read more.
Lightweight floors are in line with a sustainable construction concept and have become increasingly popular in residential buildings. The acoustic performance of such floors plays a pivotal role in the overall building quality rating. There is, however, no clear and complete method to predict their impact sound insulation. A new approximation method and new acoustic indicators—equivalent weighted normalized impact sound pressure levels for lightweight floors—are proposed and outlined in this article. The prediction procedure and indicator values were initially validated on the basis of laboratory measurements taken for different lightweight floors with the same well-defined floor covering. These preliminary analyses and comparisons show that the proposed method is promising and should be fully developed on the basis of further research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sustainable Building Material Engineering)
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19 pages, 8957 KiB  
Article
A Sustainable Autoclaved Material Made of Glass Sand
by Anna Stepien, Magdalena Leśniak and Maciej SITARZ
Buildings 2019, 9(11), 232; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9110232 - 13 Nov 2019
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 4734
Abstract
Far-reaching technological progress, manufacturing, and rapidly advancing globalization dictate new conditions for the development and changes in the construction industry. Valorization of by-products and the use of secondary materials in the production of building materials have attracted a lot of attention. Silicate materials [...] Read more.
Far-reaching technological progress, manufacturing, and rapidly advancing globalization dictate new conditions for the development and changes in the construction industry. Valorization of by-products and the use of secondary materials in the production of building materials have attracted a lot of attention. Silicate materials were assessed on the basis of their compressive property. An orthogonal compositional plan type 3k (with k = 2), that is, a full two-factor experiment was applied in order to carry out the compressive strength and bulk density tests. Glass sand was added to the silicate mass as a modification. The results show that the compressive strength was higher than that of traditional bricks. Scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive spectrometry SEM/EDS was used to study the microstructure, whereas the XRD analysis was applied to examine the structures. Laboratory tests were performed on samples with dimensions of 50 × 50 × 50 mm. The results show the bulk density increase to the value of 1.75 kg/dm3, which increases the acoustic performance of the new products. The results of the modifications also indicate changes in the structure of the new bricks. The reference sample contained α-quartz, zeolite, tobermorite 9A, and calcium aluminum silicate (Ca2Al4Si12O32), whereas the samples modified with glass sand, the presence of phases such as α-cristobalite, natrolite, tobermorite 11A, gyrolite, and analcite was recorded. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sustainable Building Material Engineering)
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15 pages, 9284 KiB  
Article
Ammonia in Fly Ashes from Flue Gas Denitrification Process and its Impact on the Properties of Cement Composites
by Agnieszka Michalik, Joanna Babińska, Filip Chyliński and Artur Piekarczuk
Buildings 2019, 9(11), 225; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9110225 - 26 Oct 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3909
Abstract
The paper presents the results of research on the properties of fly ashes from the process of flue gas denitrification by selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR), consisting of dosing urea into the coal combustion chamber. The research was carried out on two types of [...] Read more.
The paper presents the results of research on the properties of fly ashes from the process of flue gas denitrification by selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR), consisting of dosing urea into the coal combustion chamber. The research was carried out on two types of fly ash: Silica fly ash from flue gas denitrification and ash from a traditional boiler without the flue gas denitrification process. The scope of comparative studies included physicochemical and structural features of ashes, as well as slurries and mortars with the addition of ashes. Fly ash from denitrification, whose ammonia content at the time of sampling was 75 mg/kg at the maximum, was examined. Our own research has shown that fly ash from flue gas denitrification is characterized by a higher value of losses on ignition and ammonia content in comparison to ashes without denitrification. It was shown that the ammonia content in the analyzed range does not limit the use of fly ash as an additive to cement and concrete. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sustainable Building Material Engineering)
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20 pages, 5537 KiB  
Article
Practical Implementation of the Indoor Environmental Quality Model for the Assessment of Nearly Zero Energy Single-Family Building
by Michał Piasecki
Buildings 2019, 9(10), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9100214 - 1 Oct 2019
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 5319
Abstract
The article presents a practical implementation of the indoor quality model. The indoor environmental quality (IEQ) model, including its essential elements (TCindex—thermal comfort, IAQindex—indoor air quality, ACcindex—acoustic comfort and Lindex—daylight quality), is used to evaluate [...] Read more.
The article presents a practical implementation of the indoor quality model. The indoor environmental quality (IEQ) model, including its essential elements (TCindex—thermal comfort, IAQindex—indoor air quality, ACcindex—acoustic comfort and Lindex—daylight quality), is used to evaluate a case-study single-family building built with the nearly zero energy (NZEB) standard. The results of comfort sub-indices based on the measured indoor parameters are aggregated into one IEQindex value representing the predicted building occupants’ satisfaction in percentage terms. The author’s intention is to use the proposed model in broader civil and environmental engineering practice, especially in terms of supporting the energy performance certification. The results obtained using the IEQ model were also compared with the results obtained with a similar method based on the comprehensive assessment system for built environment efficiency (CASBEE) approach for the same building. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sustainable Building Material Engineering)
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17 pages, 6162 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Basalt Components on the Structure of Bricks Formed as a Result of Hydrothermal Treatment
by Anna Stepien and Paulina Kostrzewa
Buildings 2019, 9(9), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9090192 - 26 Aug 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4288
Abstract
The article focuses on brick products, the production of which is based on natural components, such as lime (CaO), quartz sand (SiO2) and water (H2O), and which are created during the process of the so-called hydrothermal treatment. In the [...] Read more.
The article focuses on brick products, the production of which is based on natural components, such as lime (CaO), quartz sand (SiO2) and water (H2O), and which are created during the process of the so-called hydrothermal treatment. In the production process of the modified brick, basalt components (basalt aggregate, with graining of 2–4 mm, basalt powder and basalt fibers) were used because of their natural origin, mineralogical composition, high volume density, and possibly minimal absorbability. In the article thermodynamic properties of minerals forming the construction of basalt components were determined, as well as the phases that arise during the autoclaving process. Compressive strength and density were investigated due to acoustic properties. The product modified with basalt aggregate shows decrease in water absorption as a result of capillary action and in absorbability up to 9% (in the reference sample up to 16%). The sample with basalt aggregate shows compressive resistance of 33 MPa on average, with the increase of volume density to 2.29 kg/dm3. Modification of sand-lime mixture presented satisfying results with 10% basalt powder additive. Application of basalt fibers slightly changed the volume density and absorbability compared with the norm sample. However, it affected the compressive resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sustainable Building Material Engineering)
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