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Special Issue "Sustainable Construction Investments - Technical and Organizational Implications"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2021) | Viewed by 14884

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Sebastian Kot
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
The Management Faculty, Czestochowa University of Technology, Poland
Faculty of Economic Sciences and IT, North-West University (NWU), South Africa
Interests: sustainable development; supply chain; CSR
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Mariusz Urbański
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Civil Engineering, Czestochowa University of Technology, Poland
Interests: sustainable construction; road and bridge construction; traditional building; construction projects management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The construction sector has the capacity to make a significant contribution to a more sustainable future for our planet. Sustainable practices in the construction sector should be the result of the accomplishments of the concept of sustainable development in the context of planning, preparation, implementation, and effective use of construction investments. Contrary to popular tenets, sustainable construction should go beyond ecological construction, also meeting the social and economic goals of sustainable development. Sustainable construction is related to the creation of building structures through processes and using materials that are environmentally friendly in connection with the principles of economics and limiting the negative impact of construction investments on the natural environment and human life and health.

The editors invite the submission of papers for this Special Issues that concern:

  • Innovative technologies used in the implementation of sustainable construction investments;
  • Technical problem solution and conceptual implementation of construction projects in the context of sustainable development;
  • Social benefits of residents’ health protection;
  • Effective use of energy, water, and other natural resources;
  • Limiting the amount of waste, pollution, and degradation of the natural environment during the implementation of construction projects;
  • Regeneration of housing, particularly to revitalize town centers;
  • Economic and organizational problems of construction investments management;
  • Logistic organization of activities in the process of implementing construction projects while maintaining the principles of sustainable development;
  • Innovative methods to analyze and evaluate the sustainability of construction investments.

Prof. Sebastian Kot
Dr. Mariusz Urbański
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 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 2000 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

  • sustainable construction
  • building project management
  • innovative construction
  • civil engineering

