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Sustainable Building Design, Technological Innovation and Green Project Management

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 March 2023) | Viewed by 21826

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Civil Engineering Faculty, Warsaw University of Technology, 00-637 Warszawa, Poland
Interests: construction; management; optimization; sustainability; H&S; education
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Civil Engineering Faculty, Warsaw University of Technology, 00-637 Warszawa, Poland
Interests: construction; management; multicriteria assessment; sustainability; social psychology; sociology; education
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Civil Engineering Faculty, Warsaw University of Technology, 00-637 Warszawa, Poland
Interests: construction; management; risk; prefabrication; sustainability; H&S; education
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Civil Engineering Faculty, Warsaw University of Technology, 00-637 Warszawa, Poland
Interests: construction; management; optimization; sustainability; legal issues

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to cordially invite you to publish your best knowledge in this Special Issue of MDPI’s Sustainability. Sustainability is a term that is increasingly well-known and important in our society. All developments are linked to sustainability: sustainable living, sustainable building design, technological innovations, green project management, etc. Sustainability provides the link to the five P's: people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership, all of which are crucial in developing sustainability. This is why we have also decided to include soft skills in the scope of this Special Issue, as a notably important area of sustainable construction project management.

This is a broad subject, including projects related to housing, infrastructure (roads, bridges, tunnels, ports, and airports), factories, shopping centers, offices, warehouses, etc. The public and private sectors participate in the execution of these projects with the collaboration of architects, engineers, companies, financial entities, etc. The construction industry is complex, establishing the base within which the three major sectors in which economic activities are set. A generalized opinion puts the framework within an intermediate situation, between industrial activities and services. Its ultimate purpose is to design and complete a series of products (or infrastructures) and their subsequent commissioning for their use.

Improving the scientific and practical knowledge of personnel is very important because of the efficiency and sustainability of the construction industry. There is a great migration of engineers and construction managers in the construction sector due to the different states of economic development of different countries. For this reason, it is extremely important that construction managers’ qualifications and skills are being recognized and researched in the same way all over the world.

The aim of this Special Issue is to provide valuable insights into sustainability in a broad area of construction-related issues, with a specific interest in methods, empirical evidence and applications, simulations, as well as conceptual frameworks. We are looking for sustainable construction industry solutions related to each of the five common phases: (1) feasibility, (2) design, (3) execution, (4) commissioning and operation, including maintenance, and (5) demolition.

Topics for this Special Issue include (but are not limited to):

  • Sustainable building design;
  • Technological innovations in construction;
  • Green project management;
  • International certification systems, for example: LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, U.S.), BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method, UK), HQE (Haute Qualité d'Environnement, FR), and Valideo (Belgium);
  • Quality management;
  • Optimization in construction;
  • H&S;
  • Education of construction and managerial personel;
  • Legal issues;
  • Social psychology, sociology, mentoring, and coaching in construction;
  • Human resource management;
  • Green prefabrication;
  • Lean manufacturing in precast concrete industry;
  • BIM, digital twins, extended reality (XR), virtual reality (AR), augmented reality, mixed reality (MR), laser scanners, drones, etc.;
  • AI-based systems;
  • Lowering carbon footprint;
  • Urban mining;
  • Construction 4.0;
  • Assessment methods, modeling, and simulation for sustainability in construction;
  • Performance measurement for sustainability in construction.

Dr. Jerzy Rosłon
Dr. Mariola Książek-Nowak
Dr. Aleksander Nicał
Dr. Paweł Nowak
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

  • sustainability
  • building design
  • technological innovation
  • green construction
  • project management
  • optimization
  • industry 4.0
  • ICT in construction
  • BIM
  • soft skills in construction

