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Advances in Sustainable Geotechnical Engineering and Civil Engineering

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 July 2024) | Viewed by 3381

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Architecture and the Built Environment, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton WV1 1LY, UK
Interests: geotechnics; geomechanics; structural analysis; fluid mechanics; optimization; project management
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue presents two perspectives of sustainability in geotechnical and civil engineering. The first section considers the role of innovations and practices within geotechnical/civil engineering in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), while the second section focuses on sustainable methods within geotechnical/civil engineering.

The 17 UN SDGs provide the framework for peace and prosperity in the world, including a call to all nations to enact a global partnership to help achieve the goals within the shortest possible period. Participation between countries is required while they attempt to address climate change as well as work towards preserving natural ecosystems. Therefore, in the field of geotechnical/civil engineering, there is a drive to ensure that current/future practices and innovations contribute towards fulfilling the UN SDGs. Although the SDGs are divided into 17 categories, they are somewhat interrelated; hence, it is often not possible to concentrate on a single goal without impacting on one or more of the others. However, certain disciplines are better suited for achieving specific components of the SDGs, making it easier for straightforward appraisal of their contributions towards some SDGs. To this end, and with respect to geotechnical/civil engineering, emphasis is placed on submissions that can demonstrate how the profession contributes towards accomplishing the following ideals of the UN SDGs:

  • Affordable and clean energy;
  • Innovations involving research and industry practices;
  • Sanitation and water management;
  • Cities and communities that are sustainable and/or smart;
  • Mitigating climate change;
  • Conservation and restoration of natural resources and the environment (land, forest, water bodies, and biodiversity).

The second section of this Special Issue aims to explore how the practice of geotechnical and civil engineering can be made sustainable. In this regard, the emphasis is on the methods employed in geotechnical/civil engineering, covering areas such as digital solutions and technology, materials engineering, and construction management and costs. Innovations and best practices involving but not limited to the following techniques can be presented: Building Information Modeling (BIM), Geographical Information Systems (GISs), geological modeling, digital rock mapping, and laser scanning.

Dr. Kenneth Imo-Imo Israel Eshiet
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 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 in geotechnical engineering
  • sustainability in civil engineering
  • sustainable construction management
  • sustainable and smart cities
  • sustainable materials
  • digital solutions and technology
  • renewable energy

