Special Issue "Recent Progresses and New Strategies on Recycled Materials and Reused Components for Sustainable Civil Infrastructures"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Gaochuang Cai
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
LTDS, École nationale d'ingénieurs de Saint-Étienne, University of Lyon, Saint-Étienne, France
Interests: structural design of RC/masonry/composite structures; Long-term behavior; design for multiple actions; high-performance simulation; TRC/FRP structural repairing and strengthening; building materials and sustainability; constitutive law of materials, recycling in construction and waste management; energy materials; smart materials; materials for special structures; structural resilient design and urban resilience assessment, RC structures underground
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Amir Si Larbi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
LTDS, École Centrale de Lyon, École nationale d'ingénieurs de Saint-Étienne, University of Lyon, Saint-Étienne, France
Interests: composite materials; structural engineering; TRC; concrete; multiphysical approach
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Danièle Waldmann-Diederich
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Research Group for Solid Structures, Department of Engineering, University of Luxembourg, L- 4364 Esch sur Alzette, Luxembourg
Interests: sustainable concrete structures; demountable structures; reuse of materials and components; Material Bank; structural analysis of concrete structures; structural health monitoring; new innovative concrete formulations
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sustainable structures can be established when at least one entire life cycle, environmentally-friendly manufacturing and smart deconstruction concepts, including circular economy solutions based on reuse or recycling of demolition wastes, are developed. In this context, cleaner, more environmentally-friendly and higher performance materials would play a significant role in the sustainable development of the built environment. Recently, on the other hand, to use higher resource-efficient reused components allow to generate higher level sustainability in our civil infrastructure, such as roads, tunnels and bridges. This Special Issue of Sustainability on “Recent Progress and New Strategies for Recycled Materials and Reused Components for Sustainable Civil Infrastructure” will span sustainable materials, residual structural performance of corroded structures or structural elements, smart strategies, circular economy in the construction industry, etc. This Special Issue will be part of the section “Sustainable Engineering and Science” of Sustainability. We welcome the submission of high-quality research or review articles focusing on recycled materials and reused components for sustainable civil infrastructure. Specific topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Recycling of waste materials and innovative technologies (by-product, natural ashes, recycled aggregates, etc.);
  • Reuse of components from existing structures (residual capacity and redesigning for joints, etc.);
  • Life cycle assessment;
  • Flexible architecture design concepts for sustainability;
  • Design for deconstruction (demountable structures for next reuse);
  • Management of recycled materials and reused components;
  • Sustainable development and sustainable construction management;
  • Sustainable maintenance and innovations of structures;
  • Sustainability policy and circular economy;
  • Case study and cost study;

Submissions to this Special Issue will be selected via a rigorous peer-review procedure. This Special Issue will pave the way for further waste reuse and recycling for further applications in construction, which can contribute to generating a low-carbon built environment.

Prof. Gaochuang Cai
Prof. Amir Si Larbi
Prof. Danièle Waldmann
Guest Editors

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 papers will be 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 1900 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

  • Recycled materials
  • Reused components
  • Sustainable construction
  • circular economy
  • Deconstruction
  • Recycling
  • waste management
  • Residual capacity of structural elements

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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Article
An Experimental and Environmental Evaluation of Mortars with Recycled Demolition Waste from a Hospital Implosion in Rio de Janeiro
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 8945; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12218945 - 28 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 491
Abstract
Construction and demolition waste generation have increased significantly over the century, many times, as a result of obsolete buildings that lead the effort toward demolition. This paper investigates the environmental performance of mortars developed with recycled concrete from the partial building demolition of [...] Read more.
