sustainability-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Bio-Based Construction Materials for Sustainable Development of the Built Environment

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2021) | Viewed by 27130

Special Issue Editors


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Chair of Sustainable Construction, ETH Zürich, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland
Interests: sustainable construction; life cycle assessment; bamboo; timber; circular economy; bio-economy; post-disaster reconstruction; sustainable real estate
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Energy, Construction and Environment, Coventry University, Priory St, Coventry CV1 5FB, UK
Interests: timber and bamboo structures; embodied carbon; low-cost housing; earthquake engineering; temporary shelter in disaster zones; sustainability (environmentally friendly construction)

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Now more than ever we need to take drastic action to significantly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production of construction materials and the construction and operation of buildings. There is strong evidence that to achieve carbon neutrality in the built environment it is necessary to increase the percentage of bio-based buildings. Even though the use of bio-based construction materials, like bamboo and timber, is increasing, the rate at which they are being adopted is not fast enough. It is postulated that this may be in part due to the remaining information gaps related to their structural performance and their potential to serve as long-term carbon sinks. Moreover, the challenges presented by markets and policies for bio-based materials are not completely understood. In this Special Issue, we would like to have an interdisciplinary view of the opportunities for bio-based materials to support the achievement of a net-zero carbon built environment. We will invite authors to contribute papers from different disciplines ranging from material science and structural engineering to life cycle assessment and policy. We aim to not only provide a holistic view for this challenge, but to also present relevant information that could be used to support decision making processes in the built environment and government.

Dr. Edwin B. Zea Escamilla
Dr. David Trujillo
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

  • bamboo
  • timber
  • CO2
  • bio-based
  • materials
  • built environment

Published Papers (6 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

23 pages, 5228 KiB  
Article
Carbon Footprint Assessment of a Novel Bio-Based Composite for Building Insulation
by Olga Beatrice Carcassi, Pietro Minotti, Guillaume Habert, Ingrid Paoletti, Sophie Claude and Francesco Pittau
Sustainability 2022, 14(3), 1384; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031384 - 26 Jan 2022
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 6014
Abstract
This research explores the carbon removal of a novel bio-insulation composite, here called MycoBamboo, based on the combination of bamboo particles and mycelium as binder. First, an attributional life cycle assessment (LCA) was performed to define the carbon footprint of a European bamboo [...] Read more.
This research explores the carbon removal of a novel bio-insulation composite, here called MycoBamboo, based on the combination of bamboo particles and mycelium as binder. First, an attributional life cycle assessment (LCA) was performed to define the carbon footprint of a European bamboo plantation and a bio-insulation composite, as well as its ability to remove CO2 along its lifecycle at a laboratory scale. Secondly, the Global Worming Potential (GWP) was estimated through a dynamic LCA with selected end-of-life and technical replacement scenarios. Finally, a building wall application was analyzed to measure the carbon saving potential of the MycoBamboo when compared with alternative insulation materials applied as an exterior thermal insulation composite system. The results demonstrate that despite the negative GWP values of the biogenic CO2, the final Net-GWP was positive. The technical replacement scenarios had an influence on the final Net-GWP values, and a longer storage period is preferred to more frequent insulation substitution. The type of energy source and the deactivation phase play important roles in the mitigation of climate change. Therefore, to make the MycoBamboo competitive as an insulation system at the industrial scale, it is fundamental to identify alternative low-energy deactivation modes and shift all energy-intensity activities during the production phase to renewable energy. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

31 pages, 5811 KiB  
Article
Development of Sustainable Timber Construction in Ibero-America: State of the Art in the Region and Identification of Current International Gaps in the Construction Industry
by Raúl Araya, Alfredo Guillaumet, Ângela do Valle, María del Pilar Duque, Guillermo Gonzalez, José Manuel Cabrero, Enrique De León, Francisco Castro, Carmen Gutierrez, João Negrão, Laura Moya and Pablo Guindos
Sustainability 2022, 14(3), 1170; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031170 - 20 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3545
Abstract
This article presents the latest developments of the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries of Europe and Latin America towards the development of sustainable timber construction. As most regions related to these countries have not traditionally employed timber as primary construction material, bringing the development [...] Read more.
This article presents the latest developments of the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries of Europe and Latin America towards the development of sustainable timber construction. As most regions related to these countries have not traditionally employed timber as primary construction material, bringing the development of sustainable timber construction into fruition requires a wide range of actions, such as the elaboration of new educational programs, construction of demonstrative buildings, dissemination activities, settlement of public policies, elaboration of new construction codes, and the creation of new certification bodies. This article presents an overview of the state of the development of the different countries of Ibero-America, showing a very uneven development in the region. In addition to national analyses, a perception survey of 233 professionals from different countries was conducted, allowing for the identification of good practices, present gaps, and opportunities, as well as barriers for developing sustainable timber construction. It is concluded that in order to promote the development of the timber construction industry in the region, it is necessary to progress on regulatory, cultural, and material availability issues, where international experience, demonstrative buildings, and the implementation of public policies are crucial. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 703 KiB  
Article
Mind the Gap: A Policy Gap Analysis of Programmes Promoting Timber Construction in Nordic Countries
by Martyna Maniak-Huesser, Lars G. F. Tellnes and Edwin Zea Escamilla
Sustainability 2021, 13(21), 11876; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132111876 - 27 Oct 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2996
Abstract
The construction sector is one of the main contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and consumers of energy, making it one of the most relevant sectors when planning reduction strategies and policies. The use of timber in the built environment has been identified as [...] Read more.
The construction sector is one of the main contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and consumers of energy, making it one of the most relevant sectors when planning reduction strategies and policies. The use of timber in the built environment has been identified as a key strategy to reduce the carbon footprint of the construction sector. In this paper, we use the concept of policy gap analysis to identified underlying challenges in the implementation of timber construction on three Nordic countries, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. We carried out a series of semi-structured interviews with experts from the countries of study. The interviews came from industry, government, and construction companies. The use of the gap analysis approach was useful not only to identify areas that are being targeted but also those areas that were not covered by any programme at the time of study. The results showed that the studied programmes have a large level of coverage and congruence with the identified challenges. Moreover, they also showed that challenges related to fire safety regulations and insurance policies for timber buildings still need to be addressed, whereas the challenges of high price variability and lack of promotion are being addressed by multiple programmes. With this work, we have seen how timber construction is gaining momentum and how the challenges have been addressed systematically. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

