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Data and the Built Environment: Reconciling Resources and Information for a Sustainable Living

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 October 2023) | Viewed by 41566

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
School of Engineering and the Built Environment, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh EH11 4BN, UK
Interests: structural engineering; architectural engineering; sustainability science; low carbon design
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Engineering and the Built Environment, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh EH11 4BN, UK
Interests: building information modelling (BIM); historic building information modelling (HBIM); architectural design and practice; thermal comfort and spatial behaviour; sustainable design
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh EH10 5DT, UK
Interests: climate-sensitive architecture; building performance simulation; data-driven design

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are living an unprecedented moment in time. For the first time in human history, about half of the world population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is forecasted to reach about 70% by 2050, when 2 more billion people are expected to be living on this planet compared to current estimates. Countless more buildings and infrastructures will be constructed, which will further drive up the increasing consumption of raw materials and the energy required to extract, process, and move them around the globe. Recent research shows that the mass of all artificially built products, from high-rise buildings to plastic bottles, is now approximately equal to the mass of all living organisms on the planet and could soon be surpassed if the business-as-usual model of endless growth remains unchecked. Such a sustained model of resource consumption is materialising into a range of environmentally negative impacts, from climate change to the pollution of natural land and sea ecosystems, as well as biodiversity losses and mass extinctions.

Alongside this ever-increasing consumption of physical matter, the creation and extraction of information has also skyrocketed in recent times. About 90% of all available data created since human history first began have been generated in the last two years alone. The trend is only set to accelerate with planned deployments of more advanced technologies for data communication (5G) and data capturing in our buildings (IoT), our neighbourhoods and towns (smart cities), and above our heads (remote sensing). 

Some scholars have argued that this explosion in the availability of machine-readable data, combined with tremendous advancements in artificial intelligence, has opened the doors to new forms of business relying on commoditisation of data as the ‘new oil’. Whether the exponential availability of data and machine learning technologies may be leading us towards a path of endless wealth, or a global state of ‘surveillance capitalism’, is beyond anyone’s guess. However, the knowledge potential offered by data-driven methods to the enterprise of scientific enquiry is something that cannot be ignored if we are to avoid an environmental catastrophe while providing all the material needs required for humans to live in a built environment that remains within planetary boundaries.

The aim of this Special Issue is to gather contributions from the wider spectrum of academic research related to the built environment, both across scales (from the individual building or component, to entire cites and regions) as well as systems (e.g., occupant’s and user’s behaviour, urban forms, and urban metabolism). The thematic range is left intentionally broad to facilitate and encourage the submission of works that are inherently multidisciplinary in nature, provided that any methodological component of the work relying on data-driven and machine learning methods is made strongly evident.

Dr. Bernardino D’Amico
Dr. Suha Jaradat
Dr. Masoud Sajjadian
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 2400 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

  • data-driven
  • machine learning
  • occupant behaviour
  • urban mining
  • low carbon
  • construction
  • buildings

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Research

31 pages, 6994 KiB  
Article
The Extent to Which Hemp Insulation Materials Can Be Used in Canadian Residential Buildings
by Chun Hua Julia Liu, Francesco Pomponi and Bernardino D’Amico
Sustainability 2023, 15(19), 14471; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151914471 - 04 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1929
Abstract
The embodied carbon of building materials is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Hemp is widely acknowledged as the most used vegetal insulation in building and construction due to its comparable thermal properties and better environmental performance than that of mainstream [...] Read more.