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Article
Investigating Tensile Behavior of Sustainable Basalt–Carbon, Basalt–Steel, and Basalt–Steel-Wire Hybrid Composite Bars
Sustainability 2021, 13(19), 10735; https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910735 - 27 Sep 2021
Viewed by 881
Abstract
One of the main disadvantages of steel bars is rebar corrosion, especially when they are exposed to aggressive environmental conditions such as marine environments. One of the suggested ways to solve this problem is to use composite bars. However, the use of these [...] Read more.
One of the main disadvantages of steel bars is rebar corrosion, especially when they are exposed to aggressive environmental conditions such as marine environments. One of the suggested ways to solve this problem is to use composite bars. However, the use of these bars is ambiguous due to some weaknesses, such as low modulus of elasticity and linear behavior in the tensile tests. In this research, the effect of the hybridization process on mechanical behavior, including tensile strength, elastic modulus, and energy absorbed of composite bars, was evaluated. In addition, using basalt fibers because of their appropriate mechanical behavior, such as elastic modulus, tensile strength, durability, and high-temperature resistance, compared to glass fibers, as the main fibers in all types of composite hybrid bars, was investigated. A total of 12 hybrid composite bars were made in four different groups. Basalt and carbon T300 composite fibers, steel bars with a diameter of 6 mm, and steel wires with a diameter of 1.5 mm were used to fabricate hybrid composite bars, and vinyl ester 901 was used as the resin. The results show that, depending on composite fibers used for fabrication of hybrid composite bars, the modulus of elasticity and the tensile strength increased compared to glass-fiber-reinforced-polymer (GFRP) bars by 83% to 120% and 6% to 26%, respectively. Moreover, hybrid composite bars with basalt and steel wires witnessed higher absorbed energy compared to other types of hybrid composite bars. Full article
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Article
Triggers of Delays in International Projects Using Engineering Procurement and Construction Delivery Methods in the Belt and Road Initiative: Case Study of a High-Speed Railway Projects
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9503; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13179503 - 24 Aug 2021
Viewed by 865
Abstract
Since the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has been put in practice by the Chinese government, several High-Speed Railways (HSR) have been built by Chinese Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) firms. However, many delays have created severe detrimental consequences on the progress of [...] Read more.
Since the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has been put in practice by the Chinese government, several High-Speed Railways (HSR) have been built by Chinese Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) firms. However, many delays have created severe detrimental consequences on the progress of most HSR projects. This study sought to explore the essence of the recurring triggers of delays in international EPC HSR projects under the BRI, and a structured questionnaire survey approach was applied to compile the first-hand dataset from Chinese EPC firms working for BRI infrastructure projects. The data were evaluated, and the Relative Importance Index (RII) was adopted to assess the magnitude of the important delay triggers. The findings suggest that HSR projects are still susceptible to unavoidable delays in global construction infrastructure projects. In the engineering phase, improper management of the design, unsustainable land acquisition, and insufficient use of EPC joint venture are the salient trigger of delays. In the procurement phase, the leading causes of unsuitable procurement, undervalued procurement cost, inefficient logistics in labor and materials, improper planning, unqualified site supervisors, inefficient technical standard management, and inefficient constant payment terms are likely to trigger delays in the construction phase HSR projects. Five critical groups of delay factors are identified by this study, which has an essential primary contribution to the body of knowledge and is helpful to EPC contractors working for HSR projects under BRI. Full article
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Article
Mitigating Dust Pollution from Construction Activities: A Behavioural Control Perspective
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9005; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169005 - 12 Aug 2021
Viewed by 957
Abstract
Construction sites constitute major sources of pollutants creating negative impacts on the environment. Sustainable construction aims at mitigating these negative externalities while promoting economic and social outcomes. Dust pollution in construction sites is an invisible hazard, which is often ignored as little more [...] Read more.
Construction sites constitute major sources of pollutants creating negative impacts on the environment. Sustainable construction aims at mitigating these negative externalities while promoting economic and social outcomes. Dust pollution in construction sites is an invisible hazard, which is often ignored as little more than a nuisance. Although behavioral control is a popular way of preventing dust generation, past research has paid little attention to worker behavior regarding dust mitigation. This study aims to test a model that predicts intentions to alter the conduct of workers towards dust control in construction activities. This study adopted a questionnaire survey design with construction participants in Sri Lanka, using structural equation modelling to test several hypotheses based on the Norm Activation Model. The results proved that awareness of consequences and ascription of responsibility could have a positive impact on personal norms, which in turn could influence the behavior of site employees. The study also provided new insights on employees’ awareness of dust hazards, their sense of responsibility for its control, and the importance of their company. Policymakers and practitioners are recommended to pay more attention to how to harness worker’s support to mitigate dust pollution, and construction companies should initiate educational campaigns to raise awareness about environmental impacts, to influence personal norms of the workers in building sites. This research contributes to the body of knowledge by enhancing our understanding of factors influencing employees’ dust control behavior. Full article
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Article
A Comparative Study of Models for the Construction Duration Prediction in Highway Road Projects of India
Sustainability 2021, 13(8), 4552; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13084552 - 20 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 670
Abstract
Predicting the duration of construction projects with acceptable accuracy is a problem for contractors and researchers. Numerous researchers and tools are involved in sorting out this problem. The aim of the study is to predict the construction duration using four analytical tools as [...] Read more.
Predicting the duration of construction projects with acceptable accuracy is a problem for contractors and researchers. Numerous researchers and tools are involved in sorting out this problem. The aim of the study is to predict the construction duration using four analytical tools as an approach. The success of construction projects in regard to time depends on various factors such as selection of contractors, consultants, cost of the projects, quality of the projects, the quantity of the projects, environmental factors, etc. Presently available commercial tools in the market are not designed as universally common and concerned. Every tool performs well in a particular situation. The prediction of India’s highway road projects duration is the biggest construction issue in the country due to various reasons. To overcome this problem, the methodology of the paper adopts various strategies to find suitable tools to predict the highway road projects’ duration, in which it classifies and analyzes the collected data. As a part of this work, the details of 363 government infrastructure projects (traditional procurement) were collected from 2000 to 2018. The present study also adopts various tools for duration prediction such as artificial neural networks (ANNs), smoothing techniques, time series analysis, and Bromilow’s time–cost (BTC) model. The results of the study recommend smoothing techniques with a constant value of 0.3, which gave the remarkable very small error of 1.2%, and its outcomes become even better when compared to other techniques. Full article
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Article
Sustainable Construction as a Competitive Advantage
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 5946; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12155946 - 23 Jul 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1864
Abstract
Nowadays, sustainable construction (SC) is considered as a measure to support a healthy economy. The SC concept ensures quality of life and helps minimize the negative impact on the environment, human health, and biodiversity. SC fits into the modern sustainable development (SD) concept [...] Read more.
