Special Issue "Sustainability and Risks in Construction Management"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Engineering and Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 29 February 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Jolanta Tamošaitienė
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Sustainable Construction, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Sauletekio Ave. 11, Vilnius LT-10223, Lithuania
Interests: civil engineering; construction engineering; technology; construction management, safety; risk
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The planning and effective management of construction processes are extremely important for success in the construction sector. Activities in the construction sector are inherently risky, due to the objects, their size, the processes (initiating, planning, and executing), members and the environments. Sustainability must be included in risk assessment processes.

Traditionally, decision-making process needs to consider not a single but several different criteria; therefore, multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) approaches and other decision-making methods are usually applied.

When evaluating the attributes of a problem, sustainability should be taken into consideration, as well the factors that influence the efficiency and value creation of the decision process.

Assoc Prof. Dr. Jolanta Tamošaitienė
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.

Keywords

  • risk
  • sustainability
  • construction
  • MCDM
  • technique
  • environment

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Application of Reliability Analysis for Risk Ranking in a Levee Reconstruction Project
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1404; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12041404 (registering DOI) - 14 Feb 2020
Abstract
Levees are embankments designed for passive flood protection. In order to reduce the potential of climate-induced flooding risks, it is necessary to reconstruct or upgrade the existing levees. Flood risk management aims to reduce the probability of floods and their potential adverse effects [...] Read more.
Levees are embankments designed for passive flood protection. In order to reduce the potential of climate-induced flooding risks, it is necessary to reconstruct or upgrade the existing levees. Flood risk management aims to reduce the probability of floods and their potential adverse effects on the population, economy, and environment. This paper presents the novel application of reliability analysis for risk ranking in the Otok Virje-Brezje levee reconstruction project in the Republic of Croatia. To identify, verify and analyse key risks, a group of 35 experts, who were directly involved in the levee reconstruction project or have extensive experience in similar projects, was selected. An Analytic network process (ANP) was used for group multi criteria decision-making. Quantitative and qualitative approaches to risk analysis were combined. Different experts from the various organisations may have diverse interests and goals. The geometric mean method was chosen to reach group consensus. The resources that will be allocated to the risk responses are proportional to the risk exposures. To analyse the reliability of the group consensus-reaching method a determination of the risk ranking probability matrix is proposed by using the Monte Carlo simulation method. Different decision-making approaches are proposed for cases in which consensus is not reached with satisfactory reliability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Risks in Construction Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Probabilistic and Fuzzy Approaches for Estimating the Life Cycle Costs of Buildings under Conditions of Exposure to Risk
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010226 - 26 Dec 2019
Abstract
The paper discusses issues related to life cycle costs in construction. Life cycle cost is a key element in the assessment of environmental sustainability in construction and it provides a tool for the economic evaluation of alternative sustainability options exhibiting different capital, operating [...] Read more.
The paper discusses issues related to life cycle costs in construction. Life cycle cost is a key element in the assessment of environmental sustainability in construction and it provides a tool for the economic evaluation of alternative sustainability options exhibiting different capital, operating costs or resource usage. The authors reviewed selected models of estimating life cycle costs in construction, drew attention to the complex mathematical models developed so far, namely those which take into account only financial risks and those which involve the possibility of the influence of other risk factors and described the main assumptions accompanying the original model for estimating the whole life costs of buildings, including: reasons for choosing theory of possibility, division and parametrization of input data. The aim of this paper is to confirm the validity of the model structure assumptions adopted by the authors by comparing the originally selected fuzzy approach to calculating life cycle costs taking into account the risk with the probabilistic approach, as well as indicating the domain in which the probabilistic approach will complement the fuzzy approach chosen by the authors. The paper presents a comparison analysis of two approaches used in the authors’ model, a fuzzy and a probabilistic approach, recommended by the ISO standard 15686-5:2008. The authors used the Oracle Crystall Ball software in their simulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Risks in Construction Management)
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Open AccessArticle
A Critical Design Structure Method for Project Schedule Development under Rework Risks
Sustainability 2019, 11(24), 7229; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11247229 - 16 Dec 2019
Abstract
In order to overcome the difficulty in quantifying rework by traditional project schedule management tools, this study proposes an innovative method, namely improved Critical Chain Design Structure Matrix (ICCDSM). From the perspective of information flow, the authors firstly make assumptions on activity parameters [...] Read more.
