Special Issue "Sustainable Manufacturing in Construction"

A special issue of Buildings (ISSN 2075-5309). This special issue belongs to the section "Building Energy, Physics, Environment, and Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2022 | Viewed by 2056

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Wahidul K. Biswas
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Sustainable Engineering Group, Curtin University, Kent St, Bentley, WA 6102, Australia
Interests: sustainable engineering; life cycle assessment; waste management
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Buildings and infrastructure consume a significant amount of energy and materials during their construction, which has resulted in a high demand for finite natural resources and disruption of the relationship between ecosystems and human wellbeing. This sector alone is responsible for more than 50% of steel production, 60%–70% of cement production, 50% of urban land utilization, and 40%–50% of the total energy consumption [1]. The extraction of these nonrenewable resources is increasing the ecological footprint, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, waste generation and, most importantly, leaving inadequate resources for our future generations. In addition, buildings contribute to emission of around 25% of global warming gases, resulting in increased drought, bushfires, sea level rise, and heatwaves and ultimately affecting adversely our economy, livelihood, and normal life [2].

Sustainable manufacturing in construction thus focuses on six principles: conservation, reuse, recycle/refurbish, protection of flora and fauna, generation of nontoxic products/wastes, and a high quality of life. Construction techniques, alternative resources/materials, and building practices have evolved over the years, and with the increased need for sustainability or resource conservation for the future generation, new methods of construction need to be developed. There are two key approaches of sustainable manufacturing in construction: the materials that are used and the methods that are utilized.

One of the useful ways to achieve sustainable manufacturing in construction is through the materials that are used. Materials selection plays a pivotal role in reducing the global warming impacts of the buildings. Industrial byproducts and wastes have the potential to significantly reduce the use of energy intensive virgin materials for construction purposes. The prefabrication method has been considered an effective alternative to conventional building. It has gained an increasing amount of attention over the last few decades as materials and building components can be disassembled and reused after the end of life. Several multifunctional prefabricated systems are being developed to reduce the consumption of different types of materials and increase building efficiency. Passive design (e.g., natural ventilation and illumination, building orientation, selection of appropriate materials for a specific climate condition, maximizing solar energy to heat spaces) that maximizes the use of natural energy sources could reduce the consumption of energy while maximizing human comfort. The new buildings can have photovoltaics (PV) integrated in the building envelope. Building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) contributes to achieving this goal by fully utilizing building surfaces, such as the roof or façade, and to maximize electricity generation. Apart from these sustainable manufacturing approaches, different sustainability assessment tools can used to discern sustainable construction. For example, lifecycle assessment (LCA) can be used to evaluate the environmental, social–economic, and resource impact of building components or even the whole building during their entire life cycle. It can help design buildings for disassembly, remanufacturing, reuse, and recovery. In addition, LCA can produce Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) to make the environmental performance information of buildings accessible to building professionals.

This Special Issue is aimed to cover following topics that are relevant for achieving sustainable construction.

  • Prefabricated/modular buildings
  • Passive design
  • Building integrated photovoltaics
  • Net-zero energy buildings (NZEBs)
  • A new generation of stronger, lighter, and more sustainable building materials
  • Application of LCA/EPD in sustainable construction

References

  1. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2018.07.118
  2. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jobe.2020.102109

Dr. Wahidul K. Biswas
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 1800 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.

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

Article
Towards Sustainable Construction Practices: How to Reinvigorate Vernacular Buildings in the Digital Era?
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 297; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070297 - 07 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1330
Abstract
The starting point of this article is the critique on socioeconomic and environmental implications of conventional construction practices around sustainability. The focus is on exploring the sustainability dynamics of the emerging “Design Global, Manufacture Local” (DGML) configuration with emphasis on building construction. Combined [...] Read more.
The starting point of this article is the critique on socioeconomic and environmental implications of conventional construction practices around sustainability. The focus is on exploring the sustainability dynamics of the emerging “Design Global, Manufacture Local” (DGML) configuration with emphasis on building construction. Combined with the concept of conviviality which we identify in aspects of vernacular architecture we explore how it can foster meaningful sustainability practices in the construction sector. We introduce a framework of “open construction systems”, an expression of DGML in building construction, as a way to foster the conjunctive use of the digital commons and local manufacturing technologies for the construction of buildings through three interlocked elements—modularity, sharing and adaptability. We suggest that the “open construction systems” framework may point towards more sustainability in building construction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Manufacturing in Construction)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Towards sustainable construction practices: How to reinvigorate vernacular buildings in the digital era?
Authors: Christina Priavolou; Vasilis Niaros
Affiliation: Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
Abstract: The starting point for this article is the need for sustainable construction practices to be intensified in light of the latest housing crisis of 2008. The focus is on exploring the sustainability dynamics of the emerging “Design Global, Manufacture Local” model with emphasis on building construction. Conviviality is introduced as key to foster meaningful sustainability practices in the construction sector. The framework of “open construction systems” is delineated, which fosters the conjunctive use of the digital commons and local manufacturing technologies for the construction of buildings locally. We utilise the Matrix of Convivial Technology to illustrate three interlocked elements that can potentially boost conviviality of “open construction systems”. We suggest that the “open construction systems” enhance sustainability in building construction by deploying vernacular architecture’s potentialities.

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