Nowadays, sustainable construction (SC) is considered as a measure to support a healthy economy. The SC concept ensures quality of life and helps minimize the negative impact on the environment, human health, and biodiversity. SC fits into the modern sustainable development (SD) concept due to the ability to improve the environment, energy efficiency, and care for future generations. Despite numerous studies dedicated to the SC concept and implementation, practical matters related to SC including the importance of macroeconomic environmental sustainability are still insufficiently explored. The objective of this research is to study the practical issues of SC in the example of developing countries. Moreover, this work is aimed at determining the importance of the sustainable macroeconomic environment in ensuring SC. With the help of correlation and regression analysis effected for the purposes of the study, the direct connection and strong correlation between the GDP growth in the country and the number of large sustainable infrastructure facilities constructed and put into operation in the Russian Federation and China (correlation coefficient comprised 0.9987) were revealed. Within the current study, the experience of developing countries in SC is also discussed. It has been outlined that for emerging countries, the development of the construction industry environment within the framework of SC is possible in a sustainable business environment. The competitive advantages for SC are considered in social, economic, and environmental systems. Moreover, the models of formation and ensuring competitive advantages of the SC enterprise are presented. This paper reveals that the stability of the macroeconomic environment is a key factor in construction industry growth within the SC for developing countries. Full article
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Article
Selection of the Best Method for Underpinning Foundations Using the PROMETHEE II Method
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5373; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135373 - 02 Jul 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1134
Abstract
This article proposes applying the preference-ranking organization method for enrichment of evaluations (PROMETHEE) II in the selection of the optimal solution and ranking of selected methods for underpinning foundations. Analysis of the selected foundation-underpinning methods was based on a complex decision-making problem that [...] Read more.
This article proposes applying the preference-ranking organization method for enrichment of evaluations (PROMETHEE) II in the selection of the optimal solution and ranking of selected methods for underpinning foundations. Analysis of the selected foundation-underpinning methods was based on a complex decision-making problem that included aspects of the three pillars of sustainable development, and it was extended to include technological and constructional criteria. The study used the following criteria for assessing proposed variants: price, bearing capacity, noise and vibrations, necessary equipment, necessary excavations under final structure, failure rates, and necessary foundation shoring. Analysis using the PROMETHEE II method allowed for identifying strengths and weaknesses of selected methods for underpinning foundations. The PROMETHEE II method enabled to create a ranking of foundation-underpinning methods. Jet-grouting and root-pile methods were the highest scorers in this ranking and those that fulfilled the identified criteria to the greatest extent. Moreover, analysis showed that the PROMETHEE II method was useful in solving problems of choice in the construction industry. Full article
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Article
Sustainable Development of the Mortgage Market in Azerbaijan: Commercial Risks of Housing Construction, Social Vision, and State Influence
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 5116; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125116 - 23 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1192
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to formulate a model for sustainable development of the mortgage market in Azerbaijan, taking into account commercial risks of housing construction, the risks of the construction industry, social visions of mortgages, state pressure, and support. The following [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to formulate a model for sustainable development of the mortgage market in Azerbaijan, taking into account commercial risks of housing construction, the risks of the construction industry, social visions of mortgages, state pressure, and support. The following five key research stages can be distinguished. Namely, identification of commercial risks of housing construction based on a survey; evaluation of the effectiveness of risk diversification strategy; determination of the social vision of a mortgage; substantiating the main directions of state pressure and support for mortgage market development; and creation of a model for sustainable development of the mortgage market in Azerbaijan. At the same time, it is proposed to use a methodological approach to assessing the effectiveness of the model based on the construction of the multivariate linear regression equation. The inclusive model of sustainable development of the mortgage market in Azerbaijan provides for the formation of a favorable institutional environment. Given the selected modules, forecasting the effectiveness of the proposed inclusive model demonstrates its effectiveness in the direction of enhancing mortgage lending based on interest rate regulation taking into account the benefits of green housing construction. Full article
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Article
Determinants of the Turnover Intention of Construction Professionals: A Mediation Analysis
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 954; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12030954 - 28 Jan 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1758
Abstract
The voluntary turnover rate of qualified professionals is both a critical issue and a priority issue that affects organizations in different ways. The construction industry has a set of very specific and unique characteristics that demarcates it from all other sectors. This situation [...] Read more.
The voluntary turnover rate of qualified professionals is both a critical issue and a priority issue that affects organizations in different ways. The construction industry has a set of very specific and unique characteristics that demarcates it from all other sectors. This situation is related with strong precariousness and employee turnover, as well as the extensive practice of subcontracting. Furthermore, the construction sector, with its project-based production, is more vulnerable to voluntary turnover intention. Therefore, we aimed, in this study, to determine the key factors that contribute to the voluntary turnover intentions of qualified construction professionals. In this paper, the impact of individual-level value orientations on turnover intention in the construction settings, focusing on the mediating effect of external prestige and organizational identification, are investigated. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) is employed to estimate the causal relationships between the turnover intention and other research variables. The analyses are based on questionnaire responses from 441 construction professionals living in Istanbul. The findings indicate that an individual difference in the self-construal is related to turnover intention indirectly by virtue of employees’ perceptions of organizational prestige. Organizational identification also partially mediated the relationship between the self-construal and the turnover intention. Full article
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Article
Analytic Hierarchy of Motivating and Demotivating Factors Affecting Labor Productivity in the Construction Industry: The Case of Azerbaijan
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 5975; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11215975 - 28 Oct 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1956
Abstract
This research is aimed to identify and comparatively assess the motivation factors influencing labor productivity from the construction employees’ perception. Based on results of a filled-in and returned questionnaire distributed among 350 workers and managers from 25 construction companies throughout the Republic of [...] Read more.
This research is aimed to identify and comparatively assess the motivation factors influencing labor productivity from the construction employees’ perception. Based on results of a filled-in and returned questionnaire distributed among 350 workers and managers from 25 construction companies throughout the Republic of Azerbaijan, motivation and demotivation factors were identified. The statistical analysis of motivation drivers showed that most important ones for all construction employees are remuneration (including its timely payment), job security, bonuses, and fringe benefits. Among top demotivators for all types of employees are unsafe work conditions, underpayment, and colleagues’ aggressive management style. Workers are also affected by bad treatment by managers and changing on workmates. While workers are more concerned with quality of site management and good relations with colleagues, managers are more motivated by responsible job and challenging tasks and demotivated by chaos and incompetent colleagues. Thus, according to the study, both economic and non-economic motivation and demotivation drivers occurred to be important for construction employees, and must be accounted by human resource (HR) officers. The results of the research would assist construction companies’ management in developing more precise and employee-oriented human resources strategies and policies. Full article

