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Special Issue "Computational and Technological Advancements for Low-Carbon Structures"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2023 | Viewed by 289

Special Issue Editors

Institute of Technology in Architecture, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Interests: mechanics of materials; form-finding; masonry structures; limit analysis; rocking dynamics; mathematical optimisation
Dr. Elham Mousavian
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Structures for Engineering and Architecture, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy
Interests: computational design and form-finding; discrete assemblies design
Department of Architectural Engineering and Technology, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands
Interests: generative design; network analysis; design games; discrete architecture
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The architectural engineering and construction (AEC) industry is currently responsible for a huge part of the critical environmental damage which includes global carbon emission, ecosystem pollution, and harmful resource depletion. These issues are all at the base of the climate emergency that, if not appropriately tackled, might lead to long-lasting and, potentially, irreversible consequences. 

On the other hand, globalisation is diminishing the sustainable domestic technologies that have historically been developed based on the local materials and labour forces. These form-active constructions have been dominantly substituted by the material-active structural systems worldwide, and not only exert huge pressure on the resources of the planet but also result in uneven and combined development of the built environments.

Consequently, besides improving the quality of human life, AEC should play a key role in sustainable global development. Therefore, to meet sustainable development goals, we urgently need to change our engineering approach in either designing new constructions or maintaining existing buildings, including preserving our built heritage. 

Towards this goal, in the last few years, low-carbon materials have become of increasing interest to construction practitioners, and maximisation of their mechanical and physical performances at micro-(e.g., composite materials) and macrolevels (e.g., form-active structures) have been taken into consideration. 

Fulfilling the design of more efficient, sustainable, and resilient buildings would require experimental (test) campaigns and the development of novel numerical approaches to design, assess, and build together with efficient monitoring strategies to control their structural response during the life cycle.

On the other hand, recent advancements in construction technologies including transformations in digital manufacturing and construction techniques have enabled us to build with minimum construction waste and environmental impact. 

This Special Issue will showcase these design, construction, and maintenance-oriented sustainability objectives in terms of:

  • Novel structural applications of low-carbon and local materials such as masonry as well as biomaterials.
  • Experimental and numerical methodologies in different architectural–structural design phases.
  • Advancements in digital design including form-finding and shape optimization practices.
  • Novel structural health monitoring strategies for unilateral materials.
  • Sustainable retrofitting strategies for unilateral materials.
  • Digital manufacturing and robotic fabrication.
  • Advancements in digital construction and assembling procedures.
  • Self-assembly construction techniques for local constructions.
  • Construction waste minimization through self-supporting systems such as interlocking discrete-element structures.

Dr. Antonino Iannuzzo
Dr. Elham Mousavian
Dr. Pirouz Nourian
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.


  • low-carbon materials
  • self-assembly constructions
  • local materials
  • form-active structures
  • digital manufacturing
  • robotic fabrication
  • sustainable retrofitting strategies
  • construction waste minimization
  • self-supporting systems
  • interlocking discrete-element structures
  • numerical modelling
  • computational form-finding

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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