The embodied carbon of building materials is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Hemp is widely acknowledged as the most used vegetal insulation in building and construction due to its comparable thermal properties and better environmental performance than that of mainstream insulation materials (MIMs). However, the application of hemp insulation materials (HIMs) in Canada is still in its infancy. Canada is currently the largest hemp oil and seed producer in the world. Most recent research on hemp in Canada has focused on the impact of legalising marijuana and the popularisation of hemp health products and cannabidiol (CBD). There is a lack of studies addressing the holistic impact of hemp in reducing emissions in Canadian residential buildings. This paper exams the feasibility of large-scale hemp cultivation in Canada and the suitability of HIMs for Canadian private dwellings. Material flow analysis (MFA) and life cycle assessment (LCA) were applied to evaluate different levels of carbon mitigation over time produced by HIM substitution. The results show that Canada has sufficient farmland and perfect geographic location and weather to implement large-scale hemp cultivation. HIM substitution can be accomplished for 81% of Canadian residential buildings. Full HIM substitution fulfilled through 5% hemp fibre insulation (HF) and 95% hempcrete (HC) will mitigate 101% of the GHG emissions caused by existing MIMs and contribute up to a 7.38% reduction in emissions to achieve the net zero emissions target by 2050. Full article
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31 pages, 2237 KiB  
Article
Digital Transformation and Green Development Research: Microscopic Evidence from China’s Listed Construction Companies
by Aihua Shen and Rui Wang
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12481; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612481 - 16 Aug 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1521
Abstract
The construction industry is in urgent need to transition away from its rough development and management practices. It is essential to embrace a sustainable development path to enhance core competitiveness, promote resource intensification, and prioritize environmental friendliness. The digital transformation uses information and [...] Read more.
The construction industry is in urgent need to transition away from its rough development and management practices. It is essential to embrace a sustainable development path to enhance core competitiveness, promote resource intensification, and prioritize environmental friendliness. The digital transformation uses information and data as the key elements to promote the transformation of traditional industries to become more intelligent and green. This ushers in new opportunities for transformation in the construction industry, marking a significant turning point for its evolution. This paper explores the impact of digital transformation on the green development of construction companies and its inner mechanism. Based on the panel data of the listed companies in China’s construction industry from 2015 to 2021, the two-way fixed effect, mediating effect, moderating effect, and threshold effect models are used to test the relationship between them. The results indicate that digital transformation significantly promotes the green development of construction companies. Additionally, this result still holds after robustness and endogeneity tests. This effect is more significant in state-owned, larger companies situated in regions with weaker digital economy development. In addition, the intensity of regional environmental regulations strengthens the impact of digital transformation on green development. However, it has a threshold effect. In the test of mediating effect, it has been found that green innovation and corporate human capital structure can serve as mediators. In the general trend of digital change, the drive towards the sustainable development of construction companies offers micro-empirical evidence that the digital economy empowers green development in China. Full article
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15 pages, 7440 KiB  
Article
Load-Settlement Characteristics of Stone Column Reinforced Soft Marine Clay Deposit: Combined Field and Numerical Studies
by Sudip Basack and Sanjay Nimbalkar
Sustainability 2023, 15(9), 7457; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15097457 - 01 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2047
Abstract
Foundations supporting infrastructure built on soft and compressible marine soil are unlikely to sustain due to possibility of undrained shear failure or excessive settlement of the supporting soil. This necessitates the importance of implementing an adequate ground improvement strategy. Among different techniques, soft [...] Read more.