Construction and demolition waste generation have increased significantly over the century, many times, as a result of obsolete buildings that lead the effort toward demolition. This paper investigates the environmental performance of mortars developed with recycled concrete from the partial building demolition of the Clementino Fraga Filho University Hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Life Cycle Assessment is associated with experimental data to validate the application of the residue as an alternative to cement-based mortars. Natural river sand and recycled concrete aggregates, both at a micrometer scale, are employed in the production of four different mortars of compressive strength ranging 50 MPa. The aggregates’ replacement rates defined are 15, 25, and 50% in volume. The recycled microparticles’ mineralogical composition was determined by SEM images and XRD analysis. In addition, the attached cement paste surrounding the original aggregate particle was quantified by chemical attack. Rheological and mechanical properties of the resulting mortars were assessed by the Vane spindle rheometer and uniaxial compressive strength experiments, respectively. The approach to mortars’ environmental performance considered a cradle-to-gate scope using different sensitivity analysis parameters. We demonstrated the feasibility of developing an eco-efficient mortar taking advantage of rarely applied recycled particles. Compressive strength and environmental performance (particularly, the ozone layer depletion potential and abiotic resource depletion potential categories) increased with the aggregate replacement rate. In addition, the rheological results provided relevant data, still insufficient to recycled aggregate mortars, presenting an exponential increase of yield stress with effective water to cement ratio. Full article
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Article
LSTM-Based Forecasting for Urban Construction Waste Generation
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8555; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208555 - 16 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 514
Abstract
Accurate forecasts of construction waste are important for recycling the waste and formulating relevant governmental policies. Deficiencies in reliable forecasting methods and historical data hinder the prediction of this waste in long- or short-term planning. To effectively forecast construction waste, a time-series forecasting [...] Read more.
Accurate forecasts of construction waste are important for recycling the waste and formulating relevant governmental policies. Deficiencies in reliable forecasting methods and historical data hinder the prediction of this waste in long- or short-term planning. To effectively forecast construction waste, a time-series forecasting method is proposed in this study, based on a three-layer long short-term memory (LSTM) network and univariate time-series data with limited sample points. This method involves network structure design and implementation algorithms for network training and the forecasting process. Numerical experiments were performed with statistical construction waste data for Shanghai and Hong Kong. Compared with other time-series forecasting models such as ridge regression (RR), support vector regression (SVR), and back-propagation neural networks (BPNN), this paper demonstrates that the proposed LSTM-based forecasting model is effective and accurate in predicting construction waste generation. Full article
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Article
Summertime Overheating Risk Assessment of a Flexible Plug-In Modular Unit in Luxembourg
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8474; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208474 - 14 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 497
Abstract
Modular buildings offer faster construction process, provide better construction quality, allow reducing construction waste and are potentially flexible. Frames of modular units can be made of metal, timber, concrete or mixed materials but lightweight structures do not always allow erecting high-rise buildings and [...] Read more.
Modular buildings offer faster construction process, provide better construction quality, allow reducing construction waste and are potentially flexible. Frames of modular units can be made of metal, timber, concrete or mixed materials but lightweight structures do not always allow erecting high-rise buildings and generally present a higher risk of overheating and/or overcooling. To reconcile these pros and cons, a typology of modular building called Slab was designed by a group of architects. The building is composed on the one hand of a permanent concrete structure named shelf-structure and on the other hand of several flexible removable timber modular units, also known as modules. The shelf-structure will host the common utility rooms and will serve as docking infrastructure for the housing modules. To provide high flexibility, the Slab building was designed to adapt to any orientation and location in Luxembourg. An energy concept and a HVAC systems design has been developed for the Slab building. Furthermore, a two-fold sustainability analysis was carried out. The first part of the analysis regards the determination of the minimum required wall thicknesses of the modules in accordance with Luxembourgish regulatory requirements, although the current regulation does not yet consider the Slab building typology. The second part, which is the subject of this paper, is thermal comfort assessment, more precisely, summertime overheating risk assessment of these modules, in compliance with Luxembourgish standard. In this regard, dynamic thermal simulations have been realized on two module variants; the first fulfills the passive house requirements, and the second—the current requirements for building permit application, which in principle corresponds to low energy house requirements. Simulations showed that with adequate solar shading and reinforced natural ventilation by window opening, overheating risk could be avoided for the normal residential use scenario for both module variants. Full article
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Article