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

23 pages, 1239 KiB  
Article
Determining Factors on Green Innovation Adoption: An Empirical Study in Brazilian Agribusiness Firms
by Alexandre Rodrigues da Silva, Claudia Brito Silva Cirani, Fernando Antonio Ribeiro Serra, Angélica Pigola, Priscila Rezende da Costa, Isabel Cristina Scafuto, Roberto Lima Ruas and Marcos Rogério Mazieri
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6266; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076266 - 6 Apr 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2029
Abstract
Green innovation has become one of the mainstream concepts to address environmental issues. However, research on green innovation, especially at the firm level, is still evolving. Building upon the natural resource-based view (NRBV) and resource-based theory (RBT) lenses, this study proposes a research [...] Read more.
Green innovation has become one of the mainstream concepts to address environmental issues. However, research on green innovation, especially at the firm level, is still evolving. Building upon the natural resource-based view (NRBV) and resource-based theory (RBT) lenses, this study proposes a research framework to explore determining factors of green innovation adoption (GIA) in the Brazilian cassava agribusiness sector. The research design from the semi-structured interviews method was employed in firms associated with ABAM (Brazilian Association of Starch and Cassava Producers) and SIMP (Union of Cassava Producers in Paraná). The findings suggest that behavioral factors for GIA, such as collaborative behaviors, productivity, safety behaviors, and green behaviors, are directly associated with other determining factors, such as knowledge, operating costs, stakeholder pressure, economic benefits, information access, customer assessment, organizational compatibility, and business support. Furthermore, GIA can lead to the effective implementation of sustainable practices to enhance economic performance and effective environmental management. The originality of this work stems from including behavioral factors for managers’ decision-making regarding resource allocation for GIA. It also includes a guideline to increase competitiveness in active green markets. It also contributes to a vision of GIA to evolve NRBV and RBT theories. Full article
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32 pages, 3457 KiB  
Article
Circular Economy 4.0 Evaluation Model for Urban Road Infrastructure Projects, CIROAD
by Pablo Piñones, Ivan Derpich and Ricardo Venegas
Sustainability 2023, 15(4), 3205; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15043205 - 9 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2564
Abstract
This paper provides a multicriteria evaluation model, based on the AHP methodology for the evaluation of the Circular Economy 4.0’s, which develops the metric called “Circularity indicator for urban road projects (CIROAD)”. The main contribution of this work is to provide a measurement [...] Read more.
This paper provides a multicriteria evaluation model, based on the AHP methodology for the evaluation of the Circular Economy 4.0’s, which develops the metric called “Circularity indicator for urban road projects (CIROAD)”. The main contribution of this work is to provide a measurement scale specifically designed for urban road infrastructure projects. It is a useful tool to assess the degree of implementation of the principles of the Circular Economy (CE) and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (I4.0) in an integrated manner in these types of projects, generating valuable information for all stakeholders and contributing to the objective of accelerating the transition towards a Circular Economy 4.0 model in the construction industry. The model is defined with twenty-five sub-criteria and seven general criteria, which are: (1) Circular Materials; (2) Circular Design Approaches; (3) Circular Construction Approaches; (4) Circular Operation Approaches; (5) Approaches to Deconstruction and Resource Recovery; (6) Social Value Creation; and (7) Economic Performance. The developed CIROAD model was applied to three projects in the urban transport area of the Chilean Ministry of Housing and Urbanism (MINVU/SERVIU) in the Santiago Metropolitan Region (RM). In these three projects, low performance was observed in terms of CIROAD scores (between 21% and 28% of a maximum of 100%); that is, there is a significant opportunity for improvement by incorporating more circular practices in the development of projects by the studied organization. To accelerate the transition to a circular economy model in the development of its projects, it is proposed that the organization prioritize improving the following circular practices (in order of importance): (1) the design of pavements with environmental criteria; (2) preserving value; (3) conducting cost–benefit analysis (CBA) of waste management; (4) environmental declaration of materials (EPD); (5) the used of recycled materials; and (6) BIM-based design. Finally, the suggestion for the organization in charge of these projects is to use the developed CIROAD model as a tool to support decision making regarding the prioritization of its project portfolio. That is, the organization should use CIROAD to generate a ranking score for each project and allocate resources for investment in the initiatives that show the best circularity performances, as estimated by CIROAD. Full article
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26 pages, 7295 KiB  
Article
Development and Research of Recyclable Composite Metamaterial Structures Made of Plastic and Rubber Waste to Reduce Indoor Noise and Reverberation
by Andrej Naimušin and Tomas Januševičius
Sustainability 2023, 15(2), 1731; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15021731 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2056
Abstract
According to the Waste Management Policy of the European Union, the recycling and reuse of various wastes is considered the most ecological and advanced waste disposal technology with the lowest impact on the environment. By applying circular economy principles, plastic waste will extend [...] Read more.