Review

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Review
Sustainable Construction Investment, Real Estate Development, and COVID-19: A Review of Literature in the Field
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 7420; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137420 - 02 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2853
Abstract
Aspects of sustainable construction investment and real estate development (CIRED) and their interrelations during the period pre-, intra-, and post-COVID-19, are presented in the research. Applications of the topic model, environmental psychology theory, building life cycle method, and certain elements of bibliometrics, webometrics, [...] Read more.
Aspects of sustainable construction investment and real estate development (CIRED) and their interrelations during the period pre-, intra-, and post-COVID-19, are presented in the research. Applications of the topic model, environmental psychology theory, building life cycle method, and certain elements of bibliometrics, webometrics, article level metrics, altmetrics, and scientometrics make it possible to perform a quantitative analysis on CIRED. The CIRED topic model was developed in seven steps. This paper aims to present a literature review on CIRED throughout the pandemic and to look at the responses from the real estate and construction sector. This sector is a field that appears to be rapidly expanding, judging from the volume of current research papers. This review focuses on last year’s leading peer-reviewed journals. A combination of various keywords was applied for the review and the criteria for paper selections included construction investment, real estate development, civil engineering, COVID-19, and sustainability, as well as residential, industrial, commercial, land, and special purpose real estate, along with their risks, strategies, and trends. The articles reviewed for this paper, which analyzes three hypotheses, look at pre-, intra-, and post-pandemic CIRED. The three hypotheses were validated by analyzing scientific publications from around the world. Two innovative elements make this study stand out among the most advanced research on pre-, intra-, and post-pandemic CIRED. The first of the two innovations is the integrated analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic, COVID-19-related national policies, and business investment strategies relevant to CIRED and the interests of investors as well as on the impact a CIRED policy and investors make on the spread of COVID-19. In addition, this research demonstrates a marked increase in the effectiveness of a CIRED analysis, when the life cycle of a CIRED, the involved stakeholders with their own individual interests, the COVID-19 situation, and the external micro-, meso-, and macro-environments are covered comprehensively as a single entity. Full article
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