Identifying the Major Construction Wastes in the Building Construction Phase Based on Life Cycle Assessments
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8096; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198096 - 01 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 571
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to identify the major wastes generated during the construction phase using a life cycle assessment. To accomplish this, the amount of waste generated in the construction phase was deduced using the loss rate and weight conversions. Major [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to identify the major wastes generated during the construction phase using a life cycle assessment. To accomplish this, the amount of waste generated in the construction phase was deduced using the loss rate and weight conversions. Major construction wastes were assessed using six comprehensive environmental impact categories, including global warming potential, abiotic depletion potential, acidification potential, eutrophication potential, ozone depletion potential, and photochemical ozone creation potential. According to the analysis results, five main construction wastes—concrete, rebar, cement, polystyrene panel, and concrete block—comprehensively satisfied the 95% cutoff criteria for all six environmental impact categories. The results of the environmental impact characterization assessment revealed that concrete, concrete block, and cement waste accounted for over 70% of the contribution level in all the environmental impact categories except resource depletion. Insulation materials accounted for 1% of the total waste generated but were identified by the environmental impact assessment to have the highest contribution level. Full article
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Article
Development of a BIM-Based Web Tool as a Material and Component Bank for a Sustainable Construction Industry
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 1766; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051766 - 27 Feb 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1149
Abstract
The construction industry consumes an enormous amount of global resources and produces more waste than any other sector. The need to move toward sustainable development in construction requires significant changes in construction and demolition (C&D) waste management. The estimation of waste, recycling materials [...] Read more.
The construction industry consumes an enormous amount of global resources and produces more waste than any other sector. The need to move toward sustainable development in construction requires significant changes in construction and demolition (C&D) waste management. The estimation of waste, recycling materials and reusable components could be vital in waste management, achieving huge efficiency in the construction industry. Moreover, a typical building comprises of an extensive amount of materials and components with various characteristics. This study proposes a Building Information Modelling (BIM)-based system to allow the circular economy by storing information of the materials and components of buildings and by effectively managing the recycling of materials and reuse of components. A tool which serves as a Material and Component (M&C) bank was developed with PHP and MYSQL by making use of a web browser able to extract the materials and component information of a building through the BIM model. This information is vital for several uses such as quantification of C&D waste and assessing for the design for deconstruction. It can also be used to obtain the information of the reusable condition of the components and instructions for the reconstruction. Full article
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Article
Structural Performance of Damaged Open-Web Type SRC Beam-Columns after Retrofitting
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1381; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12041381 - 13 Feb 2020
Viewed by 635
Abstract
The structural performance of damaged open-web type of steel encased reinforced concrete (SRC) beam-columns after retrofitting was experimentally investigated. The experimental parameters were the open-web type of the encased steel and the maximum tip displacement of the columns during the initial loading. First, [...] Read more.
The structural performance of damaged open-web type of steel encased reinforced concrete (SRC) beam-columns after retrofitting was experimentally investigated. The experimental parameters were the open-web type of the encased steel and the maximum tip displacement of the columns during the initial loading. First, each column was cyclically loaded to the targeted displacement. Subsequently, the test columns were retrofitted and reloaded. The damaged portions of each column were retrofitted with the polymer cement mortar, and the epoxy resin was injected into the cracks. The experimental results indicated that the measured stiffness of the retrofitted columns was lower than the initial ones, while the displacements experienced in each column were different. The lower stiffness might be attributed to deterioration of the concrete rigidity, low rigidity of the resin and imperfect injection of the resin. Numerical analyses were also conducted to evaluate the retrofitted column behavior. The effect of the strain hysteresis of concrete at the first loading was considered for the behavior at the second loading. The analytical results predicted the experimental behaviors fairly well, which implies the validity of the analytical methods presented in this paper for evaluating the structural performance of the retrofitted SRC columns. Full article
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Article
Recyclable Architecture: Prefabricated and Recyclable Typologies
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1342; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12041342 - 12 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1678
Abstract
Buildings are being demolished without taking into the account the waste generated, and the housing shortage problem is getting more critical as cities are growing and the demand for built space and the use of resources are increasing. Architectural projects have been using [...] Read more.