Foundations supporting infrastructure built on soft and compressible marine soil are unlikely to sustain due to possibility of undrained shear failure or excessive settlement of the supporting soil. This necessitates the importance of implementing an adequate ground improvement strategy. Among different techniques, soft soil reinforcing by the installation of stone columns is one of the most successful methods in terms of long-term stability of foundations. To investigate the load-settlement characteristics of such reinforced soil, a group of closely spaced stone columns was constructed at a location along the eastern coast of Australia. The site geology revealed thick layers of soft, compressible marine clay deposit. These stone columns were loaded by constructing earthen embankment and the resulting load-settlement characteristics were measured by an array of sensors. A two-dimensional plane strain analysis was performed using finite element modeling simulations. Comparison of numerical results with the field data demonstrated accuracy of the numerical model. Additional studies were carried out to investigate the efficiency of the model. This paper integrates the new findings from the full-scale field study and advanced numerical simulations while drawing pertinent conclusions. Full article
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21 pages, 1710 KiB  
Article
The Role of the Total-Quality-Management (TQM) Drivers in Overcoming the Challenges of Implementing TQM in Industrialized-Building-System (IBS) Projects in Malaysia: Experts’ Perspectives
by Aawag Mohsen Alawag, Wesam Salah Alaloul, M. S. Liew, Abdullah O. Baarimah, Muhammad Ali Musarat and Al-Baraa Abdulrahman Al-Mekhlafi
Sustainability 2023, 15(8), 6607; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15086607 - 13 Apr 2023
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 8428
Abstract
Total quality management (TQM) is a systematic management technique for developing a process-driven culture inside an organization to achieve quality and customer and employee satisfaction. TQM has started to impact global business systems, and is extensively regarded as a management “revolution”. The implementation [...] Read more.
Total quality management (TQM) is a systematic management technique for developing a process-driven culture inside an organization to achieve quality and customer and employee satisfaction. TQM has started to impact global business systems, and is extensively regarded as a management “revolution”. The implementation of TQM in the industrialized building system (IBS) in Malaysian projects has not been treated in much detail, although it is essential. This research intended to assess TQM adoption in IBS projects and identify how TQM drivers will help to overcome TQM-implementation challenges. This study utilized the mixed method by developing a semi-structured interview and survey, while the respondents were experts from TQM and IBS consulting firms. The content-validity approach was used, depending on 14 interviews and 28 responses to a distributed questionnaire. The findings indicate that TQM adoption of IBS projects is extremely poor. According to experts, local firms are still unable to execute TQM because they are reluctant to implement the TQM system as a strategy implementation across the construction process. Furthermore, according to the content validity ratio (CVR), there was an agreement that TQM would provide substantial benefits to IBS projects, such as offering cooperative associations, excellent communication, enhanced customer gratification, cost reductions, and productivity improvements. This study provided practical evidence of the fact that if the organizations adopted these 23 drivers of TQM they could overwhelm the challenges of TQM implementation in IBS projects. Thus, the stated factors were trustworthy, as indicated in the transcripts of interviews, and relying on the plurality of expert assessments. This study offers a valuable list of challenges and drivers for managers of the projects as guidelines to help them adopt TQM in IBS projects. Full article
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28 pages, 1243 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Adoption of Cyber (Digital) Technology for Sustainable Construction: A Structural Equation Modeling of Critical Success Factors
by Ahmed Farouk Kineber, Ayodeji Oke, John Aliu, Mohammed Magdy Hamed and Eguonor Oputu
Sustainability 2023, 15(6), 5043; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15065043 - 13 Mar 2023
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2114
Abstract
The concepts of sustainability should be incorporated at every level of the decision-making process during the construction of residential building projects. It will ensure maximum cost savings without compromising the residential buildings’ services. To understand these sustainability principles, this study was conducted to [...] Read more.
The concepts of sustainability should be incorporated at every level of the decision-making process during the construction of residential building projects. It will ensure maximum cost savings without compromising the residential buildings’ services. To understand these sustainability principles, this study was conducted to identify and investigate the critical success factors (CSFs) required for implementing cyber technology in residential building projects. These CSFs were obtained from existing studies that were contextually explored via a questionnaire survey involving construction experts in the Nigerian building industry. Based on the Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) results, cyber technology CSFs were grouped into five distinct constructs: Governmental, Customer satisfaction, Time, Social safety, and Marketability of the construction product. Partial Least Square Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM) was adopted to develop the model for the CSFs. The study showed that the Governmental component possessed the highest effect on the model, further underlining this construct as a crucial CSF in implementing cyber/digital technology. The findings from this study will facilitate cyber/digital technology introduction in the Nigerian construction industry. It will aid decision-makers and construction professionals in seeking viable ways of reducing costs and improving sustainability. Thus, this study has developed a CSF model to showcase the adoption of cyber/digital technology, with other implications for facilitating the goal of achieving sustainable residential building projects. Full article
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20 pages, 962 KiB  
Article
Exploring Sustainable Interior Design Implementation Barriers: A Partial Least Structural Equation Modeling Approach
by Ahmed Farouk Kineber, Mostafa Mo. Massoud, Mohammed Magdy Hamed and Thikryat Jibril Obied Qaralleh
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4663; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054663 - 06 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3313
Abstract
Although sustainability has been an issue in the built environment for some time, it has not yet been fully addressed in sustainable interior architecture and design. This research aimed to identify and analyze obstacles preventing sustainable interior architecture and design implementation. As a [...] Read more.