According to the Waste Management Policy of the European Union, the recycling and reuse of various wastes is considered the most ecological and advanced waste disposal technology with the lowest impact on the environment. By applying circular economy principles, plastic waste will extend its life cycle and be used as secondary raw materials to create structures with good sound insulation and absorption properties. Structures created from metamaterial with plastic were studied for their sound-absorbing properties in an impedance tube. A combined 100 mm long resonator design with a 2.0 mm perforation, 20 mm thick plate, regardless of whether it is an “X”- or “O”-shaped resonator, achieved a good sound absorption peak at 315 Hz of 0.94. When the combined structures of 50 mm long “X”- and “O”-shaped designs were compared, different sound absorption peaks at high frequencies were achieved. A slightly better sound absorption peak of 0.95 was achieved at 500 Hz with the “O”-shaped resonator and 0.93 at 630 Hz with the “X”-shaped resonator. The results show that the combined plastic and rubber structures can be integrated into building structures and be used as an alternative to improve building acoustics and reduce noise and reverberation. Full article
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26 pages, 4267 KiB  
Article
Optimization of Ecological and Economic Aspects of the Construction Schedule with the Use of Metaheuristic Algorithms and Artificial Intelligence
by Janusz Kulejewski and Jerzy Rosłon
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 890; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010890 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 5911
Abstract
Construction projects play a vital role in shaping the built environment and have a significant impact on the natural environment and economies around the world. The decisions made during the planning and execution stages of a project can have long-lasting implications for its [...] Read more.
Construction projects play a vital role in shaping the built environment and have a significant impact on the natural environment and economies around the world. The decisions made during the planning and execution stages of a project can have long-lasting implications for its environmental and economic performance. It is, therefore, essential to consider these factors carefully and make informed decisions that align with sustainable development goals. One way to achieve this is by using metaheuristic algorithms and artificial intelligence tools to optimize and reconcile sustainable development and economic parameters in construction project scheduling. By doing so, one can improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the construction process, while also contributing to the well-being of the communities in which these projects are located. In this article, authors propose a new ecological indicator that can be used to evaluate the sustainability of construction projects and provide a case study to illustrate its application. The authors’ findings and conclusions highlight the importance of using advanced analytical techniques to optimize the sustainability and economic performance of construction projects and suggest potential avenues for future research. Full article
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31 pages, 9437 KiB  
Article
Problems and Technical Issues in the Diagnosis, Conservation, and Rehabilitation of Structures of Historical Wooden Buildings with a Focus on Wooden Historic Buildings in Poland
by Wojciech Terlikowski
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 510; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010510 - 28 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1873
Abstract
This article discusses the problems and technical issues related to the conservation and rehabilitation of historic wooden structures. Showing the history of wooden construction in Europe and Poland, it analyzes the technical solutions used for the timber structure of buildings. The author highlights [...] Read more.
This article discusses the problems and technical issues related to the conservation and rehabilitation of historic wooden structures. Showing the history of wooden construction in Europe and Poland, it analyzes the technical solutions used for the timber structure of buildings. The author highlights the leading technical and conservation issues arising from the principles of conservation of wooden heritage buildings, taking into account the role, importance, and proper implementation of diagnostics preceding conservation engineering activities. The article discusses interdisciplinary diagnostics developed by the author, an original method for assessing the revitalization capability of a historical building, which analyzes non-technical issues, including those relevant to conservation, in addition to the technical aspects of assessing the technical condition of a building. Based on engineering practice, problems and technical issues that often occur in the conservation process of wooden buildings, as well as in the broader process of their revitalization, are presented. They concern various engineering activities that must be implemented in this process according to the principles discussed. Full article
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22 pages, 810 KiB  
Article
Evaluating the Sustainability of New Construction Projects over Time by Examining the Evolution of the LEED Rating System
by Katherine Madson, Bryan Franz, Robert Leicht and Jonathan Nelson
Sustainability 2022, 14(22), 15422; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142215422 - 20 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1911
Abstract
In 1998, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program to provide a standard form of evaluation for sustainability in building design and construction. Since its inception, LEED has undergone seven significant revisions, wherein the [...] Read more.