Buildings are being demolished without taking into the account the waste generated, and the housing shortage problem is getting more critical as cities are growing and the demand for built space and the use of resources are increasing. Architectural projects have been using prefabrication and modular systems to solve these problems. However, there is an absence of structures that can be disassembled and reused when the structure’s life ran its course. This paper presents three building prototypes of new recyclable architectural typologies: (i) a Slab prototype designed as a shelf structure where wooden housing modules can be plugged in and out, (ii) a Tower prototype allowing for an easy change of layout and use of different floors and (iii) a Demountable prototype characterized by the entire demountability of the building. These typologies combine modularity, flexibility, and disassembling to address the increasing demands for multi-use, re-usable and resource-efficient constructions. Design, drawings, plans, and 3D models are developed, tested and analyzed as a part of the research. The results show that the implementation of the recyclable architectural concept at the first design stage is feasible and realistic, and ensures the adaptation through time, increases life span, usability and the material reusability, while avoiding demolition, which in turn reduces the construction waste and, consequently, the CO2 emissions. Full article
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Article
Experimental Study on a Novel Dry Connection for a Precast Concrete Beam-To-Column Joint
Sustainability 2019, 11(17), 4543; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11174543 - 21 Aug 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1302
Abstract
At present, precast buildings have become the focus of the building industrialization, and the precast concrete frame structure has been widely used in the construction industry. On this background, a novel precast concrete frame with a bolt connection joint was proposed in this [...] Read more.
At present, precast buildings have become the focus of the building industrialization, and the precast concrete frame structure has been widely used in the construction industry. On this background, a novel precast concrete frame with a bolt connection joint was proposed in this paper. The novel connections include connection steel plates, bolts and rubber layers. To investigate the seismic performance of the precast structure, two full-scale, precast, cruciform, reinforced concrete specimens, and a monolithic counterpart, are tested under reversed cyclic loading. For the precast specimens, two different thickness rubber layers are applied in the connection region, respectively. Seismic behavior was evaluated based on failure mode, hysteretic behavior, stiffness degeneration, ductility and energy dissipation. The results indicated that precast specimens had almost the same ultimate bearing capacity as the cast-in-place ones, and the failure mode is also the same. The precast specimens satisfied the strong column-weak beam design concept. Additionally, the initial stiffness is obviously decreased by adding rubber washers at the joint region, showing a semi-rigid characteristic. At the end of this paper, an equivalent stiffness computation method of the precast joint is discussed. Full article
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Article
A Demountable Connection for Low-Rise Precast Concrete Structures with DfD for Construction Sustainability-A Preliminary Test under Cyclic Loads
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3696; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133696 - 05 Jul 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1668
Abstract
As a demountable structure, the structure with design for deconstruction (DfD) is considered as a key contribution on the promotion of current construction sustainability by directly reusing valuable components from old structures. As a preliminary study, this paper investigated the cyclic behavior of [...] Read more.
As a demountable structure, the structure with design for deconstruction (DfD) is considered as a key contribution on the promotion of current construction sustainability by directly reusing valuable components from old structures. As a preliminary study, this paper investigated the cyclic behavior of bolted joints consisting of three reinforced concrete blocks bolted by steel bolts under axial compressive, focusing on the damage and failure modes, resistance mechanism and stiffness development of the joints. Results showed that the number of steel bolts, the tightening process of the bolts and concrete compressive strength all had a significant effect on the overall performance and capacity of the joints. The failure mode of most of tested joints was considered as fracture of stirrups and steel bolts in the tested joints. According to the investigation of this study, several recommendations on the design of the joints were provided. Full article
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Article
Optimization of Concrete Mixture Design Using Adaptive Surrogate Model
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 1991; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11071991 - 03 Apr 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1013
Abstract
The increase in urban construction in China has been accompanied by increasing concrete output, which has reached 2250 million m3 in recent years, ranked as the highest in the world. Consequentially, its environmental burden is significant in terms of resource use and [...] Read more.
