Special Issue "New Horizons for Sustainable Architecture"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Margani
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture (DICAr), University of Catania, Viale Andrea Doria 6, 95127 Catania, Italy
Interests: sustainable architecture; energy and seismic retrofit; innovation in building technologies; integration of renewable energy systems in the building envelope; history of construction technologies; building refurbishment; restoration of historical buildings
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the last century, advances in science and technology have certainly been fast and exciting, and have contributed to significantly improving human life conditions. However, such outstanding advances have also produced negative effects, as follows: at an environmental level, by progressively threatening the ecological balance of our planet, and at an economic and social level, by contributing to the unequal distribution of world wealth, and to the spread of controversial consumerist models.

In the very beginning, environmental problems and socio-economic imbalances aroused partial alarms and timid attempts, entrusted to the sensitivity of small social groups, which often remained isolated and accused of catastrophism. Successively, and especially recently, a much broader and deeper awareness has emerged, leading to wide manifestations for the protection of the environment and fundamental human rights. This vast collective sharing has contributed to spreading the principle of sustainability, which appropriately embraces environmental, social, and economic issues.

In the face of billions of poor people, and, today more than ever, millions of fugitives and migrants, new frontiers of research are also needed in architecture, in order to take into account the needs of the most economically and socially disadvantaged classes, as well as to promote a drastic reduction in the environmental impacts.

In this view, technological progress should be seen as an innovation engine to foster more efficient business models, services, and products, through the implementation of responsible development processes based on fair competitiveness, equity, and environmental friendliness.

Hence, the new horizons of architecture must be inspired by the principle of sustainability, in support of better distributed homes and buildings, which are affordable for everyone and respectful of the environment and mankind.

In this framework, this Special Issue aims to collect original research or review papers to address on (but not limited to) one or more of the following topics:

  • describe the need for new and innovative design approaches, building technologies, and materials to address the housing demand from the neediest classes;
  • suggest design, product, and process innovation for sustainable and affordable buildings, in case of both new constructions and renovation projects;
  • propose new participatory processes for design and construction activities able to encourage an architecture for everyone.

The studies are expected to underline the relationship between the suggested solutions and the local context, with the support of case studies (if needed), and should also highlight the potentiality of extending the outcomes to other countries with similar scenarios.

I believe that this Special Issue may contribute to sustainable architecture becoming a field of experimentation in order to face the environmental, social, and economic emergency of our time.

Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Margani
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.


  • economic, social, and environmental sustainability
  • sustainable and affordable architecture
  • building renovation
  • design, product, and process and innovation
  • participatory processes
  • case study

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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