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 10866 KiB  
Article
Three-Dimensional Modeling and Analysis of Ground Settlement Due to Twin Tunneling Using GIS
by Ji-seok Yun, Han-eol Kim and Han-kyu Yoo
Sustainability 2024, 16(14), 5891; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16145891 - 10 Jul 2024
Viewed by 315
Abstract
Ground settlement occurs because of the surrounding ground behavior during tunnel excavation. A high chance of its occurrence could cause the collapse of buildings; therefore, the accurate prediction and assessment of ground settlement are necessary when structures are concentrated in urban regions. This [...] Read more.
Ground settlement occurs because of the surrounding ground behavior during tunnel excavation. A high chance of its occurrence could cause the collapse of buildings; therefore, the accurate prediction and assessment of ground settlement are necessary when structures are concentrated in urban regions. This study leverages Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and 3D modeling to evaluate the effects of tunnel excavation on the ground settlement and damage of buildings along the Mandeok–Centum underground highway in Busan. It integrates the field topography with building data to simulate and visualize construction-induced interactions. Numerical analysis is used to assess the effects of the terrain elevation, building presence, excavation sequences, and lag distance between the twin tunnels on the settlement. The results indicate that high terrain elevation, dense building layouts, and shorter distances between tunnels increase settlement. Furthermore, this study deduces that bidirectional excavation causes a rapid increase in settlement compared with parallel excavation, which is evident from the variations in the inflection points during the excavation process. Finally, this study estimates the damage to buildings and ground settlements and visualizes risk maps using GIS, emphasizing the practicality of 3D modeling based on GIS. Full article
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16 pages, 7355 KiB  
Article
Experimental Study on the Effect of Environmental Water on the Mechanical Properties and Deterioration Process of Underground Engineering Masonry Mortar
by Jinghu Yang, Ye Cheng, Dawei Cui, Zewei Zhang, Bo Zhang and Jiamei Chai
Sustainability 2024, 16(12), 5186; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16125186 - 18 Jun 2024
Viewed by 428
Abstract
Urban underground engineering is generally buried at a shallow depth and suffers long-term environmental water effects such as rainfall, rivers, underground pipeline leakage, and groundwater. The mechanical properties of the structures are affected by constant deterioration, which seriously hinders the safe, healthy, and [...] Read more.
Urban underground engineering is generally buried at a shallow depth and suffers long-term environmental water effects such as rainfall, rivers, underground pipeline leakage, and groundwater. The mechanical properties of the structures are affected by constant deterioration, which seriously hinders the safe, healthy, and sustainable development of the city. On the basis of on-site investigation of civil defense engineering, this article simulates the water environment conditions of mortar in underground engineering in the laboratory and conducts manual sample preparation in the laboratory. Then, water, H2CO3, NaCl, and Na2CO3 solution or wet–dry cycles are used to corrode the sample, respectively. A uniaxial compression test, Brazilian splitting test, analyses of the acoustic emission signals and electromagnetic signals, and magnetic imaging testing are performed, respectively. The results show that an increase in the action time of environmental water leads to a gradual increase in the uniaxial compressive strength, tensile strength, and elastic modulus of cement mortar, but it will decrease over a long period of time. Different environmental water components can also lead to a different performance of soaked mortar. The uniaxial compressive strength R, tensile strength σt, and elastic modulus E of mortar samples exhibit values in different solutions in the order of H2CO3 solution < NaCl solution < Na2CO3 solution < water. A moderate solution soak time can enhance the mechanical properties of the mortar, but this effect decreases at long time scales. The effect of wet–dry cycles on the mechanical properties and degradation process of mortar is significant. With the increase in wet–dry cycles, the porosity of mortar continuously increases. The cumulative ringing count, energy, amplitude, and impact number of acoustic emission signals always increase when the samples are loaded to failure. The uniaxial compressive strength, tensile strength, and elastic modulus first increase and then decrease. The experimental results lay the foundation for further investigating the performance changes in mortar under complex water environments in underground engineering. Full article
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18 pages, 10017 KiB  
Article
Effect of Modifiers on the Disintegration Characteristics of Red Clay
by Baochen Liu, Haofeng Zhou, Xiaobo Wang, Guan Lian and Bai Yang
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4551; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114551 - 27 May 2024
Viewed by 526
Abstract
Due to the high degree of weathering, the red clay slope has low anti-disintegration performance, and the clay easily becomes wet and disintegrates after soaking in water. It causes geological problems such as slope collapse caused by soil softening. To study the disintegration [...] Read more.