Although sustainability has been an issue in the built environment for some time, it has not yet been fully addressed in sustainable interior architecture and design. This research aimed to identify and analyze obstacles preventing sustainable interior architecture and design implementation. As a result, the partial least structural equation modeling approach (PLS-SEM) has been requested to evaluate these obstructions. Therefore, after identifying 30 possible barriers through a literature search, a survey questionnaire was issued to 100 interior designers to evaluate their significance. According to the findings, governmental obstacles are the most pressing, followed by those related to information, knowledge, awareness, technology, training, attitudes, the market, and economics. This study’s conclusions may benefit professional interior architects, designers, academics, statutory authorities, administrations, and politicians. The current study addresses the lack of prior literature by compiling a thorough inventory of obstacles to environmentally friendly interior architecture and design, lays the framework for more in-depth future studies, and uses a unique PLS-SEM that has not been used previously. Full article
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16 pages, 720 KiB  
Article
Efficient Construction Waste Management: A Solution through Industrial Revolution (IR) 4.0 Evaluated by AHP
by Muhammad Ali Musarat, Wesam Salah Alaloul, Nasir Hameed, Dhinaharan R, Abdul Hannan Qureshi and Mohamed Mubarak Abdul Wahab
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 274; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010274 - 24 Dec 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3457
Abstract
Construction waste management is a global concern not only because it impacts the financial efficiency of construction projects, but also because of its negative influence on the environment. The construction industry is a major contributor to environmental pollution due to its carbon footprint [...] Read more.
Construction waste management is a global concern not only because it impacts the financial efficiency of construction projects, but also because of its negative influence on the environment. The construction industry is a major contributor to environmental pollution due to its carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, effective construction waste management solutions are required for sustainable development by preventing material waste. Hence, this study employed the Analytical Hierarchy Process to prioritize the possible construction waste, factors leading to its generation and the most effective IR 4.0 solution. A questionnaire was constructed, and after refinement, it was then distributed among the engineers, contractors, professors, and other industry professionals. The results from the analysis provide us with the list of factors ranked on their comparative weightage and score. The wastage of cement due to moisture is found to be the highest ranked potential waste. Moreover, changes in orders by the client are termed as the most highly ranked cause of rework and material wastage. Similarly, the Industrial Building Systems are the best solution for efficient construction waste management that Industrial Revolution 4.0 can provide. The results of this study can help to enhance project control by providing information on possible construction wastes and the factors that lead to their generation. Full article
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31 pages, 2915 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Cloud Computing Implementation Drivers for Sustainable Construction Projects—A Structural Equation Modeling Approach
by Ahmed Farouk Kineber, Ayodeji Emmanuel Oke, Ashraf Alyanbaawi, Abdurrahman Salihu Abubakar and Mohammed Magdy Hamed
Sustainability 2022, 14(22), 14789; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142214789 - 09 Nov 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2637
Abstract
Sustainability aspects should be adopted during all the decision-making stages of executing construction projects to gain maximum benefits without compromising the objective of such projects. Cloud computing has been a valuable tool for sustainable construction success in several countries over the last two [...] Read more.