In order to overcome the difficulty in quantifying rework by traditional project schedule management tools, this study proposes an innovative method, namely improved Critical Chain Design Structure Matrix (ICCDSM). From the perspective of information flow, the authors firstly make assumptions on activity parameters and interactions between activities. After that, a genetic algorithm is employed to reorder the activity sequence, and a banding algorithm with consideration of resource constraints is used to identify concurrent activities. Then potential criticality is proposed to measure the importance of each activity, and the rework impact area is implicated to indicate potential rework windows. Next, two methods for calculating project buffer are employed. A simulation methodology is used to verify the proposed method. The simulation results illustrate that the ICCDSM method is capable of quantifying and visualizing rework and its impact, decreases iterations, and improves the completion probability. In this vein, this study provides a novel framework for rework management, which offers some insights for researchers and managers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Risks in Construction Management)
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Open AccessArticle
A Risk Based Approach to Evaluating the Impacts of Zayanderood Drought on Sustainable Development Indicators of Riverside Urban in Isfahan-Iran
Sustainability 2019, 11(23), 6797; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11236797 - 29 Nov 2019
Abstract
In recent years, the Zayanderood River in Isfahan-Iran has been encountered by hydrological imbalance and drought. Literature review shows that long-term climate change, drought, and disruption of the river’s water supply has led to depletion of underground aquifers and, consequently, gradual subsidence of [...] Read more.
In recent years, the Zayanderood River in Isfahan-Iran has been encountered by hydrological imbalance and drought. Literature review shows that long-term climate change, drought, and disruption of the river’s water supply has led to depletion of underground aquifers and, consequently, gradual subsidence of the river and serious damage to old buildings and structures along the riverbank. This fact would be followed up by adverse environmental, social, and economic effect that could threaten the sustainable development of urban space. Therefore, it is necessary to use efficient risk identification and assessment approaches toward a more effective risk management. The goal of this study is to identify and prioritize the risks of river drought with regards to all three sustainable development areas including environmental, social, and economic. The research methodology was a mixed field method that included a set of questionnaires and interviews. To evaluate collected data, the analytic network process (ANP) method was used. Eighteen important risks were identified. Based on the results, decrease in the groundwater level, climate change, and gradual soil degradation were ranked first, second, and third, respectively. As this study examined the impacts of river drought on all three areas of sustainable development simultaneously and comprehensively, it is expected that the results will fill the existing theoretical and practical gap affecting improvements in assessment and management of sustainable development risks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Risks in Construction Management)
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Open AccessArticle
An Evidential Model for Environmental Risk Assessment in Projects Using Dempster–Shafer Theory of Evidence
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6329; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226329 - 11 Nov 2019
Abstract
One of the goals of sustainable development is to achieve economic and social growth according to environmental criteria. Nowadays, impact assessment is an efficient decision making method in planning and management with environmental perspectives. Environmental risk assessment is a tool to reduce the [...] Read more.
One of the goals of sustainable development is to achieve economic and social growth according to environmental criteria. Nowadays, impact assessment is an efficient decision making method in planning and management with environmental perspectives. Environmental risk assessment is a tool to reduce the impacts and consequences of various activities on the environment in order to achieve sustainable development. One of the commonly used environmental risk assessment methods is the probability–impact matrix method, which is known as a quantitative method for risk assessment of projects. In this method, numerical estimates of probability and impact of risk occurrence are very difficult, and these factors are associated with uncertainty. When uncertainty exists, data integration is of great importance, for which the fuzzy inference system and evidence theory are known as effective methods. Unavailability of experts’ opinion and the exponential growth of the number of required fuzzy rules associated with the risk factors are two drawbacks of fuzzy inference. Dempster–Shafer’s theory of evidence is one of the popular theories used in intelligent systems for modeling and reasoning under uncertainty and inaccuracy. In this paper, an evidential model for project environmental risk assessment is proposed based on the Dempster–Shafer theory, which is capable of taking into account the uncertainties. The proposed model is used to assess the environmental risks of Maroon oil pipelines in Isfahan. In addition, the proposed model is used in the case of tunneling risk assessment taken from the subject literature. To evaluate the validity of the proposed evidential model, the results are compared in two case studies, with the results of the conventional risk assessment method and the fuzzy inference system method. The comparative results show that the proposed model has a high potential for project risk assessment under an uncertain environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Risks in Construction Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Stability Analyses and Cable Bolt Support Design for A Deep Large-Span Stope at the Hongtoushan Mine, China
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6134; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216134 - 03 Nov 2019
Abstract
This study presents stability analyses and a cable bolt support design for a typical deep large-span stope (1-1# stope) at the Hongtoushan mine in China, using an integrated empirical and numerical method. Detailed field work including quantification of joint distribution and surface quality, [...] Read more.
