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Special Issue "Future-Proof Building Envelopes towards Zero Carbon Target"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 November 2022) | Viewed by 359

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Miren Juaristi Gutierrez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Energy Efficient Buildings group, Institute for Renewable Energy, Eurac Research, 39100 Bolzano, Italy
Interests: adaptive facades; prefabricated facades; circular economy and business models for innovative facades; renewable energy integration in facade systems and building thermal performance
Dr. Fabio Favoino
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Technology Energy Building Environment research group, Department of Energy, Politecnico di Torino, 10129 Torino, Italy
Interests: building energy performance; building envelope; building insulation; building materials; building simulation; green building; insulated glazing; intelligent buildings; nearly-zero energy building; responsive building enevelope

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The building sector has a high environmental impact and therefore, in order to achieve carbon neutrality targets, this sector must face the current challenges. Research on building envelopes can contribute substantially to achieving carbon neutrality, as this building component (i) contains several types of materials; (ii) has a shorter lifetime compared to the building structure; (iii) has a strong impact on operational energy demand, indoor comfort and user wellbeing; and (iv) can enable on-site solar energy harvesting. In the last decade, research on envelope technologies has been mainly driven by the need to optimise operational energy use and integrate renewable energy technologies, and concepts such as Nearly Zero Energy Buildings have been pursued. However, in order to reach the 2050 Climate Neutrality target, future envelopes must be developed with a more ambitious vision. Indeed, there is a growing body of literature on the impact of materials used in building envelopes, according to their sources and biodegradability/recyclability potential. Nevertheless, the achievement of this target is not limited to the right choice of materials: CO2 emissions also depend on (i) the fabrication processes (the energy required and its source, generated waste, transport distances and means); (ii) the operational energy of buildings; (iii) the durability of buildings and their components; (iv) generated waste during all  processes; (v) and what happens to the envelope components when they reach their End of Life. It is imperative to promote economic investment in adequate technologies to reduce the carbon footprint; therefore, profitable business models must be developed to boost circular economy. There are emerging papers and investigators working on these topics, anticipating a change in the trends of building envelope research.

This Special Issue aims to reflect this change of thinking in the field of building envelopes with a compilation of the latest research results. Potential topics to be presented in the SI are:

  • Materials, technologies and methods that promote circularity and reusability of building envelope components;
  • Building envelope design with a vision of assembly and disassembly;
  • Bio-based, reusable and/or recycled materials for high performance facades or roofs;
  • Minimisation of fast waste from building envelope technologies in any of their life phases (fabrication, construction, maintenance or End of Life);
  • Business models to drive circularity and reusable building envelope components;
  • How to achieve climate neutrality in buildings by integrating appropriate building envelope technologies: a holistic environmental perspective (Life Cycle Assessment);
  • Digital tools and/or processes to reduce the carbon footprint of building envelopes;
  • Increasing the lifespan of building components and buildings through durable building envelope technologies, processes and design methodologies;
  • Predictive maintenance of building envelopes to increase their durability;
  • Materials, Technologies that promote resiliency and robustness of the building envelopes & buildings towards climate change effects;
  • Design and Calculation Methods that promote resiliency and robustness of the building envelopes and buildings towards climate change effects.

This IS will give an outlook of future envelopes and of novel methodologies to develop innovative roof and façade technologies, based on a holistic vision of the sustainable targets.

Dr. Miren Juaristi Gutierrez
Dr. Fabio Favoino
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at 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 2000 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.


  • building envelope technologies
  • environmental footprint
  • bio-based materials
  • re-usable components
  • circular economy
  • durability
  • Life Cycle Assessment
  • emissions
  • lean construction
  • zero-waste
  • optimized fabrication
  • end of life

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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