Sustainability aspects should be adopted during all the decision-making stages of executing construction projects to gain maximum benefits without compromising the objective of such projects. Cloud computing has been a valuable tool for sustainable construction success in several countries over the last two decades. Cloud computing and its drivers have undoubtedly improved the sustainable success target of cost, quality, and time. However, cloud computing implementation in Nigeria’s construction industry is minimal. Consequently, the study aims to generate a decision support model to support a cloud computing implementation by looking into the relationship between cloud computing drivers and construction activities in Nigeria. This study’s data was obtained from previous literature and quantitatively augmented with a questionnaire survey. The data was obtained from questionnaires administered to one hundred and four construction practitioners in Lagos State. Thus, exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was used to validate the questionnaire survey results. However, to assess and validate the factors (drivers) constructed and analyze the relationships between cloud computing drivers and construction activities, partial least square structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) method was used. An analysis of construction project activities was carried out through EFA, and it generated five main components: pre-contract stage, management, design and storage, estimation and communications, and finally, back-office activities. The study indicated that the implementation of cloud computing drivers had a significant impact on construction activities. The findings also revealed a weak relationship between cloud computing implementation and construction activities, with a 0.087 percent impact. Furthermore, the findings indicate that human satisfaction is the primary factor influencing cloud computing deployment, followed by organization, client acceptance, and industry-based factors. The significance of the findings can be used as a reference or standard for decision-makers to base their decisions on the cost efficiency of cloud computing and its capability to boost efficiency in the construction sector. This research contributes to current construction engineering management by enhancing knowledge of cloud computing implementation drivers and their implications on construction activities. Full article
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24 pages, 6431 KiB  
Article
Performance Assessment of Sewer Networks under Different Blockage Situations Using Internet-of-Things-Based Technologies
by Ahmad Alshami, Moustafa Elsayed, Saeed Reza Mohandes, Ahmed Farouk Kineber, Tarek Zayed, Ashraf Alyanbaawi and Mohammed Magdy Hamed
Sustainability 2022, 14(21), 14036; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142114036 - 28 Oct 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1725
Abstract
This study aims to model the performance of sewage networks under diverse blockage situations in terms of overflow occurrence using internet-of-things-based technologies in Hong Kong. To this end, a multi-stage methodological approach is employed, starting from collecting required data using smart sensors, utilizing [...] Read more.
This study aims to model the performance of sewage networks under diverse blockage situations in terms of overflow occurrence using internet-of-things-based technologies in Hong Kong. To this end, a multi-stage methodological approach is employed, starting from collecting required data using smart sensors, utilizing novel data mining techniques, and using a case study simulation. From the results obtained, the following conclusions are drawn: (1) several sites under investigation are imbued with partial blockages, (2) the overall performance of the sewer network has a nonlinear relationship with the blockages in terms of the remaining time to overflow, (3) in cases of complete blockages, the sewer only takes few minutes to reach the manhole cover level that causes the system to experience overflow, and (4) cleaning work significantly improve the performance of the sewage network by 86%. The outcomes of this study provide a solid foundation for the concerned environmental engineers and decision-makers towards reducing the magnitude of sewer overflow and improving different aspects of our environment. Full article
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18 pages, 2400 KiB  
Article
Architects’ Perceptions about Sustainable Design Practice and the Support Provided for This by Digital Tools: A Study in Australia
by Rongrong Yu, Ning Gu and Michael J. Ostwald
Sustainability 2022, 14(21), 13849; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142113849 - 25 Oct 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2241
Abstract
The fundamental goal of sustainable design for the built environment is to optimise the performance of buildings to minimise their impact on the environment. To achieve this goal, contemporary architects use a range of digital design environments, such as Computer-aided Design (CAD) or [...] Read more.