This study presents stability analyses and a cable bolt support design for a typical deep large-span stope (1-1# stope) at the Hongtoushan mine in China, using an integrated empirical and numerical method. Detailed field work including quantification of joint distribution and surface quality, along with laboratory test on intact rock samples, were performed to obtain the geotechnical properties of rock masses. The rock mass of the 1-1# stope was characterized by rock mass rating (RMR), rock mass quality (Q), and geological strength index (GSI), and then the modulus, peak strength, cohesive strength, and internal friction angle of the rock mass were estimated. The stability of the stope was then evaluated by empirical (RMR, stability graph) and numerical approaches (limit equilibrium analyses with UNWEDGE and stress-strain analyses with FLAC3D), considering of the effects of rock mass quality, induced stress, and large-span. A cable bolt support system obtained from the empirical method, was then further analyzed using the FLAC3D and UNWEDGE codes. The results show that the maximum plastic zone thickness and vertical displacement at the stope roof decrease significantly and the safety factor of the unstable wedge block increases significantly after installing the cable bolt support systems recommended by the empirical method. Therefore, it is suggested that an integrated empirical and numerical method is used to obtain quantitative stability assessment and optimum cable bolt support design for deep large-span stope roofs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Risks in Construction Management)
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Open AccessArticle
What Enables a High-Risk Project to Yield High Return from a Construction Contractor’s Perspective?
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 5971; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11215971 - 27 Oct 2019
Abstract
“High risk high return” is a general rule in the overall industry; however, high-risk projects in the construction industry frequently fail to yield a high return. In order to achieve a sustainable business in the international construction market, contractors require an average to [...] Read more.
“High risk high return” is a general rule in the overall industry; however, high-risk projects in the construction industry frequently fail to yield a high return. In order to achieve a sustainable business in the international construction market, contractors require an average to high return yield under high-risk conditions. This study aims to reveal what risk factors and risk management performance enables high-risk projects to yield high returns. The study investigated 124 international construction projects by Korean contractors and classified them into four groups: high-risk high-return (HH), high-risk low-return (HL), low-risk high-return (LH), and low-risk low-return (LL). The study found that risk assessment accuracy was the most important trigger in discriminating between high return projects (HH, LH) and low return projects (HL, LL), whereas risk mitigation performance showed little difference between high return and low return projects. In addition, the contingency amount did not significantly affect project return in HL, LH, and LL projects, but HH projects showed a positive relation between contingency and predicted risk amount. This article contributes to recognizing the differences between high return and low return projects and provides insights for practitioners into the relation between risk management performance and high returns in different risk conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Risks in Construction Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Risk Assessment of Additional Works in Railway Construction Investments Using the Bayes Network
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5388; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195388 - 29 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The implementation of railway infrastructure construction projects including sustainable development goals is a complex process characterized by a significant extension of individual investment stages. The need for additional works has a big impact on construction railway projects, representing a risk which is the [...] Read more.
The implementation of railway infrastructure construction projects including sustainable development goals is a complex process characterized by a significant extension of individual investment stages. The need for additional works has a big impact on construction railway projects, representing a risk which is the result of many different factors. During the execution of works, both the design assumptions and the conditions of the project’s implementation can be changed. An attempt to eliminate potential risks is a key element of construction projects. The article proposes a proprietary management method for the risk of additional works in railway projects. A methodology for creating risk management strategies using a standard algorithm that includes risk identification, risk analysis, and risk assessment is presented. The original elements of the work include risk identification followed by analysis using Bayesian networks. Using the example of a scenario of events, it is shown that a well-programmed network can be used to implement risk mitigation methods. Using the network, it is possible to compare different ways to reduce risk, check the effect of reducing the risk factors, and determine a satisfactory level of effects, e.g., increased financial resources as a result of additional works. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Risks in Construction Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of the Influence of Socio-Economic Factors on Occupational Safety in the Construction Industry
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4469; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164469 - 18 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The purpose of the article was to identify the socio-economic factors generated in a construction environment, which affect the number of accidents at a construction site. Moreover, the objective was to construct a mathematical model that correlates selected factors with the number of [...] Read more.