In 1998, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program to provide a standard form of evaluation for sustainability in building design and construction. Since its inception, LEED has undergone seven significant revisions, wherein the expectations needed to achieve the desired certification level were clarified and updated. The reasons for these updates are varied and include the recognition of new technologies and materials, the application of more stringent energy standards, and the recognition of differences in building types. However, the perception within the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry is that higher certification levels are more challenging to obtain in each subsequent version of LEED. For example, projects receiving a Gold certification under LEED 2.1 may only qualify for a Silver certification under LEED 3.0. The goals of this paper are to review changes in LEED over time and to empirically test this perception. Direct comparisons of the text of the credit requirements were performed between LEED versions (v) 2.1, v2.2, and v3.0 on a credit-by-credit basis. The comparison revealed ten different categories of changes between versions. From this comparison, conversion matrices were developed to allow a project scorecard from an older version of LEED to be converted to a newer version. To address uncertainty resulting from changing the level of detail in the information submitted on project scorecards, both strict and interpretative versions of these matrices were developed. These matrices were then applied to a sample of LEED-certified building projects, drawn using a stratified random sampling procedure from the publicly available USGBC database. The strata were separated first by LEED version (e.g., v2.1, v2.2, and v3.0) and then by certification level (e.g., Certified, Silver, Gold, Platinum). After converting the project scorecards from this sample, qualitative and correlational analyses were performed to test the hypothesis that LEED scores increase over time. The results show that in both strict and interpretive transformations, LEED scores show a slight to moderate increase in points over time. Full article
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28 pages, 5039 KiB  
Article
A Mixed Reality Application for the On-Site Assessment of Building Renovation: Development and Testing
by Alessandro Carbonari, Carlos Franco, Berardo Naticchia, Francesco Spegni and Massimo Vaccarini
Sustainability 2022, 14(20), 13239; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142013239 - 14 Oct 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2785
Abstract
This paper contributes to a sustainable construction design management approach to increase the successful renovation rate of existing residential building stock. Indeed, coupling BIM with mixed reality can speed up and improve the quality of the renovation design processes, because it can display [...] Read more.
This paper contributes to a sustainable construction design management approach to increase the successful renovation rate of existing residential building stock. Indeed, coupling BIM with mixed reality can speed up and improve the quality of the renovation design processes, because it can display virtual models of alternative design scenarios superimposed over the existing physical facility. To this purpose, a sample of technicians was enrolled to test the reliability of this technology. A prototype was developed that enables cooperation among stakeholders and the implementation of an efficient workflow. The volunteers carried out real-life tests in a building demonstrator in Caceres (Spain) and filled in two questionnaires with their feedback. The results showed that an MR-based platform can involve interested stakeholders in the assessment of renovation design projects, that speeds up the decision-making process and increases the quality of those projects. Moreover, technicians can master the technology quickly, provided that it is included in the current renovation workflow and some technology gaps are covered. However, the main limitations of this study are that these findings are valid for building renovation design only, and the tests were performed in a controlled, yet full scale, experimental environment. Finally, this paper deals with a few open technical issues, such as the efficient alignment of holograms, transformation of BIM models into a format suitable for mixed reality applications and sharing feedbacks in an on-line repository to foster collaboration. Full article
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13 pages, 1131 KiB  
Article
Research on the Influencing Factors for the Use of Green Building Materials through the Number Growth of Construction Enterprises Based on Agent-Based Modeling
by Yong Li, Yu Sun, Chengcheng Zeng, Jinxing Li, Yanping Gao and Haisheng Li
Sustainability 2022, 14(19), 12773; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141912773 - 7 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1620
Abstract
As the concept of green building is increasingly promoted worldwide, the use of green building materials has also attracted great attention. In order to improve the utilization rate of green building materials in construction projects, this paper tries to explore influencing factors based [...] Read more.
As the concept of green building is increasingly promoted worldwide, the use of green building materials has also attracted great attention. In order to improve the utilization rate of green building materials in construction projects, this paper tries to explore influencing factors based on the method of agent-based modeling (ABM), which is well-suited to the study of complex systems and their emergent behaviors. There are two types of agents being set, named, respectively, greedy construction enterprises and selective construction enterprises. Meanwhile, the construction unit’s intention to use green building materials is treated as the criterion. Two types of construction enterprises compete for projects to obtain profits. In order to reveal the mechanism of the evolutionary path of the macro system, the movement step, project unit profit, project cost and expansion cost are adopted as the independent variables and the number of enterprises is the dependent variable. Then, the experiment was performed with the NetLogo simulation platform. The simulation results show that, it is not beneficial for the selective construction enterprises when the movement step in selecting projects is too long and the project units are too profitable. However, when the project cost and expansion cost become higher, there is a significant advantage for selective construction enterprises to go for a long-term development. Therefore, after a comprehensive evaluation of project costs and unit profits, an optimal strategy can be formulated to ensure the quantitative scale of construction enterprises in the construction industry. This behavior can indirectly improve the intention of construction units to use green building materials and further promote the utilization rate of green building materials. Full article
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