The fundamental goal of sustainable design for the built environment is to optimise the performance of buildings to minimise their impact on the environment. To achieve this goal, contemporary architects use a range of digital design environments, such as Computer-aided Design (CAD) or Building Information Modelling (BIM) tools. These allow architects to implement sustainable design principles and make optimal decisions about the ecological and energy properties of the building or environment being designed. Past research about architects’ uses of these tools for sustainable design have been focused on their capacity for optimising building performance and meeting architects’ design needs. In parallel, other studies have identified technological barriers and readiness factors for implementing sustainable design in several countries, including Australia. Researchers have suggested that presently, most architects are unlikely to perceive Building Performance Analysis (BPA) as their responsibility. It has also been found that the digital design tools need to more effectively support sustainable design. However, despite this body of past research, to date there is a lack of a more holistic understanding regarding architects’ perceptions about the alignment between sustainability practices and the capacity of digital design environments for supporting these, particularly in Australia. This paper addresses this knowledge gap, by presenting findings derived from semi-structured interviews with 18 professional architects in Australia, each with experiences in sustainable design and the use of digital design tools. The results are used to establish a conceptual model, which illustrates the relationships between a variety of factors affecting architects’ sustainable design practices. The findings suggest that in Australia, architects have more negative than positive experiences regarding their sustainable design practices, due to factors ranging from those related to the practice itself, to the digital design technologies and budget available for supporting their goals. This study also identifies an urgent need to enhance and better align the capabilities of digital design technologies with sustainable outcomes and associated organisational objectives, which the new model can assist in understanding and facilitating. Full article
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24 pages, 2815 KiB  
Article
Status and Prospects of Green Building in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region with a Focus on the Moroccan Context
by Redouan Assadiki, Gérard Merlin, Hervé Boileau, Catherine Buhé and Fouzi Belmir
Sustainability 2022, 14(19), 12594; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141912594 - 03 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2863
Abstract
To promote the development of the Green Building (GB) concept in developing countries, this paper treated the combination of the scientometric analysis of green building research in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with investigation into the current state of deployment [...] Read more.
To promote the development of the Green Building (GB) concept in developing countries, this paper treated the combination of the scientometric analysis of green building research in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with investigation into the current state of deployment of GB and barriers to sustainable construction practices in the Moroccan construction industry. A scientometric method was used to analyze 159 articles published from 2000 to 2021, and a survey of 167 Moroccan professionals with green building experience was conducted to understand the stakeholders’ position. The examination of the dataset reveals the significant contribution in GB research from Gulf countries (Saudi Arabia with 27 articles). The adoption of GB in the Moroccan construction industry is not apparent. Four clusters for the twelve barriers have been identified by the clustering analysis. They were attributed to government, social and awareness barriers, design phase barriers, high initial costs, and technology barriers. This paper provides stakeholders with the necessary knowledge and understanding of the current research, its gaps, inter-regional and international cooperation, and future direction in the MENA region. This could aid practitioners and policymakers in taking the proper actions to mitigate obstacles for GB adoption. Full article
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24 pages, 6927 KiB  
Article
Objective and Perceived Risk in Seismic Vulnerability Assessment at an Urban Scale
by Eliana Fischer, Alessio Emanuele Biondo, Annalisa Greco, Francesco Martinico, Alessandro Pluchino and Andrea Rapisarda
Sustainability 2022, 14(15), 9380; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14159380 - 31 Jul 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1768
Abstract
The assessment of seismic risk in urban areas with high seismicity is certainly one of the most important problems that territorial managers have to face. A reliable evaluation of this risk is the basis for the design of both specific seismic improvement interventions [...] Read more.
The assessment of seismic risk in urban areas with high seismicity is certainly one of the most important problems that territorial managers have to face. A reliable evaluation of this risk is the basis for the design of both specific seismic improvement interventions and emergency management plans. Inappropriate seismic risk assessments may provide misleading results and induce bad decisions with relevant economic and social impacts. The seismic risk in urban areas is mainly linked to three factors, namely, “hazard”, “exposure” and “vulnerability”. Hazard measures the potential of an earthquake to produce harm; exposure evaluates the size of the population exposed to harm; and vulnerability represents the proneness of considered buildings to suffer damages in case of an earthquake. Estimates of such factors may not always coincide with the perceived risk of the resident population. The propensity to implement structural seismic improvement interventions aimed at reducing the vulnerability of buildings depends significantly on the perceived risk. This paper investigates the difference between objective and perceived risk and highlights some critical issues. The aim of the study is to calibrate opportune policies, which allow addressing the most appropriate seismic risk mitigation options with reference to current levels of perceived risk. We propose the introduction of a Seismic Policy Prevention index (SPPi). This methodology is applied to a case-study focused on a densely populated district of the city of Catania (Italy). Full article
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16 pages, 41411 KiB  
Article
Wind Conditions at Pedestrian Level in Different Types of Residential Urban Development for a High Degree of Land Use Efficiency
by Katarzyna Zielonko-Jung, Marta Poćwierz and Robert Idem
Sustainability 2021, 13(24), 13612; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132413612 - 09 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1755
Abstract
This paper addresses wind conditions in urban building development at the pedestrian level. The article aimed to identify aerodynamic phenomena around three types of multi-family housing developments with different forms and the same urban parameters of building development density (high density was taken [...] Read more.
This paper addresses wind conditions in urban building development at the pedestrian level. The article aimed to identify aerodynamic phenomena around three types of multi-family housing developments with different forms and the same urban parameters of building development density (high density was taken into account). The aim of the research was mainly to achieve qualitative results that would lead to understanding fundamental processes and phenomena. Wind tunnel experimental studies were conducted on physical models at a scale of 1: 400 using visualization and erosion methods. These experiments yielded data regarding the arrangement of airflow directions and changes in airflow velocity, expressed as the amplification coefficient (α), the occurrence of which was caused by the presence of buildings. An analysis was conducted concerning wind conditions that constitute pedestrian comfort and influence the possibility for ventilation of spaces between buildings for the three selected models. The research results were compared, and an attempt was made to assess the most beneficial and the least favorable building development types in this respect. Full article
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34 pages, 10863 KiB  
Article
Circular Construction Process: Method for Developing a Selective, Low CO2eq Disassembly and Demolition Plan
by Roberta Melella, Giacomo Di Ruocco and Alfonso Sorvillo
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8815; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13168815 - 06 Aug 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4056
Abstract
With the increasing focus on the construction sector (e.g., following the European Green Deal initiative) with the aim to reduce emissions by 55% by 2030 (compared to 1990 levels), as well as achieve full decarbonisation by 2050, the built environment remains a strategic [...] Read more.
With the increasing focus on the construction sector (e.g., following the European Green Deal initiative) with the aim to reduce emissions by 55% by 2030 (compared to 1990 levels), as well as achieve full decarbonisation by 2050, the built environment remains a strategic domain for the R&I (Research and Innovation) agenda. Indeed, the building and construction sector is the main contributor to greenhouse gas emissions (39% of global emissions as of 2018), highlighting the need to start a process of decarbonisation of this sector. The overall reduction in the environmental impact of building materials is achieved by establishing sustainable continuity between the end-of-life phase of the building and the production phase of individual building components. In particular, with reference to the end-of-life phase of the building (BS EN 15978: 2011), the Minimum Environmental Criteria foresee the preparation of a plan for the disassembly and selective demolition of the building, which allows the reuse or recycling of materials, building components and prefabricated elements used. According to the guidelines of a low-carbon construction design, which takes into account a circular economy, the following thesis deals with a methodological proposal to study “dry” construction systems (wood and steel). In particular, the study intends to reach the development of such an elaboration by carrying out an assessment of the environmental impact of a process of selective disassembly and demolition of steel building systems. The model is developed on the basis of a reading of the level of sustainability of emblematic case studies, appropriately identified, i.e., ‘quality’ architectures, built with ‘dry’ (steel) building systems. Full article
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