Due to the high degree of weathering, the red clay slope has low anti-disintegration performance, and the clay easily becomes wet and disintegrates after soaking in water. It causes geological problems such as slope collapse caused by soil softening. To study the disintegration characteristics of modified red clay, the disintegration test of red clay modified by using lignin fiber, clay particles and lime was carried out, analyzing the disintegration characteristics of improved red clay from physical and chemical perspectives and analyzing the improvement mechanism of three modifiers with the scanning electron microscopy test. The analysis results show that the water-holding capacity and disintegration resistance of soil mixed with lignin fiber decrease; the disintegration time of reshaped red clay increases with the increase in clay content; and the average disintegration rate of the soil decreases with the increase in clay content. With the increase in lime content, the soil cement increases. The integrity of the soil is enhanced, and its anti-disintegration ability is improved; the saturated moisture content of reshaped red clay increases with the increase in lignin fiber and clay content, while the saturated moisture content of soil decreases with the increase in lime content. The damage analysis shows that the larger the damage factor of soil, the worse its anti-disintegration ability, and the easier the soil disintegrates. The purpose of this paper is to explore the essence of the soil disintegration phenomenon, and on this basis, using high-quality improved materials, to improve the soil, which easily disintegrates. This move aims to significantly enhance the anti-disintegration ability of the soil, thereby improving its resistance to softening and disintegration, thereby effectively improving and maintaining the ecological environment. At the same time, the improved soil will help to improve the utilization rate of the slope and foundation soil, thereby reducing the economic cost of maintenance engineering. Against the current background of sustainable economic, social, and ecological development, it is of great strategic significance to ensure the sustainable availability of land resources in specific areas and maintain their productivity and ecological stability for a long time. The research into this subject not only helps to deepen the understanding of soil disintegration, but also provides strong technical support for the rational utilization of land resources and the protection of the ecological environment. Full article
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20 pages, 13314 KiB  
Article
Study on Mechanical Characteristics of Living Stumps and Reinforcement Mechanisms of Slopes
by Xueliang Jiang, Wenjie Liu, Hui Yang, Haodong Wang and Zhenyu Li
Sustainability 2024, 16(10), 4294; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16104294 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 557
Abstract
As a novel technology for slope protection, living stumps have demonstrated the ability to significantly enhance slope stability. This study aims to investigate the mechanical properties of living-stump root systems and their reinforcement mechanisms on slopes through three-dimensional modeling tests. Using ABS materials, [...] Read more.
As a novel technology for slope protection, living stumps have demonstrated the ability to significantly enhance slope stability. This study aims to investigate the mechanical properties of living-stump root systems and their reinforcement mechanisms on slopes through three-dimensional modeling tests. Using ABS materials, a 3D model of a living elm stump was created via 3D printing; this was followed by slope model testing. The reinforcement mechanisms of living stumps were examined through a combination of model testing and numerical simulation. The results reveal that the presence of living stumps in the lower and middle sections of a slope causes the maximum-shear-stress zone of the soil to shift deeper. The stress distribution around the living stump is notably improved owing to the lateral root system. Living stumps positioned in the lower part of the slope intersect the potential sliding surface, gradually transferring soil shear stress to the root system through root–soil interactions. Furthermore, the tap roots and lateral roots of living stumps form a robust spatial network that can collectively withstand soil shear stress, thereby enhancing slope stability. Full article
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17 pages, 10720 KiB  
Article
Disintegration Characteristics of Remolded Granite Residual Soil with Different Moisture Contents
by Yicheng Chen, Xiaowen Zhou, Xiaotao Ai, Mi Zhou, Yu Zhao and Zexin Lan
Sustainability 2024, 16(1), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16010084 - 21 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 770
Abstract
Granite residual soil (GRS) has prominent disintegration characteristics which have induced various geological disasters and engineering problems. The initial moisture content is believed to affect the disintegration of GRS significantly. To explore the effects of the initial moisture content on the soil disintegration [...] Read more.
Granite residual soil (GRS) has prominent disintegration characteristics which have induced various geological disasters and engineering problems. The initial moisture content is believed to affect the disintegration of GRS significantly. To explore the effects of the initial moisture content on the soil disintegration characteristics and disintegration mechanism, disintegration tests were performed on remolded GRS with different initial moisture contents via the balance method, and the quantitative disintegration indices were corrected, considering the effects of water-absorption weight gain, in combination with a parallel water-absorption test. The disintegration characteristics and mechanism were thoroughly investigated, starting with the disintegration process curves and disintegration morphology, and combined with strength theory, X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF), the matric suction test, and the triaxial shear test. The results are as follows. (1) The corrected method improves the accuracy of the quantitative disintegration evaluation. (2) During the two disintegration stages, the forms of disintegration are dispersive fragmentation and progressive or block separation, and the soil matric suction and weakening of intergranular joining forces, respectively, are the drivers of disintegration. The first stage is usually completed within 1.5–2 min, and the disintegration ratio is usually within 20%. (3) The trends of change within the disintegration during the two stages show opposite water-content-dependent modes, and the soil samples with lower moisture contents have better water stability and slower disintegration in the second stage. The average disintegration rate of the soil with a moisture content of 24.4% in the first and second stages was approximately 1/5 and 13 times, respectively, that of the soil with a moisture content of 6.1%; these values can be rendered as 0.049%/s and 0.82%/s, respectively. The results provide some theoretical references for soil and water conservation and engineering applications in the GRS field. Full article
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