The purpose of the article was to identify the socio-economic factors generated in a construction environment, which affect the number of accidents at a construction site. Moreover, the objective was to construct a mathematical model that correlates selected factors with the number of employees injured in accidents at work at a construction site, and also to estimate the influence of the identified factors on the level of occupational safety. Based on the analysis of the literature, it was stated that there are no studies describing the impact of socio-economic factors on accident rates in construction. The research included 104 factors that characterize the production value, the potential of enterprises, the generic structure of entities, and also employment and its volatility in the construction industry. In order to solve the problem, multiple regression analysis, available in the Statistica software, was applied. The developed mathematical multifactor model reflects empirical values very well, which was confirmed by the values of multiple correlation coefficients, the coefficient of determination, the adjusted coefficient of determination, as well as the mean square error and root mean square error. The construction of the model does not include qualitative factors, e.g., factors that describe the level of safety culture in the society. The developed model was used to determine the number of people injured in accidents at work. The model has certain limitations regarding its applicability. The model was developed for four selected Polish voivodeships that have a similar level of economic development and occupational safety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Risks in Construction Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Study on the Fracture Distribution Law and the Influence of Discrete Fractures on the Stability of Roadway Surrounding Rock in the Sanshandao Coastal Gold Mine, China
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2758; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102758 - 14 May 2019
Abstract
Cracks are critical for the deformation and failure of rock masses, but the effects of real cracks are rarely considered when evaluating the stability and safety of practical engineering. This paper presents a study on the application of fractures in the Sanshandao Gold [...] Read more.
Cracks are critical for the deformation and failure of rock masses, but the effects of real cracks are rarely considered when evaluating the stability and safety of practical engineering. This paper presents a study on the application of fractures in the Sanshandao Gold Mine. Field investigation and statistical analysis methods were adopted to obtain the distribution laws of the cracks. Laboratory tests, MATLAB programming, and simulation using the software, GDEM (Gdem Technology, Beijing, China, Co., Ltd.), were employed to study the mechanical behaviors of rock masses with real fractures after excavation. The main results are as follows: (1) Three sets of highly discrete cracks were developed in the study area. Their inclination and dip can be approximately considered to follow a Gaussian distribution or uniform distribution. They had close ties to the three faults developed in the mining area. (2) Compared with the model that did not consider cracks and the model processed by the equivalence idea, the surrounding rock deformation caused by excavation of the model that considered real cracks was larger than that of the former and smaller than that of the latter. However, its influence range was larger than that of the other two models. The results show that it is reasonable to use three sets of discrete cracks to characterize the fracture distribution of the surrounding rock. In the evaluation of roadway stability, it is not advisable to use the equivalence method to deal with all the cracks. Considering a part of the cracks that are compatible with the size of the calculation model, a relatively accurate evaluation can be obtained in terms of the deformation, failure, and permeability changes of the surrounding rock. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Risks in Construction Management)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
A Principal-Agent Theory Perspective on PPP Risk Allocation
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6455; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226455 - 16 Nov 2019
Abstract
This study proposes a framework for the allocation of risk in public private partnerships (PPP) projects. Its contribution lies in the recognition and incorporation of risks introduced by project stakeholders, and as articulated by the principal-agent theory (PAT). The framework assesses risks and [...] Read more.
This study proposes a framework for the allocation of risk in public private partnerships (PPP) projects. Its contribution lies in the recognition and incorporation of risks introduced by project stakeholders, and as articulated by the principal-agent theory (PAT). The framework assesses risks and routes these risks to those parties best equipped to mitigate their impact on the project. This allocation of risk is facilitated by a thirteen-step process. The practical benefit of this study lies in outlining a clear, systematic method for allocating risk efficiently to both the government and private enterprise parties of the project. In so doing, risk mitigation can be expected to improve project performance, optimize stakeholder goals, and enhance sustainability objectives, including improved operational life-cycle efficiency and elevated social and community benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Risks in Construction Management)
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Other

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Open AccessConcept Paper
An Approach to Determine Risk Indices for Drinking Water–Study Investigation
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3189; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113189 - 07 Jun 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
In accordance with the water quality standard, the safe functioning of the water treatment system operation is considered. This paper alludes to extreme situations, which arise where there is periodic deterioration of the quality of raw water, for which the technological process of [...] Read more.
In accordance with the water quality standard, the safe functioning of the water treatment system operation is considered. This paper alludes to extreme situations, which arise where there is periodic deterioration of the quality of raw water, for which the technological process of water treatment is not prepared. A conception method is presented by which to assess indices of risk vis-à-vis drinking water, on the basis of a probability estimation methodology. The categorisation of water pipes in line with quality-reliability as regards the physical and chemical composition of drinking water or water intended for business purposes is proposed. An example of the method being put to use is also offered, and it is recognised how the approach being proposed could be the basis for further analysis that takes different conditions of functioning of water-supply systems into account. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Risks in Construction Management)
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