The increase in urban construction in China has been accompanied by increasing concrete output, which has reached 2250 million m3 in recent years, ranked as the highest in the world. Consequentially, its environmental burden is significant in terms of resource use and carbon emissions. An adaptive surrogate model based on an extended radial basis function and adaptive sampling method was used to optimize the design of a concrete mixture in order to reduce its CO2 emissions and cost. The adaptive sampling method based on the multi-island genetic algorithm was adopted in order to improve the adaptive capability and accuracy of the surrogate model by selecting the proper sample size and ensuring uniform distribution of the sample points in the designed space. Three types of concrete with different strength, that is, C70, C40 and C30, were optimized by controlling the amount of fly ash and phosphorous slag in the samples. The optimized results showed that fly ash and phosphorous slag have a significant influence on the CO2 emissions of concrete and optimized concrete’s cost, while CO2 emissions were less than that of the reference samples. Therefore, the optimal mixture is with great significance to reduce the carbon emission of concrete, which also has implications for decreasing the environmental burden of concrete. In this way, we can optimize concrete of different strength to reduce carbon dioxide emission. Full article
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Article
Empirical Study on Structural Safety Diagnosis of Large-Scale Civil Infrastructure Using Laser Scanning and BIM
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4024; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114024 - 02 Nov 2018
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1607
Abstract
Existing structural safety diagnosis methods are time-consuming due to personnel-oriented measurement methods and have a limitation that it is difficult to obtain consistent research results. In order to overcome these limitations, this study proposes a structural safety diagnosis method using laser scanning and [...] Read more.
Existing structural safety diagnosis methods are time-consuming due to personnel-oriented measurement methods and have a limitation that it is difficult to obtain consistent research results. In order to overcome these limitations, this study proposes a structural safety diagnosis method using laser scanning and BIM. In spite of the various studies related to laser scanning and BIM, it is difficult to find a study that verifies the effect of shortening the service period and cost reduction in terms of project management. Therefore, in this study, case analysis of structural safety diagnosis of large-scale civil infrastructure was conducted. In the structural safety diagnosis, the laser scanning data and the BIM model were compared and analyzed to determine the degree of deformation of pipe rack (e.g., truss, column). Laser scanning data reflects the deformation state of large-scale civil infrastructure. On the other hand, the BIM model was constructed by reflecting the state before the transformation with reference to the laser scanning data. Finally, proposed method of structural safety diagnosis saved four months. In terms of manpower saving, 125 man-month was saved. The research findings can provide a quantitative basis for the introduction of laser scanning and BIM technology in the structural safety diagnosis of aging large-scale civil infrastructures. However, the limitations of this study have not been analyzed economically by considering the investment cost (e.g., hardware, software, training, etc.) of laser scanning and BIM technology and the cost saving effect of technology introduction. Full article
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Review

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Review
BIM-Based End-of-Lifecycle Decision Making and Digital Deconstruction: Literature Review
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2670; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072670 - 28 Mar 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1824
Abstract
This article is the second part of a two-part study, which explored the extent to which Building Information Modelling (BIM) is used for End-of-Lifecycle (EoL) scenario selection to minimise the Construction and Demolition Waste (CDW). The conventional literature review presented here is based [...] Read more.
This article is the second part of a two-part study, which explored the extent to which Building Information Modelling (BIM) is used for End-of-Lifecycle (EoL) scenario selection to minimise the Construction and Demolition Waste (CDW). The conventional literature review presented here is based on the conceptual landscape that was obtained from the bibliometric and scientometric analysis in the first part of the study. Seven main academic research directions concerning the BIM-based EoL domain were found, including social and cultural factors, BIM-based Design for Deconstruction (DfD), BIM-based deconstruction, BIM-based EoL within LCA, BIM-aided waste management, Material and Component Banks (M/C Banks), off-site construction, interoperability and Industry Foundation Classes (IFC). The analysis highlights research gaps in the path of raw materials to reusable materials, i.e., from the deconstruction to M/C banks to DfD-based designs and then again to deconstruction. BIM-based EoL is suffering from a lack of a global framework. The existing solutions are based on local waste management policies and case-specific sustainability criteria selection. Another drawback of these ad hoc but well-developed BIM-based EoL prototypes is their use of specific proprietary BIM tools to support their framework. This disconnection between BIM tools and EoL tools is reportedly hindering the BIM-based EoL, while no IFC classes support the EoL phase information exchange. Full article
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