Special Issue "Sustainable Design and Construction"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Laura Tupėnaitė
Guest Editor
Department of Construction Management and Real Estate, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Sauletekio av. 11, LT-10223 Vilnius, Lithuania
Interests: sustainable development; real-estate economics; multiple criteria decision support
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The construction industry is vital for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, namely economic growth, social progress, and the effective protection of the environment. The global buildings’ sector is growing at unprecedented rates. Over the next 40 years, the world is expected to build 230 billion square meters in new construction—adding the equivalent of Paris to the planet every single week [1]. This rapid growth, however, has negative impacts. According to the “2019 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction”, the buildings and construction sector accounted for 36% of the final energy use and 39% of the energy and process-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2018, 11% of which resulted from manufacturing building materials and products, such as steel, cement, and glass [2]. Moreover, the construction industry is the largest user of natural resources and produces huge amounts of waste. It contributes to air and water pollution, changes the natural environment, and fosters climate change.

A movement oriented towards sustainability began affecting society and business, including, however slowly, the design and construction industry. Governments, municipalities designers, construction companies, and real estate developers are innovating and implementing measures to improve the sustainability of the construction industry. In this context, scientific research activities and achievements are of major significance. This Special Issue aims to promote sustainable design and construction, and proposes a collection of studies that combine the aforementioned concepts, namely:

  • Sustainable resource-conscious design;
  • Sustainable land-use;
  • Building from environmentally friendly materials;
  • Sustainable construction in terms of economic, social, and environmental criteria;
  • Sustainable design and construction policy;
  • Green buildings;
  • Passive buildings;
  • Low- and zero-carbon buildings;
  • Sustainability rating systems;
  • Sustainable refurbishment;
  • Life-cycle assessment;
  • Circular economy in construction;
  • Sustainable communities.


[1] International Energy Agency. Towards a zero-emission, efficient, and resilient buildings and construction sector. Global status report 2017. United Nations Environment Programme, 2017. Available online: https://www.worldgbc.org/sites/default/files/UNEP%20188_GABC_en%20%28web%29.pdf

[2] International Energy Agency. 2019 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction. Towards a zero-emissions, efficient and resilient buildings and construction sector. United Nations Environment Programme, 2019. Available online: https://www.worldgbc.org/sites/default/files/2019%20Global%20Status%20Report%20for%20Buildings%20and%20Construction.pdf

Dr. Laura Tupėnaitė
Guest Editor

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 1800 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.


  • Sustainable design
  • Sustainable construction
  • Eco-friendly materials
  • Low carbon buildings
  • Recycling
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Sustainable communities

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Indicators for the Smart Development of Villages and Neighbourhoods in Baltic Sea Coastal Areas
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5293; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135293 - 30 Jun 2020
A formal village/neighbourhood planning process is typically focused on three planning levels (national, regional and local) and is usually linked with administrative units of the territory (state, region or municipality). The local planning level (village or neighbourhood) “pocket plan” is a development challenge [...] Read more.
A formal village/neighbourhood planning process is typically focused on three planning levels (national, regional and local) and is usually linked with administrative units of the territory (state, region or municipality). The local planning level (village or neighbourhood) “pocket plan” is a development challenge for spatial planners. The small coastal village Tuja in Latvia was taken as a pilot territory for “pocket planning” due to the unique location; biodiversity and ecosystems; significant natural, cultural, economic and social values; specific interests; and the needs of the involved local society. All these factors create a dynamic flow of data and information. Geographic information systems (GIS) are widely used as planning support systems. GISs for pocket plans must accommodate the special needs of communities in villages and neighbourhoods. Ensuring the availability of information in dynamic real time is an opportunity to build both community integration in specific environments and to understand the future plans of the territory. Access to a WEB-GIS (internet GIS) provides possibilities for every person with a mobile phone to use and update information. Static and statistical information is generally used for spatial planning. For pocket plans, the data and information flow has to be dynamic and has to interact with non-professional users. The special wishes and needs of every member of a community must be accommodated by a pocket plan for the well-being of the people and the sustainability of the surrounding territory. Small territory planning involves a very narrow circle of individuals or communities that identify spatial development needs for the future, which includes the socio-economic, cultural, historical, environmental and climate change scenarios. In order to assess the development opportunities and needs of such areas, the detection, accumulation and monitoring of reliable data is necessary. Methodically derived data (facts) provide objectivity and transparency. Currently, as information between the present and the past is able to circulate very fast, analysis of the current situation to forecast the future and show different constructed realities (scenarios) using a GIS is necessary. Therefore, to explore and determine a local needs-based and smart spatial planning approach, we must identify indicators that can be used for the short-term and long-term analysis of specific territories in coastal areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Design and Construction)
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