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Special Issue "Use of Composite Materials towards Sustainable and Energy Efficient Building Design"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Green Building".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 October 2023 | Viewed by 711

Special Issue Editors

School of Engineering, University of Waikato, Hamilton 3216, New Zealand
Interests: cold-formed steel structures; application of artificial intelligence and machine learning for the structural prediction of steel structures; fire engineering; modular construction; sustainability and life cycle analysis of structures
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Civil Engineering, Anna University, Chennai 600025, India
Interests: cold-formed steel structures; steel–concrete composite structures; machine learning techniques; construction management; construction materials; sustainable construction
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sustainability must be understood holistically across all disciplines for the most significant impact, rather than being limited to building services and energy output. Hence, there is a profound need to understand how we can integrate sustainability with the energy efficiency of buildings. The construction industry is one of the most energy-intensive in the world, accounting for 40% of total energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions. Furthermore, approximately 35% of existing buildings are more than 50 years old and are desperately in need of rehabilitation. It is time for the embodied carbon generated during building construction to be considered, with only a few points available in traditional certification schemes (such as Greenstar), for using less carbon-intensive materials. It is ultimately the responsibility of civil engineers to show that more should be done to integrate sustainable practice into engineering projects. It is the sole responsibility of construction engineers to actively discuss solutions to reduce carbon footprints with architects and clients. The primary goal of this Special Issue is to provide owners, designers, contractors, and facility managers with the opportunity to explore sustainable construction practices and energy-efficient building design using modern composite materials. This Special Issue will also address the construction materials and methods used to make building and infrastructure projects more sustainable and energy-efficient, and also aims to collect the results of research and practice experiences in sustainable and energy-efficient buildings, and other relevant topics. This Special Issue serves as an international forum for the presentation and discussion of recent advances in sustainable and energy-efficient construction practices and their applications. The modeling, testing, and practice of conventional structures, as well as concrete- and steel-based composite structures for sustainable construction in life-cycle assessments (LCA), are among the subjects covered in this Special Issue. Original high-quality articles dealing with all aspects of sustainable and energy-efficient construction and research, including modeling, tests, and construction activities, which include but are not limited to material properties, component designs, assemblages, connections, structural behaviors, and other relevant topics, will be considered for publication. Dr. Roy, Dr. Ananthi, and Dr. Fang warmly invite authors to submit their papers for potential inclusion in this Special Issue of “Use of Composite Materials towards Sustainable and Energy Efficient Building Design”, in the journal “Sustainability”.

Dr. Krishanu Roy
Dr. G. Beulah Gnana Ananthi
Dr. Zhiyuan Arthur Fang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at 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. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2200 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.


  • use of FRP and GFRP as modern construction materials
  • use of bamboo, straw bales, recycled plastics, and reclaimed wood/steel/concrete in construction
  • eco-building materials revolutionizing home construction
  • sustainable building materials for home construction
  • smart materials in construction
  • wall panels, tiles, and window-sheathing membranes using solar energy
  • biopolymers as a corrosion inhibitor in concrete
  • green composite materials: biocompatibility, self-healing, repair properties
  • sustainable, energy-saving coating materials
  • proposal of new technologies to reduce the energy demand
  • planning and design of the sustainable building
  • building and living environment
  • bio and healthy building research
  • energy use and climate
  • sustainable urban development
  • energy efficiency of hybrid cold-formed steel sections
  • sustainability and life-cycle assessment of buildings
  • energy efficiency of houses made of steel
  • lightweight housing using steel and composite structures
  • innovative construction systems using lightweight materials for sustainability
  • concrete/steel as a recyclable material
  • sustainable materials
  • whole-of-life embodied carbon
  • operational energy

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Delivering Sustainable Housing through Material Choice
Sustainability 2023, 15(4), 3331; - 11 Feb 2023
Viewed by 467
Increasing importance is being placed on sustainability worldwide to limit climate change’s effects. In New Zealand, a sizeable increase in demand for housing is driving a residential construction boom, with new dwelling consents increasing yearly for the last decade. The New Zealand Government’s [...] Read more.
Increasing importance is being placed on sustainability worldwide to limit climate change’s effects. In New Zealand, a sizeable increase in demand for housing is driving a residential construction boom, with new dwelling consents increasing yearly for the last decade. The New Zealand Government’s commitment to sustainability has become legislation through the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act 2019. Therefore, the next stage is how the construction industry can limit and reduce its carbon emissions through one of the strategies, namely material choice. This study was intended to examine the influence of various building materials on climate change and to identify how more sustainable home construction and design in New Zealand may contribute to the government’s 2050 emissions reduction targets. A life-cycle assessment (LCA) was used in this study to investigate the global warming potential (GWP) produced by five case study houses and various material options for building envelope components. The study focused on the environmental impact of materials with high usage in industry and potential new materials that have shown an ability to conform to the New Zealand Building Code standards. It was found that case study House 1 (with timber flooring founded on senton piles with concrete footings, a timber frame, plywood wall cladding, and metal roof cladding) and House 2 (with a concrete waffle slab, a light steel frame, masonry wall cladding, and metal roof cladding) had the lowest GWP emissions compared to the other case study houses, with 631.13 and 633.16 kg CO2eq/m2, respectively. However, it should be noted that all the case study houses were not similar in size and design. In addition, the study investigated the different building envelope material options for the foundation, wall cladding, framing, and roof cladding. The study found that some new materials or materials that are not common in New Zealand could be used as an option for the housing envelope by having lower carbon emissions, such as 3D-printed concrete blocks compared with brick and concrete masonry for wall cladding systems. Full article
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