Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Lightweight Architecture Technologies for Smarter Cities"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 October 2023 | Viewed by 105

Special Issue Editors

Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Catania, 95100 Catania, Italy
Interests: enabling building technologies; adaptive building component; sustainable building design; history of construction; building refurbishment
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Catania, 95100 Catania, Italy
Interests: innovative building technologies; adaptive building envelope; parametric design; kinetic building component; sustainable building design; history of construction technologies; building refurbishment
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Electric Electronics and Computer Engineering, University of Catania, 95125 Catania, Italy
Interests: renewable energy; building energy efficiency; PVT systems; biomass; cogeneration
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

the Special Issue “Lightweight Architecture Tecnologies for Smarter Cities” proposes a focus on innovative building materials, building components and building technologies and study cases for flexible, sustainable, movable, multipurpose and low costs buildings.

The use of this kind of architectural objects is increasing in the time, according with the increase of needs of contemporary society (defined “liquid” by the sociologist Bauman). In fact, it is possible to image several occasions in which these solutions could give advantages, in comparison with the traditional one. In fact, flexible, sustainable and low costs architectural objects easily meet the traditional needs of the society, as well as contemporary ones (temporary employed housing, housing for the elderly, temporary shelters for migrants, etc.); on the other hand, the availability of this kind of components, makes possible to give an answer to new needs as provision of service equipment in fragile areas (historical environment, archaeological areas, naturalistic places, etc.). 

In addition, this approach fully meets the seventeen goals established by the United United Nations in the so called “2030 Agenda”. The strategy defined in this document draws the more efficient way to contrast the climatic changes. In particular, the target eleven prescribes to increase safety, inclusivity and sustainability of cities and communities.

Lightweight architecture occupies a very large field of research, as investigations on the topic range from the mechanical performance of geometry [1] to the landscape compatibility of such structures. This special issue aims to play in the middle field offered by building technologies, with a series of main line of outputs.

The first one of them, could be skill and competence related to innovative digital design techniques such as parametric design or generative design [2]. In fact, this field could show very interesting matches with lightweight structures research. Another output should be in the rapid prototyping experiences both in reduced scale and in full scale. This theme could be strategic in the field of lightweight architectures [3], because it relates construction and design and realization, through the use of the same approach (which is the digital control). The realization of a prototype is an important resource, in order to test effectiveness of the technology solution [4]. To support this item, the special issue offers the occasion to share results and experience related to campaign of tests of the performance of the lightweight architecture. Moreover, contributions focused on the analyses of energy performances, thermal, acoustic and visual comfort, thermos-physical characterization, and integration of renewable energy sources, within lightweight architectures are warmly welcomed.

The showed list must be understood as a general framework, because the special issue will be open to other collateral subjects.

[1] Tyflopoulos, Steinert, 2020, Topology and Parametric Optimization-Based Design Processes for Lightweight Structures, Applied Sciences, 10, 13, 2076-3417,

[2] Lienhard, 2016, The Potentials of Parametrics in the Design of Modern Lightweight Structures, In: GAM 12: Structural Affairs, edited by Technische Universität Graz, Berlin, Boston: Birkhäuser, 2016, pp. 190-205,

[3] Plocher, Panesar, 2019, Review on design and structural optimisation in additive manufacturing: Towards next-generation lightweight structures, Materials & Design, 183, 2019, 108164, ISSN 0264-1275,

[4] Zhenmin, Chengshuang, Yaowu, 2018, Design for Manufacture and Assembly-oriented parametric design of prefabricated buildings, Automation in Construction, 88, 13-22, ISSN 0926-5805,

You may choose our Joint Special Issue in Architecture.

You may choose our Joint Special Issue in Buildings.

Dr. Vincenzo Sapienza
Dr. Gianluca Rodonò
Dr. Antonio Gagliano
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.


  • lightweight building technologies
  • innovative building components
  • digital architecture
  • rapid prototyping

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
Back to TopTop