21 pages, 2271 KiB  
Article
Comparative Analysis of Shear Strength Parallel to Fiber of Different Local Bamboo Species in the Philippines
by Brian E. Bautista, Lessandro E. O. Garciano and Luis F. Lopez
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8164; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13158164 - 21 Jul 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 6540
Abstract
There are limited published studies related to the mechanical properties of bamboo species in the Philippines. In this study, the shear strength properties of some economically viable bamboo species in the Philippines were properly characterized based on 220 shear test results. The rationales [...] Read more.
There are limited published studies related to the mechanical properties of bamboo species in the Philippines. In this study, the shear strength properties of some economically viable bamboo species in the Philippines were properly characterized based on 220 shear test results. The rationales of selecting this mechanical property are the following: (1) Shear strength, parallel to the fiber, has the highest variability among the mechanical properties; and (2) Shear is one of the governing forces on joint connections, and such connections are the points of failure on bamboo structures when subjected to extreme loading conditions. ISO 22157-1 (2017) test protocol for shear was used for all tests. The results showed that Bambusa blumeana has the highest average shear strength, followed by Gigantochloa apus, Dendrocalamus asper, Bambusa philippinensis, and Bambusa vulgaris. However, comparative analysis, using One-way ANOVA, showed that shear strength values among these bamboo species have significant differences statistically. A linear regression model is also established to estimate the shear strength of bamboo from the physical properties. Characteristic shear strength is also determined using ISO 12122-1 (2014) for future design reference. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 9329 KiB  
Article
Experimental Study on Flexural Performance of Regulated Reinforced Glulam Beam after Long-Term Loading
by Nan Guo, Chao Yang, Ling Li, Guodong Li and Yan Zhao
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5556; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105556 - 17 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1968
Abstract
Due to wood creep characteristics, the failure mode, bearing capacity, stiffness, and deformation of its components are doomed to be impacted by long-term loading. This paper conducted a comparative test on creep beams, regulated beams, and short-term beams based on the former long-term [...] Read more.
Due to wood creep characteristics, the failure mode, bearing capacity, stiffness, and deformation of its components are doomed to be impacted by long-term loading. This paper conducted a comparative test on creep beams, regulated beams, and short-term beams based on the former long-term loading research. The results demonstrated that the glulam beam experienced tensile failure of the beam-bottom, while the horizontal joint failure and the local compressive failure of the beam-end happened in the reinforced glulam beam and the prestressed glulam beam. The bearing capacity of the creep beams decreased compared with that of the short-term beams; the decline in the bearing capacity of the ordinary glulam beams, the reinforced glulam beams, and the prestressed glulam beams ranged from 3.2% to 9.8%, from 1.6% to 13.2%, and from 2.9% to 9.2%, respectively. However, the bearing capacity of the regulated beam with the deformation restored to the initial value of the load increased by 4.6–14.1%. The prestressed regulation changed the distribution of the stress on the beam and thus enhanced its bearing capacity. The findings of this work could be used as a frame of reference for similar components in engineering applications. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

34 pages, 9160 KiB  
Article
Investigations on the Sustainable Resource Use of Swiss Timber
by Claude Leyder, Michael Klippel, Olin Bartlomé, Niko Heeren, Sarah Kissling, Yutaka Goto and Andrea Frangi
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1237; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031237 - 25 Jan 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3989
Abstract
In Switzerland, the advantages of timber buildings for the climate are broadly discussed. In the following paper, a comparative sustainability assessment of four building alternatives is presented. Especially the contribution of implementing Swiss timber versus the implementation of imported timber is highlighted. Additionally, [...] Read more.
In Switzerland, the advantages of timber buildings for the climate are broadly discussed. In the following paper, a comparative sustainability assessment of four building alternatives is presented. Especially the contribution of implementing Swiss timber versus the implementation of imported timber is highlighted. Additionally, the timber-hybrid building structures are compared to a pure reinforced concrete structure. The timber-hybrid structure, with Swiss timber, has clear ecological advantages with only half the greenhouse gas emissions and half the non-renewable energy consumption compared to the reinforced concrete alternative. Comparing the Swiss timber alternative to the imported timber alternative, there are clear ecological advantages, as well. In terms of economic and social sustainability assessment criteria, the reinforced concrete alternative has the lowest production costs and the lowest labor intensity (measured in terms of full-time equivalents). Additionally, the paper includes an analysis of biogenic CO2 emissions and CO2 storage within the timber building alternatives. Finally, an up-scaling to the national level is attempted, showcasing the ecological and economic advantages of promoting the use of locally produced timber. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop